The dogs couldn't wait, the cats couldn't wait, even the cows couldn't wait for Halloween; they just had to don their Pope costumes right away, even though it's only September. Nice tributes to the Pope, I think. But in other news... Baby panda gets a name and pandas get rich at the National Zoo; crash test on pet crates shared; science discovers why bats stay so healthy, but can make humans so very sick; dogs who like tennis balls can now take selfies (Well, sort of.); and more!
Pope Francis expected strange when he came to the U.S., what with all of our idiosyncrasies, but do you think he expected to see copycats and copydogs? This pet costume's a favorite this year (right) and you can even get it for Halloween if you hurry....
The most majestic dog costume I've ever seen, though, is the one (below), published in The Onion two years ago during the Pope selection process....
And yes, there is too a Pope cow!
Two First Ladies Name Baby Panda
In case you were too focused on Pope Francis and his look-alikes, there were twin pandas born at Washington's Smithsonian National Zoo last month. One of the twins, unfortunately, didn't make it, but the other cutie was just named by a pair of first ladies: our own Michelle Obama and the first lady of China, Madame Peng Liyuan. The precious panda is aptly named "Bei Bei," which just happens to mean 'precious' or 'treasure.' (NYTimes)
image: Smithsonian National Zoo
'Sex Money' For Pandas?
Sex money? Well, that's what the Washingtonian calls David Rubenstein's donation of $4.5 million to the Panda Program at the Smithsonian National Zoo after the newest pandas were born in August. The program "will fund staff-training programs at the zoo, care and feeding of the four giant pandas, research on panda reproduction, and upgrades to the panda habitat that already bears his name." Rubenstein, who is founder of the Carlyle Group, has now given a total of $9 million directly to the Panda Program, and even more, indirectly, through donations to the Smithsonian.
Dog Pulls Master, Master Drives Dog
While one smart company invented a really smart bike pull and mushing rig for your dogs to pull you...
.... while a man in Wales gets the smart idea (?) to walk his lurchers (mixed-breed greyhounds) with his car. Greyhound Rescue in Wales criticized the local police vociferously because they did not arrest the driver for animal cruelty when they saw this video:
Though a famous prankster made this video, the incident was not a prank. Some greyhound owners actually train their dogs to race this way. Please DON'T try this; it is cruel to dogs and dangerous to drivers. (Source)
Pets In Car Crates: Crash Safety Test Results
While we're on the subject of dogs and cars, the Center For Pet Safety released the results of the safest car crates for your dogs and cats in case of a crash. The standards of the Center are high, and it submits the crates to stringent crash tests. The newest results list the Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8’ Tie Down Straps, the Pet Ego Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection, and the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock as the safest carriers of those that were submitted to the tests.
Pets Fly United!
If you're traveling with your pet but he can't fly in the cabin with you, United Airlines has a new program called PetSafe® you may want to look into. Through this program you can fly your pet on any transport that has the proper air pressure required for pets, which may or may not be the same plane you take to your destination. Pets are handled very well at layovers, according to the airline, taken for walks and play by special staff, if time permits. To learn more take this link to United.
Speaking Of Flying, What About Those Bats?
Popular Science helps describe why bats are generally very healthy creatures, even though they carry more pathogens than most other mammals. PopSci reports on a study at the Max Plank Institute for Ornithology in which 34 Panamanian bats were injected with a chemical commonly found in disease carrying cells, but the bats did not show signs of infection the way other mammals might. Why? The researchers theorized that because bats' body temperatures decrease during sleep, this would slow down the activity of the disease cells. When in flight, a bat's body temperature rises so sharply that it may react as a fever would, killing the diseased cells. Though bats are more disease resistant than other mammals, their bites are also more infectious than most other mammals.
And Along Comes The 'Pooch Selfie?'
A new smart phone accessory, the Pooch Selfie, is poised on Kickstarter to raise lots of money to pay for its tooling and testing. The plastic device, which can hold a tennis ball, fastens to the top of your smart phone, thereby to affix your dog's attention in its direction when you snap a selfie. The image on the right shows you that it works... if your dogs likes tennis balls. (But perhaps a small stuffed animal would fit in the Pooch Selfie as well.) Good luck to the young inventor!
Photo Source: Kickstarter
Canadian Pets: Where Are They Anyway?
Canadians! I'm sure you want to know where the rich pets live. Well, Amazon.ca, yes the humongous online retail dealer, has released a list of the top 20 Canadian cities where the most pampered pets live. This, of course, is based on Amazon's retail pet sales.... Number One City (over 100,000 population of people, not pets).... drumrole please.... Why, it's Regina, Saskatchewan! Check out the rest of the pet posh cities here.
That's the Buzz for today!