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Top Dog Stories Of 2023

January 1, 2024

Happy New Year! As we turn our calendars forward to 2024, many people are reflecting back on the past year, and perhaps mulling over personal highs and lows. Our canine pals had a few important moments in 2023 as well. A local Hyattsville, MD veterinarian lists some of the top dog stories of 2023 in this article.

The Long Way Home

One lucky dog is finally warm and safe, after having been missing for a whopping seven years. A 12-year old Patterdale terrier named Rose was spotted last year near Crawley Down, a small English village Someone contacted a local volunteer nonprofit rescue, Lost Dog Recovery UK. Rescuers set up a camera and food station. Though it took several days, they successfully trapped the pooch. It turned out that Rose was well-fed but homeless, and was a familiar sight to locals. (The cute pooch was also rather finicky for a stray: it took a warm roast chicken topped with paté to tempt her into the cage.) 

Once Rose was safe, the rescuers found that she did have a microchip. The chip revealed a remarkable tale. Rose had been reported missing back in 2017, and had gotten lost within 24 hours of being adopted. Remarkably, the little dog had survived in the wild for all that time. 

Her owners were thrilled to hear that she was safe, but were sadly unable to take her back due to changes in their situation. We’re just happy to hear that the pooch is warm and safe. (And by now, very possibly soaking up love and affection in a new home.) 

This is also a good reminder of the importance of microchipping. If your pet isn’t chipped yet, contact us, your animal hospital, today! 

Paws For Thought

You may have seen or heard about paw pad buttons, which speak programmed words when dogs step on them. This may sound a bit out-there, but many of our canine pals have proven quite adept at learning how to communicate with their humans. In fact, the University of California San Diego is currently working on a research project about Fido’s affinity for speaking.

Of course, it probably won’t be much of a surprise to realize that most pups use the paws to specifically ask for treats, walks, belly rubs, and play time.  However, if your pup is quick to pick things up, you may want to give these a try! 

Shelter Has No Available Dogs

We always love seeing dogs get loving forever homes. Quite a few pups in Pennsylvania got their wishes. The Adams County Pennsylvania SPCA was delighted to report that, for the first time in nearly 50 years, they had found homes for all of the dogs in their care, and had empty cages. Or, almost empty cages. (A kitty wandered in just before the official announcement.) The shelter put up a post on their Facebook page celebrating the good news. “This is the first time in 47 YEARS that the Adams County SPCA is empty, let alone at Christmas time, it is a true miracle!” The shelter also noted that it has adopted out 598 animals this year and successfully returned 125 strays to their worried humans.

We’re sending our congratulations to all of those newly-adopted pups. And while it’s probably unrealistic to hope that this is the start of a long-term trend, we are hoping for more similar announcements in the coming year. 

Reunited At Last

We always love reading stories about pets being reunited with their humans. That happened earlier this year, when U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Alcala adopted his former canine partner, a German shepherd named John. Alcala and John first met in 2018. The two quickly bonded, becoming certified as a team just two weeks later. The pair worked together for three years, often protecting high-profile clients, such as the U.S. vice president and first lady. Alcala was able to adopt the pooch, and it’s safe to say that John is enjoying a well-deserved retirement with his favorite human. 

Mystery Dog Illness

This may be our least favorite story of 2023, but it’s still worth mentioning. A mysterious respiratory disease is affecting our canine companions. Cases have been reported in at least 16 American states, and there have also been outbreaks in Canada. 

While there’s a lot to learn about this mystery illness, we do know that it can make Fido very, very sick, and can even be fatal. Several  pooches have unfortunately succumbed, some in as little as 24 hours. Contagion risks are highest in places where there are many dogs present, such as boarding kennels and dog parks. 

While there is no need to panic, it is a good idea to take extra precautions, especially if your pooch is immunocompromised and/or has known health issues. Warning signs include coughing, fever, reduced appetite, and respiratory distress. Contact your Hyattsville, MD vet right away if you notice any of these things. 

Most Adorable Porch Pirate Ever

Home delivery services were incredibly helpful during the pandemic. Their popularity doesn’t seem to be winding down anytime soon. Unfortunately, the convenience of one-click shopping also comes with a downside: porch piracy. A German Shepherd turned a Prime delivery driver’s day upside down by repeatedly attempting to take off with a delivery package. The resulting chaos was both adorable and hilarious. You can find it on TikTok, where user @juicecupboxx posted the video of the pup’s antics. 

There’s No Place Like Home

Every now and then, a particularly heartwarming story about dogs stops us in our tracks, and often makes us reach for tissues. That is certainly the case with this next piece. A sweet pooch named Chiquita finally got adopted after spending a whopping 650 days in the care of a North Carolina animal rescue. The Watauga Humane Society’s celebratory posts certainly evoked an overwhelming response, with many commenting that they were tearing up at the news. Chiquita, or Chiqui, was terrified of the shelter environment, and had been splitting her time between the adoption center and foster care. The pooch is described as a love bug with a sweet personality. It’s probably safe to say that 2024 is going to be a very good year for the 12-year-old pup, who is fond of walks and naps.

Breed Spotlight: Bracco Italiano

You may have heard the saying about how everything old becomes new again. That certainly is the case with the Bracco Italiano, also known as the Italian Pointing Dog. Often called the oldest European Pointer, the breed is a cross between the Segugio Italiano and the now-extinct Asiatic Mastiff. The Bracco Italiano seems to have originated in the fourth or fifth century B.C. 

The dogs had become quite popular by medieval times, and was a favored pet of aristocratic houses during the Renaissance. Fido’s luck took a turn for the worse at the beginning of the 20th century, when poor breeding standards led to health problems. Breeders saved the day by focusing on careful selection and uniting two distinct variations of the breed. Today, Fido is smart, faithful, and versatile, and makes both a great pet and a great hunting buddy. (He’s also super cute.) 

Man’s Best Friend Hilariously Crashes The News

Most of the time, the weather isn’t the most exciting thing on the news. And, when the weather is making a buzz, it’s usually because of severe storms or extreme temperatures. One adorable exception to this rule happened in 2023, when a fluffy pooch named Bella decided to crash the morning weather report. A New England weatherman, Josh Judge, was going about his day and letting his viewers know to expect sunny weather, when he was unexpectedly joined by the black and white pooch, who belonged to one of the weekend anchors and was on set for a segment about veterinarians.

Our take? All weather reports should feature dogs.

Happy New Year from Brentwood Animal Hospital, your Hyattsville, MD animal hospital. Please contact us for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond! 

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