Category: Photography

Saturday smile!

A delightful story of one man’s bravery for another – dog!

This was published on The Daily Dodo a week ago and really does need retelling.

It shows how much we love our dogs.

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Man Jumps Into An NYC River To Save A Drowning Dog

Photo Credit: Erin O’Donnell

Ever since she was adopted from North Shore Animal League in March 2017, Harper has been absolutely head over heels for her mom, Erin O’Donnell, but is definitely a little nervous in new situations and can take some time to warm up to new people.

“She is a sweetheart but very anxious outside and around strangers,” O’Donnell told The Dodo.

On Saturday, O’Donnell was performing with the Brooklyn Irish Dance Company in Manhattan and left Harper in Brooklyn with friends and a trusted dog walker. Harper and her dog walker were out taking a stroll when a cab recklessly ran a stop sign and hit both the dog walker and Harper.

Both were OK and only sustained minor injuries, but poor Harper was so scared and shaken up that she ran and ran and ran — until she reached the East River, and jumped right in.

Still in a panic, Harper swam with determination and ferocity, and while at first onlookers thought she was just a dog with an owner nearby going for a swim, they soon realized that wasn’t the case at all.

“I was at the Brooklyn Barge celebrating my B’day when we saw a dog ‘going for a swim,’” Gabe Castellanos wrote in a post on Instagram. “The day grew hot and we all figured a nice swim could do us all a service. We assumed the owner was on shore keeping a watchful eye until a patron ran up to the north side of the Barge with a panicked voice saying that the dog, Harper, had run away.”

Photo Credit: Lorenzo Fonda

It was around that time that everyone began to notice Harper losing speed. The river was incredibly cold, and with the amount of energy Harper was exerting in her panicked state, it was likely that she wouldn’t be able to keep herself afloat for very much longer. This fact settled in for Castellanos, and he immediately knew he had to do something about it.

Castellanos happens to be a graduate of SUNY Maritime College and has extensive water survival skills knowledge — and so he decided he was going in.

“Since there was no sign of her making an attempt to swim back to shore, I knew something had to be done,” Castellanos told The Dodo. “I looked on the barge for any type of floating device to use if I were to jump from the end, but then I noticed there was a life vest, so I grabbed it.”

At this point, a crowd of about 300 people had gathered, invested in Harper and her well-being, and as soon as everyone realized what Castellanos was about to do, they all broke out into cheers of encouragement. Lorenzo Fonda, a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and artist, was hanging out at the Brooklyn Barge when he suddenly realized what was happening, and quickly began recording the entire ordeal.

Photo Credit: Lorenzo Fonda

Knowing the water was going to be cold and the conditions less than ideal, Castellanos strategized quickly with those around him as he prepared to jump into the water. He stripped down to his underwear, climbed over the rails, and then lowered himself as close to the water as he possibly could before letting go and diving in.

“There was a grand cheer when I entered the water,” Castellanos said. “After that, I was no longer focused on the crowds and my surroundings but focused on my breathing and swimming over to Harper. The crowds went mute during my swim. I’m sure they were still cheering, but I could not hear anything other than the water.”

Harper was still swimming at a steady pace, and Castellanos had to work hard to catch up with her. As soon as she realized someone was swimming towards her, she became even more panicked and tried as hard as she could to swim away from him.

Castellanos was persistent, though, and even though Harper struggled and lashed out a bit out of fear when he finally reached her, he stayed calm and determined and was finally able to secure her.

Cheers erupted from all over when Castellanos finally had Harper safely in his arms, and the pair quickly returned to shore. Both were exhausted and needed medical attention to make sure everything was OK, but luckily they were both completely fine, and are now recovering at their respective homes.

Photo Credit: Lorenzo Fonda

O’Donnell was in the middle of a performance when all of this occurred, and didn’t find out until later about Harper’s river adventure and the man who saved her life.

“Her paws are in rough shape, so she will need some trendy boots for a few weeks, but otherwise she’s in great spirits,” O’Donnell said. “It is definitely so refreshing to see the positive responses from people at the Brooklyn Barge and on social media expressing their sympathy for Harper and praising Gabe, who definitely saved the day.”

As an innocent onlooker that day, Castellanos didn’t have to do anything to help. He could have just sat by and watched and let someone else handle it, but instead he took a leap of faith and ended up saving Harper’s life, making him a true hero.

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I take my hat off to Gabe Castellanos. It’s something that 99.9% of us wouldn’t do yet Gabe didn’t think twice. OK, he had specific training but still there was a degree of risk. But he took it!

So well done, Mr. Gabe Castellanos!

Coyote puppies

An obvious follow-on to yesterday’s post.

We all know about how wolves habituated themselves to human all those thousand of years ago but the same is happening to coyotes today.

There was an article on EarthSky on March 28th, 2019 that I want to share with you, and here it is:

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How coyote pups get used to humans

Posted by in | March 28, 2019

Across North America, coyotes are moving into urban environments. While human residents are having to get used to the new animal neighbors, coyotes are also habituating to people.

Seven-week-old coyote pups walk through the research facility in Utah as the mother follows. The first pup carries a bone in its mouth. Image via USDA National Wildlife Research Center/Steve Guymon.

As coyotes are moving into urban environments across North America, many human residents – whether they like it or not – are having to get used to them. Meanwhile, how are coyotes habituating to people?

A new study, published December 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Ecology and Evolution, suggests that coyotes can habituate to humans quickly and that habituated parents pass this fearlessness on to their offspring.

Image via Connar L’Ecuyer via National Park Service/Flickr.

Until the 20th century, coyotes lived mostly in the U.S. Great Plains. But when wolves were hunted almost to extinction in the early 1900s, coyotes lost their major predator, and their range began to expand.

With continuing landscape changes, coyotes are now increasingly making their way into suburban and urban environments — including New York City, Los Angeles and cities in the Pacific Northwest — where they live, mainly off rodents and small mammals, without fear of hunters.

The aim of the new study, was to understand how a skittish, rural coyote can sometimes transform into a bold, urban one — a shift that can exacerbate negative interactions among humans and coyotes. University of Washington biologist Christopher Schell is the first author of the study, Schell said in a statement:

Instead of asking, ‘Does this pattern exist?’ we’re now asking, ‘How does this pattern emerge?’.

A key factor, the researchers suggest, might be parental influence. Coyotes pair for life, and both parents contribute equally to raising the offspring. This may be because of the major parental investment required to raise coyote pups, and the evolutionary pressure to guard them from larger carnivores.

The new study observed eight coyote families at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Predator Research Facility in Utah during their first and second breeding seasons. These coyotes are raised in a fairly wild setting, with minimal human contact and food scattered across large enclosures.

Five-week-old coyote pups eat food rations during the experiment. These second-litter pups were born in 2013 to more-experienced parents, and were more likely to approach a human. Image via USDA National Wildlife Research Center/Christopher Schell.

But during the experiment researchers occasionally placed all the food near the entrance of the enclosure and had a human researcher sit just outside, watching any approaching coyotes, from five weeks to 15 weeks after the birth of the litter. Then they documented how soon the coyotes would venture toward the food. Schell said:

For the first season, there were certain individuals that were bolder than others, but on the whole they were pretty wary, and their puppies followed. But when we came back and did the same experiment with the second litter, the adults would immediately eat the food – they wouldn’t even wait for us to leave the pen in some instances.

Parents became way more fearless, and in the second litter, so, too, were the puppies.

In fact, the most cautious pup from the second-year litter ventured out more than the boldest pup from the first-year litter. Schell said:

The discovery that this habituation happens in only two to three years has been corroborated, anecdotally, by evidence from wild sites across the nation. We found that parental effect plays a major role.

He added:

Even if it’s only 0.001 percent of the time, when a coyote threatens or attacks a person or a pet, it’s national news, and wildlife management gets called in. We want to understand the mechanisms that contribute to habituation and fearlessness, to prevent these situations from occurring.

Bottom line: A new study suggests coyotes puppies learn from their parents how to habituate to humans.

Source: Parental habituation to human disturbance over time reduces fear of humans in coyote offspring

Via University of Washington

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I love the fact that coyotes pair for life and take an equal measure of responsibility in bringing up their pups.

Once again, we humans can learn from our natural cousins.

Eleven dogs all perfectly composed!

Taking their family portrait!

Our six dogs are such a beautiful family that it’s hard to imagine that we once had eleven dogs; actually more than that.

But our six still aren’t as well behaved as the eleven dogs in The Dodo article.

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Whole Pack Of Dogs Sits Perfectly Still For Their Family Portrait

Their foster mom is truly a dog whisperer.
BY

PUBLISHED ON 04/24/2019

Anyone who has ever tried to convince even one dog to sit still for a photo knows just how difficult it can be — but one woman has managed to do the impossible with — wait for it — 11 dogs.

Melissa Lentz

Melissa Lentz, who fosters dogs through Releash Atlanta, told The Dodo in a rundown about who is in this photo.

“Top from left: Mia, Pancake, Paxton,” Lentz said. “Bottom from left: Benji, Gizmo, Alex, Penny, Donny, Lula, Monroe and Rudy.”

Lentz added that seven of the depicted dogs are fosters waiting for homes, while “Gizmo, Donny, Monroe and Rudy are mine,” she said.

Even more remarkable, perhaps, is the fact that that perfect portrait is far from a one-time fluke.

Melissa Lentz

“I have tons of these photos,” Lentz said.

Melissa Lentz

Sometimes, Lentz even manages to join the pack for that perfect shot.

But how does she get such perfect family portraits — something that’s hard enough even for humans?

Melissa Lentz

Lentz’s secret seems to have to do with the particular relationships she forms with the dogs. One can almost see the bond reflected in the way the dogs look at her as she’s snapping the photos.

Melissa Lentz

“I literally just put them on the couch one by one and they situate themselves!” Lentz said. “I don’t use food [or] treats or anything. I just tell them to look at me.”

Melissa Lentz

And another dog saved!

Another example of that man-dog relationship.

So many people put their dog before anything else.

Take Randy Etter and his dog Gemini.

Or rather take The Dodo‘s description of Randy and Gemini.

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Man Immediately Puts His Car Up For Sale To Save His Dog’s Life

“I would be devastated if I lost my best friend.”

BY

PUBLISHED ON 04/24/2019

Randy Etter and his dog Gemini have been together since Gemini was just a little puppy. It’s been around two years now, and the pair are the absolute best of friends. They love each other so much and brighten each other’s lives every single day — so when Etter found out he might lose Gemini, he vowed to do absolutely everything he could to save his life.

Randy Etter.

Gemini was playing with Etter’s girlfriend’s daughter one day four weeks ago, and the baby thought it was hilarious to continuously throw her bottle out of her playpen at Gemini. Gemini would pick it up every time and his dad would quickly grab it from him, wash it off, and give it back to the baby — but at some point, Gemini got ahold of the bottle without his dad realizing and ended up eating the top off of it.

No one had any idea that Gemini had swallowed something he wasn’t supposed to — until he started getting very, very sick.

“He just started to slow down and I didn’t think that was normal, just laying beside me and following me everywhere,” Etter told The Dodo. “I just felt like he was saying, ‘Help me.’”

Randy Etter.

When Gemini started vomiting uncontrollably, his dad knew something was very, very wrong, and immediately rushed him to the vet. Unfortunately, at first, no one could tell him for sure what was wrong with Gemini.

“I lost my job driving vet to vet to vet and it just seemed like I wasn’t gonna get anywhere or get him the help he needed in time,” Etter said. “It was truly one of the scariest things I had to deal with.”

Randy Etter.

Finally, a vet was able to confirm that Gemini had a blockage inside of him and would need surgery — which would cost $4,500, money that Etter definitely did not have. Losing Gemini was not an option, though, and so he decided to put his car up for sale to try and raise at least part of the money to save his best friend’s life.

“I was gonna spend every dollar made from the car sale on his surgery,” Etter said. “I would be devastated if I lost my best friend.”

Gemini is now recovering well, safe in the arms of his dad and best friend. Etter is so grateful to everyone who helped him keep Gemini alive, and can’t imagine what he would have done without everyone’s support.

Randy Etter.

“It means the world to me,” Etter said. “He’s my best friend. He’s always there for me, I just wanted to be able to return the favor and be there for him.”

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Randy puts it perfectly; “He’s my best friend. He’s always there for me, I just wanted to be able to return the favor and be there for him.

Thousands upon thousands of people feel exactly the same way.

Thank goodness for dogs!

A beautiful story!

Rocky ends up getting rescued, and more..

For a while now I have been subscribing to The Dodo. As the website explains it’s for animal people and as you and I know that’s quite a great many people!

Until now I have been a little nervous of sharing articles from The Dodo with you. But then I noticed quite recently that there is a ‘share’ button at the end of the articles.

So I presume it’s alright to share these wonderful stories!

Try this one published in April, 2019!

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Fireman Shows Up To Save Puppy Trapped Under Concrete — And Immediately Falls In Love

“I knew he was coming home with me.”

By 
PUBLISHED ON 04/15/2019

A family was out riding their bikes one day in South Carolina when they suddenly heard what sounded like a puppy crying. They pulled their bikes over to the side of the road and went to investigate, and were shocked to find a little puppy trapped under a pile of dirt and concrete. Not knowing how else to help, they quickly called 911, and both the police and firefighters with the North Charleston Fire Department responded in hopes that they could free the trapped puppy.

North Charleston Fire Department

“They showed us where the dog was located,” Captain Paul Bryant, of the North Charleston Fire Department, told The Dodo. “It was piles of concrete 4 foot by 4 foot, some smaller, some bigger. One of the police officers said he could see the dog so we got on our hands and knees to look and saw his nose sticking out of the pile of rubble.”

After moving the concrete slabs out of the way with a pry bar, Captain Bryant attempted to pull the puppy, later named Rocky, out from the remaining dirt and rubble, but unfortunately there just wasn’t enough room. He then took a shovel and started digging, and finally was able to create enough space to pull the confused puppy out to safety. The whole rescue only took about 11 minutes, but no one has any idea how long Rocky had been stuck under there before everyone arrived.

North Charleston Fire Department

As soon as he was free, little Rocky couldn’t stop licking Bryant’s face in gratitude. The puppy clearly had so much energy and lots of love to give, and everyone immediately fell in love with him — especially Bryant. The family who had initially found Rocky said they would take him to a nearby animal hospital to get checked for a microchip so he could hopefully be reunited with his family, but after he was gone, Bryant just couldn’t get Rocky out of his head.

North Charleston Fire Department

Rocky was taken in by Charleston Animal Society, and ended up not being microchipped after all. The search for his potential family came up empty, and as soon as Bryant heard, he knew exactly what he had to do.

“I wanted to know if his owner was found, or if the person who found him was going to keep him,” Bryant said. “Once I found out he did not have an owner and the family who found him could not keep him, I knew he was coming home with me.”

North Charleston Fire Department