Dogs in the News: May 2021

Posted by Scott Tunstall

Similar to celebrities and political figures, pups often find themselves in the news. However, unlike their two-legged counterparts, canines usually grab headlines for all the right reasons. From mischievous Bernese Mountain Dogs to turtle-sniffing heroes, here’s a roundup of dogs in the news this month.

Jogger’s Dog Comforts Grieving Child at Funeral

A special moment. Photo by Facebook.com/emily.beineman

Late last month, Emily Beinamen and her dog, Blue, were jogging by a Fort Smith, Arkansas funeral home when 6-year-old Raelynn Nast called out asking if she could pet her puppy. Emily agreed as long as the girl’s parents were okay with it. Raelynn explained that her daddy had just died and she was at his funeral. Before Emily could respond, Blue sat down in front of Raelynn so the grieving girl could give him a huge and much-needed hug.

Raelynn then invited Emily inside to meet her daddy, who passed away from colon cancer at age 41. Under trying circumstances, Raelynn and Emily bonded immediately. "She helped me feel better by her kindness," Raelynn said of Emily. The darkest day of a little girl’s life was brightened thanks to a loveable Chocolate Lab and his compassionate owner.

Irish President’s Dog Takes Over Interview

The prez and his pup. Photo by Facebook.com/PresidentIRL

A routine television interview with Irish President Micahel D. Higgins went viral earlier this month after one of his Bernese Mountain Dogs decided to steal the spotlight. While delivering the on-camera address, Higgins’ pup, Brod, plopped down beside him and began licking his hand and pawing at his leg. Perhaps Higgins was hiding a treat in his pocket, or maybe Brod needed a belly rub. Whatever the case, it was a lighthearted moment that proved once again dogs are indeed man’s best friend.

Paw Pilot Therapy Dogs Return to Orlando Airport

A welcome return. Photo by Facebook.com/flyMCO

After a year-long absence due to the pandemic, the Paw Pilot pups have returned to the Orlando International Airport to comfort anxious travelers. Launched in 2019, the Paw Pilot program allows passengers to play and relax with certified therapy dogs before they board their flights. These helpful hounds can be found in a designated area across from the North Terminal food court. Anyone can stop by to pet the pups as long as they patiently wait their turn, wear masks and use hand sanitizer.

Dog Crashes Track Meet and Wins Race

"Nice try, human!" Photo by Facebook.com/FloTrack

To the surprise of everyone in attendance, participants at a recent Grizzly Invitational track meet in Logan, Utah, had to face some fierce four-legged competition. Just as anchor runner Gracie Laney was about to lead her 4x200 relay team to victory, a furry gate-crasher named Holly bolted onto the track and ran her down to cross the finish line in first place. Of course, Gracie was awarded the win, but she couldn’t help but be impressed by her canine rival: “After watching the video, I thought, ‘Holy cow, that dog is so fast,’” Laney said. “So I thought it was kind of funny [that] I got beat by a dog.” Sounds like someone needs to get that pup a uniform.

Turkmenistan Honors Alabai Dog Breed with National Holiday

Give this dog whatever he wants. Photo by Facebook.com/alabaidoglovers

The nation of Turkmenistan has taken its love of the native Alabai dog breed one step further. Several months after President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov erected a 50-foot golden statue of the pup in the capital city of Ashgabat, the country celebrated an inaugural holiday that honors the breed. Officially known as the Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Alabai have traditionally been used to guard herds of livestock. They are hailed as one of the largest breeds of canine, tipping the scales at close to 175 lbs.

Team of Turtle-Sniffing Dogs Helps Zoo Fight Fatal Disease

"You mean this isn't a treat?" Photo by St. Louis Zoo

Recently, a box turtle native to the Saint Louis Zoo Wildcare Park tested positive for Ranavirus, a rare pathogen proven to be 80% fatal to the species. To help combat the spread of the disease, zoo scientists enlisted help of the world’s only team of turtle-detecting dogs. The team, consisting of seven Boykin Spaniels, is being used to sniff out three-toed box turtles so researchers can test and tag the vulnerable reptiles. The Spaniels have located several turtles across the region in a fraction of the time it would’ve taken humans to cover the same ground.

What’s your favorite news story about dogs? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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