Happy New Year! As we leave 2023 behind and move on into 2024, many journalists and pundits are looking back at the top moments of the last year. As it turns out, our canine pals had some pretty impressive moments in 2023. A local vet goes over a few of Fido’s 2023 highlights in this article from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX pet hospital.
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 Bracco is a cross between the Segugio Italiano and the now-extinct Asiatic Mastiff. The breed seems to have originated in the fourth or fifth century B.C. They had become quite popular by medieval times, and were beloved pets of aristocratic houses during the Renaissance era. Fido’s luck took a turn for the worse at the beginning of the 20th century, when poor breeding standards led to health problems and an undesirable body shape. Breeders saved the Bracco from extinction 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.)
We’re delighted that the Bracco Italiano finally got his time to shine, and was welcomed by the AKC last year. He also made quite an impression at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last year. Tim McGraw’s co-owned dog, Lepshi, won Best In Breed in the new Bracco category.
Bella Hilariously Crashes The News
The weather isn’t usually the most exciting thing on the news, except when there are severe storms or extreme temperatures. One adorable exception to this rule happened in 2023, when a fluffy black and white pooch named Bella crashed a New England morning weather forecast. Weatherman Josh Judge was going about his day and letting his viewers know to expect sunny weather, when he was unexpectedly joined by the fluffy dog. Bella, it turned out, belonged to one of the weekend anchors and was on set for a segment about veterinarians. No word yet on whether she’s been offered a permanent slot.
The Long Way Home
One lucky pooch 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 village in West Sussex, England. Someone noticed the little dog and contacted a local nonprofit rescue, Lost Dog Recovery UK. Rescuers set out to save Rose, and turned up equipped with 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. It turned out that the poor thing had gotten lost within 24 hours of being adopted … back in 2017! Remarkably, the pup had survived in the wild for all that time.
This is also a good reminder of the importance of microchipping. If your furry buddy isn’t chipped yet, contact us, your animal hospital, today!
Paws For Thought
Have you heard about paw pad buttons? These speak customizable, pre-programmed words when Fido steps on them. Some pups have already proven quite adept at learning how to communicate with their humans. (One pup, Bunny, had a bit of an existential crisis over the matter, but that’s another story.)
If your pup is quick to pick things up, you may want to give these a try!
Shelter Has Just Empty Cages
We always love seeing dogs get loving forever homes. Quite a few pups in Pennsylvania got their wishes on that account this year. Last month, 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 only empty cages. (Or technically, almost empty cages: a kitty wandered in just before the official announcement.)
The shelter shared the good news on their Facebook page, declaring: “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!” They also noted that they had adopted out 598 animals and successfully returned 125 strays to their worried humans. We’re sending our congratulations to all of those newly-adopted pups, and hoping for more similar announcements in the coming years.
Reunited At Last
Who doesn’t love reading stories about pets being reunited with their humans? A special case of 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 is by no means our favorite story of 2023, but it’s still worth mentioning. A mysterious respiratory disease has been affecting our canine companions. Outbreaks have been reported in at least 16 American states, and also in Canada.
While there’s still a lot left to learn about this mystery illness, we do know that it can make Fido very, very sick. Unfortunately, it can even be fatal. While most dogs recover, several pooches have succumbed to the illness, some in just 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 furry friend is immunocompromised and/or has known health issues. Some of the warning signs include coughing, fever, reduced appetite, and respiratory distress. Contact your Cypress, TX veterinarian right away if you notice any of these things.
Most Adorable Porch Pirate Ever
Home delivery services have been growing in popularity for years, but the trend really spiked during the pandemic, and doesn’t seem to be winding down anytime soon. Unfortunately, the convenience of online shopping also comes with a downside: porch piracy. Leave it to Fido to provide a bit of silver lining to this issue. In what is undoubtedly the cutest theft attempt ever, 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 watch the replay on TikTok, where user @juicecupboxx posted the video of his day going to the dogs.
A Long-Awaited Home
Every once in a while, a particularly heartwarming story about dogs makes us reach for tissues. That is certainly the case with this next piece. A sweet pooch named Chiquita, or Chiqui, got adopted after spending a whopping 650 days in the care of a North Carolina animal rescue. Poor 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 reportedly very fond of walks and naps.
Happy New Year from Fairfield Animal Hospital, your Cypress, TX pet hospital. Please contact us for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond!