Hero Dog Rescues Father From Drowning In Front of Kids

“Oh my God, I could drown, and my kids are standing here watching and they would be stranded on the island.”

That was the thought running through Patrick Mulligan’s head as he felt his body begin to give out on him, struggling to swim against the  powerful current. Roughly 30 yards from the shore, Patrick couldn’t help but to think of the worst case scenario. That is, until Vader – the Mulligan family’s Black Lab – bounded out into the surf and towed him back to dry land.

The day began just like any other Mulligan family outing – Patrick, Vader, and his sons, Ryan (12) and Lucas (9), all climbed aboard their sailboat and set off for a day on the high seas. The kids love to take the boat out to explore the surrounding islands, so that is exactly what they did. At one of the stops along their 3-hour tour, Patrick felt that their boat was listing a tad too far asea, so he swam out to move the boat closer to shore.

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Ryan (left), Lucas (right), and Vader on the family boat

“I got caught in the current, so I decided to swim back to the beach, but on my way, I started cramping up.” Terrified and quickly losing the strength to stay afloat, Patrick had all but resigned his fate to the sea. He could see his two sons and his dog back on the shore, watching as he clung to life by the skin of his teeth. Then suddenly, as if snapping out of some fear-induced stupor, Ryan let go of Vader’s leash and instructed the dog to swim out and save his father.

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Patrick and Vader

A point should be made that, while Vader is a good dog and a loyal companion, he is in no way a trained service or rescue dog. That said, it is often in times of great adversity that we rise to our highest potential. This is true for dogs as well, evidently.

Vader quickly swam out to Patrick, who at this point wasn’t sure whether the dog was going to end up being his lifesaver or the final nail in his coffin. “My first thought was that if he climbs on top of me and starts playing, I can’t defend myself.”

Those fears were quickly alleviated when, in an amazing display of canine rescue intuition, Vader swam right out in front of Patrick, turned around, and waited for him to grab a hold of his vest before swimming back to shore. “I was blown away by it. It was like Vader did it every day.”

Once they reached shallow water, Patrick let go of the dog, stood in the wake and thanked God that he was safe. Ryan and Lucas then ran out and gave their now safe father a big hug.

Patrick is well aware of how lucky he is that Vader was able to rescue him, and you can bet that there will be no shortage of treats and belly rubs coming Vader’s way. But more so than his serendipitous savior, Patrick is aware that the whole event could have been prevented if he had just worn a lifejacket. “I had lifejackets on board and there’s an offshore harness I wear, but I didn’t have the kind of lifejacket for myself that a kayaker would wear, which is what I needed.”

You can bet that Patrick vests up next time he hits the high seas, and that Vader will be there for backup.

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Source:
https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/dog-saves-dads-life-as-he-begins-to-drown-in-127246402087.html

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Dog With Bone Cancer Sees Ocean for First (And Last) Time

When Cassidy Williams was planning her romantic beach wedding on the Oregon coast, everything in her life seemed to be going perfectly. That is, until she discovered that her beloved family dog of five years, Dood, had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer.

“He was always a happy, sweet and healthy dog,” said Williams.

Having been with the Williams family since he was a puppy, Dood’s diagnosis came as quite a shock to everyone. At only five years of age, everyone felt that Dood was still in the prime of his life.

At the time of the diagnosis, nobody was sure how to reconcile the fact that Cassidy’s wedding was bound to conflict with Dood’s hospice care. “We scrambled to figure out what to do,” Cassidy told reporters.

Eventually a solution was reached – Williams father agreed to forego his flight and instead make the 13-hour drive from Utah to Oregon with Dood in tow. This gave Cassidy the chance to have the wedding of her dreams without feeling the guilt of leaving her sick dog to be looked after by a dog sitter some 900 miles away.

What makes this story even sweeter is the fact that, up until this point, Dood had never so much as stepped foot on a beach – an experience almost universally adored by dogs. “Dood has always lived in a little bubble,” said Cassidy regarding her pooches sheltered life.

At first, Dood was a little hesitant around the ocean, not sure what to make of such a large expanse of water. Eventually he evened out and was playing in the surf like nobody’s business! “He was so happy, he had so much energy.”

Also, Cassidy and her husband decided to have Dood in the wedding party as the ring bearer. While they may not be the first – nor the last – to have a dog as their ring bearer, on this specific occasion it seemed to resonate with a deeper sense of meaning.

While the death of their beloved Dood has hit the Williams household harder than anyone could imagine, these final moments provide them with a lasting memory of exactly how special he was to them.

If you want more stories like this, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get updates daily.

Source:
http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/24/living/dog-cancer-ring-bearer-feat/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3209772/Bride-transports-dying-dog-Dood-two-states-ring-bearer-beach-wedding-ocean-time.html

Photos:
http://natalyajenneyphotography.weebly.com/

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Dog Buried Alive, Rescued Just In Time [Graphic Content]

Sometimes you hear something so horrifying that your brain literally refuses to process it. This is one of those times. The images you are going to see, and the story you are about to hear, are not for the faint of heart.

WARNING: Graphic Content

On August 2nd, Pedro Dinis was taking his dog out for a walk just like any other day. However, a chance discovery quickly made this walk one he will not soon forget. Off the side of the path, Pedro noticed something that made his heart sink – an old dog that was buried alive.
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Getting to the burial site right in the nick of time, Pedro lept down to the would-be grave and started sweeping away the debris and rocks that were covering her. Even Pedro’s dog came down to help stir the languid canine.

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It was then that they made part two of their disturbing discovery – the dog that was buried alive was also tied down.

dog-buried-alive-2This grotesque detail adds an extra layer to this unforgivable act. Not only was the person responsible ensuring that she couldn’t escape, but by tying her down it proves that this was not the act of a distressed pet parent who mistook their pet for dead. Whoever did this knew full well that they were interring a living creature.

After a lot of coaxing and patience, the near dead dog was finally removed from her early grave and taken to a veterinary hospital.dog-buried-alive-5

There she was treated for dehydration and shock, and appears now to be on the road to making a full recovery.

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‘Athena’ looking much healthier

Knowing that the dog is going to be alright, the next question is obviously “what about the monster who did this?” And while this type of crime normally goes unsolved, there was a piece of evidence on the dog that lead the police back to the dog’s owner. The owner claimed that the dog had run away earlier, but considering her advanced age and arthritis, the police found this highly unlikely and charged the owner with animal cruelty.

If found guilty of the heinous crimes being leveled against him, the owner could end up doing two years in prison, as well as suffer over $30,000 in fines.

To help put a stop to animal cruelty, please share this article and help PetPlus spread awareness.

Source:
https://www.thedodo.com/dog-found-buried-alive-1282816458.html
https://www.facebook.com/pedro.dinis.3994

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After 10 Years Chained to The Porch, Rusty’s Finally Free

The story of Rusty Diamond does not start out on the happiest note. When Jared Piper first encountered the chained up old pooch, Rusty was as stand-offish as one could be. He was snarling and barking, doing everything to shoo away anybody that passed by his yard.

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That did not stop Jared from trying to make a connection. He plopped himself down and waited for Rusty’s temper to settle. After he was given a chance to calm down, the dog approached Jared with no small amount of caution. But once that first ear scratch came, the once aggressive Rusty quickly changed his tune.

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And that was the birth of a great friendship.

A Man’s New Best Friend

After their first encounter, Jared began to drop by Rusty’s yard every day, doling out treats and head scratches to a dog that had likely not received any attention like this since Bush was in office.

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Rusty and his previous “owner”

Not only was Rusty being neglected in terms of attention, but soon it became apparent to Jared that this dog had not been off his chain once since he was first put on. His fur was filthy, he was covered with flies, had open sores behind his ears, and had a number of visible tumors.

Rusty’s Redemption

It was then that Jared realized what he had to do. One day, Jared waited for the Rusty’s owner to come out of the house. He immediately approached her, saying that the way her dog was being kept was deplorable and that he refused to leave without the dog.

Showing the precise amount of attachment one would expect from someone who could leave a dog chained up to a porch for a decade, the woman quickly acquiesced and handed Jared the end of Rusty’s chain. She did first warn Jared that the dog might try to bite him, but he knew better. Sure, Rusty may have tried to bite her, but frankly, who wouldn’t?

rusty-5Chain in hand, Jared and Rusty said goodbye to his owner/captor and left that abysmal yard in their dust. From there, the world was Rusty’s oyster – he went on his first walk in ever, taking in every new smell and sound with pure glee. After his walk, it was time to visit the vet. There, his years old collar had to physically be cut off, seeing as it had rusted shut.

 

Then it was bath time.

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Sadly, Jared was not able to adopt Rusty himself. Taking in a dog is a lot of work, as you are likely aware. He did, however, offer him a place to stay and headed up the charge for finding this dog a loving home.

Which he did.

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Rusty (top right) playing with his new brother and sister.

Rusty now lives with a wonderful family that has two other dogs and a very large yard for him to romp around in chain-free.
And all this because Jared took the time one day to see past a barking dogs tough exterior.

Rusty Diamond from Jared Piper on Vimeo.

Source:
https://www.thedodo.com/dog-chained-up-for-more-than-10-years-1282367546.html?rmut=lst&utm_expid=74592129-1.T3HU0Rk4QZ-7PefzaHZ17w.2&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedodo.com%2F%3Frmut%3Dlst

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How Soldiers & Pit Bulls Are Saving Each Other’s Lives

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When veterans come back home after seeing combat, the adjustment is often overwhelming. How can one be expected to simply resume normal life after witnessing the horrors of war? And while our nations heroes are most often treated with great reverence, there are just some facets of civilian life that are insurmountable for someone with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At least, they would be without a steady stream of companionship and affection.

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Pit bulls make up a whopping third of all the dogs found in shelters nationwide – and as much as 65% of the dogs in city shelters. What’s more, as many as 75% of shelters opt to euthanize pit bulls immediately, without ever being given a chance for adoption. Studies average that only 1 in 600 pit bulls actually find their forever home.

So on the one hand, we have hundreds of young men and women coming home to a country that is unable to comprehend the kind of attention they need. On the other hand we have millions of loving and caring dogs being euthanized every year because of unsubstantiated breed prejudices. Unrelated problems? Perhaps. However, they do have one thing in common:

A solution.

Pits for Patriots: A Ray of Hope

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Enter Pits for Patriots, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to pairing veterans and first-responders with pit bulls in need of a loving home. They take dogs that would otherwise likely end up on death row, train them as service dogs, and place them with people suffering from war-related traumas, both physical and otherwise.

The dogs that come out of the Pits for Patriots program are fully licensed service dogs, meaning they are allowed to accompany their human anywhere. They are trained to be hypersensitive to their handler’s needs, and are capable of assisting in minor chores such as opening and closing doors, pushing buttons, flipping switches, carrying baggage, and even helping with mobility.

Not only does Pits for Patriots do good directly, but also indirectly by helping to dispel the harmful myths that surround pit bulls. If more people saw pit bulls in service dog vests, perhaps we could finally put an end to their violent stigma and see them for the smart, loving, loyal dogs they truly are.

To learn more about this amazing organization, visit their website. And to help them in their noble cause, please donate.

If you have a pet that you love and want to keep them around for a while, remember to take good care of them. PetPlus makes it easy to get your pet everything they could need, and at a price you are going to love. 

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Is Grumpy Cat’s Reign of Disapproval Over?

Since 2012, Grumpy Cat has grown into a behemoth as far as internet fame in concerned. He somehow transcended the usual fickleness of the internet, staying relevant and growing in noteworthiness while others typically dwindle. He has been photographed with much of the Hollywood elite, like Jennifer Lopez and Conan O’Brien, and even has his own line of Grumpy Cat merch – everything from books to a Grumpy Cat beverage.

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AKA the Grumppaccino

But, like anyone at the top of their field, you have to expect challengers to arise with hopes of dethroning the king. And for Grumpy Cat, his time is nigh!

Meet Garfi – pretender to the throne and arguably the angriest cat ever. While Grumpy Cat merely expresses displeasure, Garfi’s visage brings a perpetual gaze of intense ire.

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You can feel the disdain radiating off his face!

Not only does Garfi have the goods in terms of a permanent look of disapproval, he also has a burgeoning presence on social media, with his initial Flickr album getting some 47,000 views, and new Twitter and Facebook accounts that have been gaining tons of traction.

Yes, Garfi truly is positioned to be the next face of internet loathing. Just take a look at the magnificent malcontent for yourself.

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“My heart grew two sizes today. Just kidding. I hate this.”

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“This is what I think about your homework.”

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“They help me see everyone that makes me angry. Oh, there you are.”

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“Sleep with one eye open.”

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“You will rue the day you snuggled me, human!”

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“Oh I bet you think you are just SOO funny. Wait til later when I poop in your shoes.”

Now, the only question is whether or not we will be seeing Garfi-brand swag in the next couple of months. Or, possibly, a Garfi holiday movie. Cause…yeah.

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This. Is. Happening.

Sources:
Silicone Republic – Gigglebit: angry cat Garfi is the internet’s new favourite feline 
WPXI – Garfi, the world’s angriest cat, may out-grump Grumpy Cat

Photos from:
RealGrumpyCat on Instagram
A Cat called Garfi ..2 Album on Flickr

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Steven the Dog Survives Coyote Attack

Helena Lazaro didn’t think she had any reason to be concerned when she heard her dog Steven barking from her hillside yard back in July 2012.

“He always barked at other animals and dogs that passed by,” says Helena. “So, when I heard him and another animal barking, I didn’t think anything of it.”

Following her usual routine, she called Steven back inside after several minutes, and when he didn’t come right away, she decided to give him some extra time.stevencrosspaws

“Lots of times when he would go out, he would ignore me and not come back. That night, when I went out and called him back in, he wouldn’t come,” Helena says. “Thinking that he was just ignoring me again, I decided to give him more time–something I’ll never forgive myself for.”

After a little while Helena became frustrated and went outside with a flashlight to find Steven and bring him back inside. But rather than finding her dog exploring the hillside terrain, she discovered him in a terrible state.

“[He was] torn to shreds and barely alive, leaning against a tree,” Helena says. “I’ll never forget his face as he turned to look at me, like he had really been doing his best to try to listen to me and come home, but couldn’t.”

Steven had been attacked by a coyote. He had broken eight of his ribs, his body was torn open in three places, and he had a piece of tree bark embedded in his hind leg.

“The vet said that during the attack, the coyote had probably picked Steve up from overhead, shaken him several times, and thrown him into the tree with such force that the bark became embedded in his leg,” Helena says. “They were not hopeful for his survival and recommended we let him go, but I wasn’t prepared to do that.”stevenbandaged

It was the 4th of July weekend, and Helena had a difficult time finding facilities that could offer the life support services that Steven needed until surgeons became available. But with persistence and determination she was able to locate a suitable place for Steven to rest and begin to recover, and once a surgeon became available, Steven underwent several operations.

“All with a very bleak prognosis,” Helena adds.

It was a stressful time for Helena, as it would be for any pet parent. Steven’s recovery was difficult, and he required around-the-clock care for over a month. Helena stayed home from work to care for Steven during that time and when her sister returned from her bartending job each morning, she would take over so that Helena could get some sleep. The sisters alternated this way throughout Steven’s long rehabilitation.

Though the time commitment and worry about Steven’s prognosis were already a lot to handle, Steven’s medical bills also loomed in the background. His treatments cost nearly $5,000.

Helena depleted her savings account, applied for a grant through RedRover, and her sister set up a tip jar at work.stevenhome

“But the real saving grace was the fundraising page,” Helena says.

This was before fundraising sites had become as popular as they are now, and Helena was amazed to see the response from the animal-loving community who saw the page she set up on FundRazr.

“Money poured in from family, friends, and total strangers,” Helena says. “Their messages of hope were deeply inspiring and their support made it possible to bring Steven home, get the medication he needed, and make sure we didn’t go into debt.”

Ultimately, Steven recovered and regained his ability to walk. And when he began disobeying Helena again, she knew everything was going to be OK.

Helena and her sister clearly went above and beyond to save Steven’s life. But for Helena — who has a history of depression — she was simply doing for Steven what Steven had done for her so many times.

“Steven saved my life on more than one occasion,” Helena says. “In my times of deepest despair, he gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. He made sure I got sunshine and exercise, and that I felt loved. Taking care of him mattered even when I had stopped taking care of myself, and so it was that he pulled me through the years-long chronic depression that no medicine could remedy.”

Today both Helena and Steven are doing well. Several of Steven’s ribs were not able to be put back into place, so his midsection is misshapen and he walks a little funny. But despite those issues, Helena says that he is as bold and as spirited as ever.

“This June, we went for a picnic at the Santa Fe Dam and he saw a horse for the first time. He actually dragged me across the ground with his force as he tried to take down an animal twenty times his size,” Helena says. “He hasn’t learned his lesson at all. But now I know it’s my job to make sure he stays out of danger, to make sure I have a plan in case of emergencies, and to always exercise caution in areas with unfamiliar animals.”

To thank Helena for all that she’s done for Steven, we are giving her a free trial of PetPlus so that she can save on Steven’s medications, food, supplies, vet visits, and more.

Thanks, Helena!

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Have a story you’d like to share or know a pet-family deserving of a complimentary trial of PetPlus? Contact the Pet Savvy editors at content [at] petplus {dot} com or leave a note in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Cop Uses Love to Save a Dog — Twice!

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What is better than a story about a cop willing to save a dog rather than fire on them?

How about a cop willing to save the same dog again!

Save a Dog Once

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Late last month, Sgt. Gary Carter was called to handle a purported “aggressive” dog that was terrorizing a neighborhood. When he and his partner showed up to the scene, they realized that the dog was just lost and scared — and also fairly thirsty.

RELATED ARTICLE: How We Misunderstand Dog Aggression

After luring the dog into their patrol car with a breakfast bar, it became clear that the dog was the farthest thing from aggressive. He just plopped down in the back seat, grateful that someone was willing to get him off the streets.

After returning the dog, named Jeffrey, to his rightful owner, everyone had thought that the story had come to a happy conclusion.

Original Story: Officer Uses Love to Subdue an Aggressive Dog

Save a Dog Twice

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Unfortunately, earlier this week, Sgt. Carter was heartbroken to discover that Jeffrey had, once again, ended up in the city animal shelter. And this time, his owner had declined to claim him. Given Jeffrey’s sordid past, and the fact that he had nobody to care for him, he was likely going to end up being put down.

And he would have, too, if it weren’t for Sgt. Carter. After seeing the delinquent dog staring up at him during a visit to the shelter, Carter decided that it was about time that this dog found a loving home, and he knew just the one.

His.

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And while the little scamp previously had the ability to come and go as he pleased, at the Carter house, things are going to operate a little differently. “When he comes to my house, he’ll have to contend with four dogs, two cats and six grandchildren,” Carter said. “He needs to be well-trained.”

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Train a Pit Bull

To kick off the start to Jeffrey’s new life on the right side of the law, Sgt. Carter decided to start with a clean slate by renaming the renegade pooch. And what could be better name for this dog than ‘Chance’?

PetPlus offers a budget-friendly way board your pets while you’re out of town. Find out if PetPlus is right for you, and get more information on the members-only benefits, which include discounts on food and vet visits, as well as boarding discounts.

Source:
Star Telegram – Arlington Police Officer Rescues Pit Bull Twice

 

 

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Retired Sergeant Reunited with Partner, a Bomb Sniffing Dog

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After his return home, Army Staff Sergeant James Harrington hoped to one day reconnect with his ex-partner. Two years later, Sgt. Harrington got his wish.

Standing at the entrance to Concourse B at Armstrong Intl. Airport, in New Orleans, Harrington waited with bated breath as Ryky, the 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, trotted through the terminal. And, as if their time apart had never even occurred, Ryky leapt right into Harrington’s arms. “She remembers my voice,” he exclaimed.

RELATED STORY: Your Dog Knows Your Smell, Even From Afar

After serving together for four years in Afghanistan, it is no surprise that the old bomb sniffing dog would remember Harrington. In fact, before their deployment, Harrington and Ryky both trained together at the Lackland Air Force Base for 19 weeks, more than enough time to forge a lifelong bond.

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During their time in Afghanistan, Ryky and Sgt. Harrington served as a bomb detection unit, leading the charge on missions to protect her unit against deadly roadside explosives.

In one especially harrowing encounter, Harrington’s convoy came under attack. Rather than remain in the safety of his armored vehicle, he and the bomb sniffing dog set out and cleared a path to the wounded, allowing medics to give them the first aid they so desperately needed. To commemorate their bravery in the face of danger, Ryky was awarded the K-9 Medal for Exceptional Service.

RELATED STORY: Salute to US War Dogs: An Infographic on Military Dogs

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From Bomb Sniffing Dog to Civilian

Part of Harrington’s initial reservation over whether Ryky would remember him is due to the fact that the dog remained in service two years after Harrington came back to the states. In that time, Harrington took up work as National Guard Military Police. But even when they were apart, Harrington made a point to keep tabs on his favorite girl.

After her second handler was injured and opted to leave the service, it was decided that Ryky’s years of service were finally at an end. The call was put in to her previous handlers, and Harrington jumped at the opportunity to take her home. Personally dealing with PTSD and having some difficulty returning back to civilian life, Harrington hoped that Ryky’s presence would act as a therapy dog, helping him cope with life outside the service.

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Now officially reunited, Harrington’s exuberance can hardly be contained. “I got my partner back. It’s too good to be true,” said Harrington as they left the airport together. “Somebody pinch me.”

Source:
The Times-Picayune – Soldier and his bomb sniffing dog reunited after years apart

 

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5 Questions With Author Nikki Attree, Founder of Wooftastic Books

wooftastic banner3ndNikki Attree, co-author of the dog-perspective memoir Nobody’s Poodle, is originally from the UK. Since moving to Tenerife of the Canary Islands, she’s been producing calendars and educational poster campaigns to help local animal rescue centers.

Nikki also runs Wooftastic Books, a web site that features dog-friendly authors and books in a wide selection of genres, from memoirs, to children’s books, to non-fiction and fiction – the unifying theme of all the books featured being DOGS in all their glory.

We interviewed Nikki to learn more about her and her mission.

1. Where did the inspiration to start Wooftastic Books come from?

The idea came about as we (myself and my husband) were thinking of ways of marketing our own book, Nobody’s Poodle, and we realized that perhaps if we pooled resources with other authors we might reach a wider audience. So we set up the website WooftasticBooks.com to promote authors and books that feature dogs in an ethical way.

Our aim is to get together a group of authors online to collaborate on promoting their books and to tap into the huge potential market of dog-lovers worldwide. It’s open to any author with a wooftastic dog book, whether written to inform, educate or entertain; factual or fiction; for children or adults.

Membership is free and all that we ask is that our authors agree to the principle of pooling resources to promote ethical dog books, and will help to spread the word via their own networks. As you might expect, once the site was up and running we had a lot of requests from authors wanting to join, but not all of them fully got the idea of reciprocal promotion, or the importance of social networking, so occasionally I have to remove a book if I see that an author isn’t pulling their weight, so to speak!

As the site starts to generate more interest and traffic we’re hoping for wooftastic media coverage, best seller rankings,  block buster movie deals, dog biscuits for life sponsorship … The sky’s the limit. 🙂

2. Can you tell us more about the community of authors on Wooftastic Books?

It’s a very international community. Authors come from all over the world: UK, USA, South Africa, and we ourselves are based in the Canary Islands, Spain. Their books are the result of the authors’ experiences with dogs in many different ways: helping in refuges, being a search-and-rescue team member, running educational programs, and even rescuing dogs from war zones.

From canine celebrities such as Uggie — star of multiple-award-winning movie The Artist, Haatchi (hero of the hugely popular Haatchi and Little B), to real-life stories of rescuing dogs from Afghanistan’s killing fields, these books are all, in their own way, about our special relationship with man’s best friend.

3. How did you come up with Nobody’s Poodle and the heroic Gizmo?

Well Gizmo is a Labradoodle that we adopted from a local rescue center here in Tenerife, and Nobody’s Poodle is his story. He’s really more street Doodle than swanky Poodle, and he’s very much his own dog. He’s all about standing up for the underdog, and it gets him into a fair few scrapes on the mean streets of Costa del Scorchio.

I am involved with helping the refuges here and Gizmo became the poster pooch for (local dog rescue) Accion-del-Sol’s educational program. This involved visiting local schools, telling the children about the plight of stray mutts in Tenerife, and teaching them how to look after their pets properly. Before you could say “wag a tail” he’d been signed up by one of the local newspapers, Island Connections, to be their intrepid news hound – doggedly sniffing out the breaking news and giving the pooch perspective in his regular column “Life According to Gizmo (It’s a Dog’s Life)” and this gave us the idea for a book.

4. What advice would you give to pet lovers who want to break into books?

Don’t expect to earn a lot of money from your book. Do it for love, not money. Make writing a passion. There will be readers for your book, but to reach them, you should expect to spend many hours marketing it, so engage in that passionately as well.

Many authors now self-publish, as we have done with Nobody’s Poodle. This is a wonderful way to get your book out there, and it does give you total control of the book, the marketing, and in fact a higher portion of the royalties. Of course you don’t have the back-up of a publisher to help with editing, designing and producing the book or marketing it. Having said that, I have seen many published authors complain about their publisher’s lack of interest in promoting their books, so even if you do manage to find a publisher, I don’t think you can just sit back and wait for them to make you the next best seller. You still have to be very pro-active in bringing your book to your readers’ attention and selling it.

Anyhow most of the authors on wooftasticbooks are not concerned with sales or being a famous author; they just love writing. Saying that, one of the authors on wooftasticbooks is an international best-selling writer.Wendy Holden has written Uggie the Artist and Haatchi and Little B, and she obviously makes a very good living. However, most have other employment and what they do have all in common is a love of dogs, which shows through their writing.

5. Finally, what are you working on now?

Well besides my ongoing promotional work for the local animal refuges and Wooftastic Books, we are working on our next novel, Somebody’s Doodle. Gizmo appears in it, but not this time as the narrator. It’s more of a comedy crime thriller about a bungled dognapping set in North London (rather than Tenerife) and the human characters are as, if not more important, than the dogs. I felt it was important to move on from purely dog stories. After all, how many ways are there of describing the world from dog’s point of view?

Thank you Nikki, for all you do for dog-book lovers the world over! For the dog in your life, sign up for PetPlus. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more and register at PetPlus.com.

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