When you think about dog sleds, you may think about a team of huskies pulling a sled across a snowy and icy landscape.
Perhaps you should change that image to an Australian shepherd confidently riding a sled down a hill.
Secret, a 3-year-old Aussie shepherd and the canine companion to 17-year-old human Mary, took advantage of there finally being enough snow to get some sledding in. And by “some” we mean around 50 shots down the hill, according to Mary’s Instagram caption. Secret drags her sled all the way to the top of the hill, hops on and gets her own snowy version of zoomies on as she slides down the hill. Once at the bottom, it’s right back up again, sled in mouth.
At 11am this morning I am checking in to the local hospital in nearby Grants Pass for a colonoscopy. I am very hopeful that this routine examination will not find anything to worry about.
However, yesterday evening I had to take the first of two doses of Bowel Preparation ‘Kit’. That was after a full day staying off solids!! The second dose is being taken at 7am PDT this morning. One could take a tongue-in-cheek view that the results will not be a pretty site. Once back home a decent shower and a lovely meal will be the order of the day.
Getting pets into the bath can be a tricky endeavor, but these two dogs seem content to be in the tub. Now if they only had the same idea of how to behave there …
The husky on the right is just there for a relaxing soak and maybe a good shampooing. Its pal, on the other hand, wants to dig through the water the entire time as if there’s a bone somewhere buried just below the water.
To the husky’s credit, it allows its puppy companion to live in its own bath tub truth, but we all know that deep down it’s thinking, “I just wanted some quiet time and some cucumbers on my eyes. Is that too much to ask?”
With a swish of his flipper, a dolphin named Octavius became the first to be rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild off Louisiana’s coast. The rescued dolphin returned to the Gulf of Mexico on April 29 after five months of rehabilitation and medical monitoring in Louisiana.
The process from rescue to release was spearheaded by the Audubon Nature Institute and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) with assistance from the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service and Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.
After receiving a call from a private citizen regarding a washed up dolphin on Grand Isle Beach, biologists from the LDWF headed for the scene in October 2015 to see if the dolphin could be saved.
“We had a short window to diagnose whether the animal could be released or brought back to Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center (FMASSC) in New Orleans for treatment,” said Audubon’s Stranding and Rescue Coordinator Gabriella Vazquez. “He was lethargic and had short, shallow breaths. We attempted a soft release in the surf, but he showed no initiative to swim back into the Gulf.”
The dolphin was transported to FMASSC where the process to get him ready for reintroduction to the ocean began.
Determining if the dolphin — named Octavius in honor of the veterinarian working most with him — was ready for release was a multi-step process. Octavius was monitored for behavioral challenges, ranging from swimming and breathing to becoming reliant on and desensitized to humans. Octavius demonstrated no such issues.
“Dolphins are very intelligent animals. Over time, they can learn to associate humans and boats as a source for food, which is why it is illegal to feed them in the wild,” explained Mandy Tumlin, the Louisiana state stranding coordinator for marine mammals and sea turtles.
The next two steps Octavius had to clear dealt with his overall health. He demonstrated no signs of hearing impairment, a key component for dolphins’ survival. In addition to hearing, veterinarians checked Octavius’s blood for congenital defects or other medical problems that could make surviving in the wild more difficult.
Octavius passed all three of the steps related to release, but vets weren’t through just yet. Because of his potential age — vets estimated Octavius to be between 1 and 7 years old — Octavius was affixed with a tag to the dorsal fin by Dr. Randy Wells, director of the Chicago Zoological Society’s Sarasota Dolphin Research Program.
“The tag allows for satellite tracking as well as radio tracking. Since he could be a younger animal, this type of monitoring is necessary to ensure he is thriving back in the wild,” said Tumlin.
After all of this, Octavius was transported to Barataria Bay where he was released and swam back into the ocean of his own volition.
Enjoy this video.
Published on May 2, 2016
A young dolphin has been released back into the waters off Louisiana’s coast after being found stranded on a beach a year ago. The Audubon Nature Institute believes that high waters and rough sears from Hurricane Patricia likely caused him to get stuck there. He was lethargic and short of breath. They named him Octavius and brought him back to their facility for rehabilitation. Before he could be released he had to reach milestones that include behavior and medical tests.