Real life animal stories to warm your heart
Animal stories are my favorite kind of stories. I'm sharing a few that touched many hearts. You may have read or heard about these endearing creatures. Some are more popular than others. They all have one thing in common, they demonstrate the magic and beauty of animal bonding, some deep and lasting. Enjoy!
Capitán the german shepherd
Capitán, a German shepherd, reportedly ran away from home after its owner, Miguel Guzman, died in 2006. A week later, the Guzman family found the dog sitting by his grave in central Argentina.
Dindim the penguin
In May 2011, Joao Pereira de Souza, a humble, retired bricklayer, rescued the injured penguin in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The flightless bird was covered in oil and unable to move.
Pereira de Souza took him under his wing and nurtured him back to health, thoroughly cleaning oil residue on the penguin's body and feeding him for days until he was fit enough to return to the water. Despite his attempt to set him free, the penguin returns every year to his home.
GiGi the great horned owl
Doug Pojeky, president of Wild at Heart Rescue in Vancleave, Mississippi, had been away at a family event for a few days when he returned to see an owl named GiGi.
The bird lifted her wings as he held her and laid her head on his shoulder.
He had helped to nurse the owl back to health when she was brought in.
Ginny the cat rescuing dog
Ginny was discovered by the landlord of an abandoned apartment. She and her three puppies were locked in a closet with no food or water for about a week. Shelter vets thought that she might be beyond saving, and contemplated euthanasia. But they had a change of heart, and gave Ginny a chance. Once they were healthy, she and her puppies went up for adoption.
When Philip Gonzales adopted Ginny from the shelter in 1990, he knew she was special, but had no idea just how remarkable she was. Philip was actually her first rescue. He was battling with depression after suffering an accident at his job as a steamfitter in Manhattan that left his right arm with little use. Philip’s neighbor, Sheila Harris, persuaded him to adopt a dog to lift his spirits and give him purpose.
He soon found out that Ginny had an incredible instinct for finding stray and feral cats. But not just any cats – only the ill and injured ones. She sniffed out alleys, abandoned buildings and construction sites. Perhaps having been found under the same circumstances, she made it her mission to make sure others didn’t suffer, scared and alone.
She saved upwards of 900 lives before she died at age 17 in 2005.
Gobi the marathon stray dog
When ultra marathoner Dion Leonard raced in China's March 2016 Gobi March, a little brown dog started following him for miles across the Gobi Desert.
Over the space of a week, the dog raced through four of the six stages in the race. Leonard recalled that at one point, he was forced to carry her across a stretch of river as it was too wide for her.
It was then that he felt there was a real bond between the two of them. He aptly named her Gobi.
The race teams prevented her from running the fourth and fifth stages of the race across the desert, where temperatures reached 52 degrees Celsius. However, she completed the final stage of the race with the other athletes. Leonard himself finished second.
He is currently making plans to bring Gobi to his home in Scotland.
Hummer the hummingbird and Rex the dog
Rex was a dangerous, feral dog. After he was rescued by California man Ed Gernon, Rex calmed down and settled into domestic life.
So settled did he become, Rex even rescued an animal himself - a hummingbird that had fallen from a tree and was close to death near Gernon's home in Whittier.
Now the two are inseparable, mostly because 'Hummer', as she is known, refuses to leave Rex's side, even going as far as to share a water bowl with him.
Rademenes the vet clinic cat
A black cat who fell sick as a two-month-old kitten is now nursing abandoned sick animals back to health with plenty of purrs and cuddles.
Caring cat Rademenes is the resident feline nurse at an animal shelter in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, where he snuggles up to the dogs and cats that are brought in for help.
Rita the pig
A pig broke out of a metal cage on her way to the slaughterhouse, leapt from the back of a truck moving on the highway and then gave birth to 14 piglets.
Rubio the street dog
Olivia Sievers often travels in her job from Germany to Argentina, and she always had a little friend waiting for her when she did. She gave the street dog some food and stopped to play with him. She even named the dog, calling him Rubio.
Rubio hadn't forgotten the kindness she had shown him - and continued to wait for her outside the hotel. Every time she came back to Argentina after that, the same thing happened.
Ms Sievers even made arrangements with a rescue group to match him with a loving family. However, Rubio ran away from the family, back to wait for her at the hotel until she returned to Argentina.
Rubio had decided the flight attendant was his owner. She gave in and decided to take him home with her to Germany.
Salem the cat
A stray cat befriends an American soldier, Justin Walz, who was on active duty near Constanta, Romania. Salem enjoyed napping in his helmet.
San Diego zoo otter
Swan hugs man
While visiting the U.K.'s Abbotsbury Swannery a few years back, Richard Wiese, host of the television show "Born to Explore," ran into an injured swan who displayed not only gratitude, but trust, in one remarkably beautiful moment.
Tara the cat
A cat named Tara fought off a neighbor's dog that attacked her six-year-old owner, Jeremy an autistic boy.
Since then she was awarded the 2015's Dog of the Year Award.
Trouper the raccoon
Dorothy "Dot" Lee is the caregiver for Trouper. The 8-year-old raccoon was repeatedly clubbed by a golfer as a tiny kit, which left him and blind and brain-damaged. Dot attends to his every need: feeding, bathing, exercise, play and grooming.
Lee moved to Florida with Trouper when faced with euthanizing him in North Carolina, where animals that can't be released have a year to recuperate before they are killed. She obtained licenses to keep Trouper in her home as an animal ambassador and service animal.
Walter the deaf puppy
A California girl who was born deaf has formed an unbreakable bond with her adopted puppy Walter, who was also born deaf.
Julia and Walter formed a fast bond, with the pup knowing to wait until Julia finishes her homework before they can head out to play. Julia is also teaching him the sign language commands for food, water, sit and stay.
Wounda the chimp
After being brought back from the brink of death by the Jane Goodall Institute, Wounda the chimpanzee makes a simple gesture of thanks that will melt your heart.
* WARNING: SAD STORY BELOW *
3-year-old killed in Spokane, Washington fire with dog huddled by his side
A 3-year-old who died in a fire in North Spokane was found huddled with his dog, who stayed by his side, and a teddy bear.
Officials said firefighters arrived within minutes of the call and several people were able to escape from the home, including other young children.
"I heard this commotion on the street and immediately knew because the flames were coming out of their house," a neighbor said.
As his wife dialed, he began frantically pulling out his hose to help douse the flames.
When crews arrived they went inside looking for people.
"The mom was out there yelling out ‘my baby's in there, my baby's in there.’ It was just devastating, it was heartbreaking," the neighbor said.
Firefighters then found one child dead inside the home shortly after making entry. Officials said the home did not have working smoke detectors.
Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaefer said the little boy, whose identity has not been released to the public, and his terrier mix were found huddled together.
"They went in to find the three-year-old boy and his dog had already succumbed to their injuries, pretty severe injuries," Schaefer said.
"Unfortunately the growth was incredible. There was a huge amount of heat. Likely upwards to about a thousand degrees toward the floor of the fire bedroom where the child was located," Schaefer said.
He said two adults and four children were in the home including the boy.
"Circumstances were just not on our side. Smoke detectors in the residence had the batteries removed, obviously they didn't work, there was no early notification. And the three-year-old wasn't able to escape," Schaefer said.
Schaefer said the circumstances surrounding the incident will make it be difficult for those involved to accept.
"This is one of those calls as a professional fire fighter you just don't forget," Schaefer said.
"I saw the fire man crying, he was sitting on the rear bumper of the fire truck. I was actually broke into tears too. It was kind of an emotional evening," the neighbor said.
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