Canaries in a coal mine? It's more than a metaphor, and it preceded the first 'bring your pet to work day' of the 21st Century. It's a scientific fact that coal miners use to carry caged canaries into their coal mines for security purposes.
Every time I go to the pet store and see 20 parakeets in one huge cage, I am jealous on behalf of my own budgies. I have only two of them right now, but I know they would love a big cage and many more friends.
The Dickin Medal has been called "the Victoria Cross for animals." The award was created in the UK by Maria Dickin in 1943 to honor valiant animals who served in World War II. It is a bronze medal of a laurel wreath surrounding the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve." It hangs from a ribbon of pale blue, brown, and green. It was most recently awarded just last month to a dog named Kuga.