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Fido’s Year In Review

January 1, 2024

Happy New Year! As we replace our 2023 calendars with 2024 ones, many people are reflecting back on the past year, and perhaps mulling over personal ups and downs as they set resolutions for the coming year. Our canine pals had a few important moments in 2023 as well. A local Carroll, IA veterinarian lists some our favorite dog stories of 2023 in this article.

Reunited At Last

We always love stories about dogs being reunited with their humans. One particularly noteworthy case of this took place earlier this year in San Antonio, Texas, when U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Alcala was able to adopt his former canine partner. The pooch, a German shepherd named John, had worked as an explosive detection dog for nearly a decade. Alcala and John first met in 2018 and 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 after his retirement, and it’s safe to say that John is enjoying a well-deserved retirement with his favorite human.

Mystery Dog Illness

This may be our least favorite story of the year, but it’s still worth mentioning. You may have heard about an outbreak of a mysterious respiratory disease that is affecting our canine companions. Cases have been reported in more than 16 American states, and there have also been outbreaks in Canada. 

This one is quite concerning: it can make Fido very, very sick, and can even be fatal. Several  dogs have unfortunately succumbed, some in as little as 24 hours. Contagion risks are highest in places where there are many dogs present, such as kennels and dog parks. While there is no need to panic, it is a good idea to take extra precautions, especially if your pooch is immunocompromised and/or has known health issues. Warning signs include coughing, fever, reduced appetite, and respiratory distress. Contact your Carroll, IA vet right away if you notice any of these things.

Cutest Porch Pirate Ever

Home delivery services have become increasingly popular in recent years. This trend was incredibly helpful during the pandemic, and doesn’t seem to be winding down anytime soon. Unfortunately, the convenience also comes with a downside for many, as cases of porch piracy also increased. However, there is a bright side to that as well, in that at least one of these episodes resulted in absolutely hilarious footage. 

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 find it on TikTok, where user @juicecupboxx posted the video of the pup’s antics. 

Home Sweet Home

Every now and then, a particularly heartwarming story about dogs stops us in our tracks, and often makes us reach for tissues. That is certainly the case with this next piece. A sweet pooch named Chiquita finally got adopted after spending a whopping 650 days in the care of a North Carolina animal rescue. The Watauga Humane Society’s celebratory posts certainly evoked an overwhelming response, with many commenting that they were tearing up at the news. Chiquita, or 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 fond of walks and naps.

Paws For Conversation

You may have seen or heard about paw pad buttons, which speak programmed words when dogs step on them. This may sound a bit out-there, but many of our canine pals have proven quite adept at learning how to communicate with their humans. In fact, the University of California San Diego is currently working on a research project about Fido’s affinity for speaking.

Of course, it probably won’t be much of a surprise to realize that most pups use the paws to specifically ask for treats, walks, belly rubs, and play time.  However, if your pup is quick to pick things up, you may want to give these a try! 

Bracco Italiano

One breed that made headlines this year is the Bracco Italiano, also known as the Italian Pointing Dog. Often considered the oldest European Pointer, the breed is a cross between the Segugio Italiano and the now-extinct Asiatic Mastiff. The Bracco Italiano seems to have originated in the fourth or fifth century B.C. The dogs were quite popular by medieval times, and were favored pets of noble houses during the Renaissance. Fido’s luck took a turn for the worse at the beginning of the 20th century, when poor breeding standards led to health problems. Breeders saved the dogs from extinction by focusing on careful selection and mixing two distinct variations of the breed. 

Today’s Bracco is smart, faithful, and versatile. Fido makes both a great pet and a great hunting buddy! He also turned some heads at last year’s Westminister dog show. (Tim McGraw’s dog, Lepshi, won Best In Breed in the new category.) 

Fido Crashes The News

Most of the time, when the weather report is particularly noteworthy, it’s because of severe conditions. One adorable exception to this rule happened in 2023, when a charming pooch named Bella crashed the morning weather report. Josh Judge, a New England weatherman, was announcing sunny weather, when the black and white pooch unexpected joined him. The dog, Bella, belonged to one of the weekend anchors and was on set for a segment about veterinarians.

Key takeaway? We think all weather reports should feature dogs.

Best News Ever

We always love seeing dogs get loving forever homes. Quite a few pups in Pennsylvania got their wishes. 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 empty cages. Or, almost empty cages. (A kitty wandered in just before the official announcement.) The shelter put up a post on their Facebook page celebrating the good news. “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!” The shelter also noted that it has adopted out 598 animals this year and successfully returned 125 strays to their worried humans.

We’re sending our congratulations to all of those newly-adopted pups. And while it’s probably unrealistic to hope that this is the start of a trend, we are hoping for more similar announcements in the coming year. 

Home Safe

One lucky pooch is warm and safe, after having been missing for a whopping seven years. The pup, a 12-year old Patterdale terrier named Rose, was spotted near Crawley Down, a small village in West Sussex, England. Someone reached out to a local volunteer nonprofit rescue, Lost Dog Recovery UK. Rescuers returned with food and a camera and, over the course of several days, successfully trapped the pooch. It turned out that Rose was well-fed but homeless, and was a familiar sight to locals. (Rose was also rather picky for a stray: it took a warm roast chicken topped with paté to tempt her into the cage.) 

The sweet dog did have a microchip, which brought rescuers to the realization that she had been reported missing back in 2017, and was lost within 24 hours of being adopted. Remarkably, Rose had survived in the wild for all that time. Her owners were thrilled to hear that she was safe, but were sadly unable to take her back due to changes in their situation. We’re just happy to hear that the pooch is warm and safe. (And by now, very possibly soaking up love and affection in a new home.)Happy New Year from Carroll Small Animal Clinic, your Carroll, IA animal hospital. Please contact us for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs in 2024 and beyond!