Posts belonging to Category Animals

Video of Beluga Whale Giving Birth

It’s a girl! This amazing video of a beluga whale giving birth comes from the Vancouver Aquarium.

(Video length: 1:09)

Qila the beluga gave birth to her first calf at 4:28 PM Tuesday, June 10, 2008. The newborn beluga is about 1.5 metres long and weighs more than 50 kilograms (at birth). The beluga will be wrinkled for the first few weeks. Its color is slate grey, which will gradually lighten as it matures. You can view Qila and her new calf live on the aquarium’s Beluga Web Cam.

Danny D. Gets a Haircut

Well summer is almost here, which means it was time for Danny D.’s annual summer haircut. Here he is in all his furry glory:

Danny D. | Cocker Spaniel

And here he is sporting his brand new field cut. It’s a lot cooler for him and a lot less hair on the carpet for us. He looks like he’s lost 20 pounds — which is pretty drastic considering he only weighs about 25 pounds to begin with!

Danny D. | Cocker Spaniel | Field Cut

Related posts:

C. S. Lewis Liked Mice

Who knew? Lewis wrote the following to a child in response to a question about Reepicheep:

I love real mice. There are lots in my rooms in College but I have never set a trap. When I sit up late working they poke their heads out from behind the curtains as if they were saying, “Hi! Time for you to go to bed. We want to come out and play.” (from A Reader’s Guide to Prince Caspian, by Leland Ryken and Marjorie Lamp Mead)

No wonder Lewis portrays mice so positively in the Narnia Chronicles: Reepicheep and his warrior mice friends; the mice who freed Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; etc. So, do you like mice? (HT: Out Walking)

Click here for Countdown to Caspian posts.
Click here for more Narnia and Caspian related posts.
Click here for Narnia sermon series.

Parable of the Prodigal Puppy

Reina | Dog at the Computer

Hi everyone. This is Reina. I am Ray’s dog. You probably read about the “other” dog a couple weeks ago. (Here’s the link in case you missed it: The Amazing Adventures of Danny D.) But I want you to know that I was here first. I am the eldest dog.

I still remember those early, happy years. It was just me and my master. I had him all to myself. We went on walks together; he rubbed my belly; we played fetch; I slept at his feet as he sat reading on the couch. When we did obedience training, I learned all the commands and responded instantly. I just loved hearing him say, “Good girl!” Anything to please my master.

Then he brought the “other” dog home. Danny D. What a stupid name. Nobody even knows what the “D” stands for. I think it stands for disturbance, disruption and disrespect (or maybe just plain dumb)! Now anytime Master gives me a belly rub, Danny comes over and interrupts. He pulls on the leash when we go for walks; he jumps on the furniture; he tries to steal food from my dish. And obedience training? What a laugh! The only time he ever obeys is when he knows there’s a treat waiting. That dog is a menace! I don’t know what Master was thinking.

And then there was this whole escape episode a couple weeks back. Danny and I were both out in the backyard. I saw the hole in the fence too, but did I try to escape? Nooooooo. I am the good dog. But as soon as Danny saw his chance, he made a break for it. I must confess: I thought, “Good riddance! Finally some attention for just me again.”

But then you know what happened? Master and the whole family were so busy making up “Missing Dog” flyers and passing them out in the neighborhood, they completely ignored me. Later when they got back home, they just moped around the house. I felt like saying, “Hello people – I’m still here!”

Then the next day, when they finally got Danny back, it’s like they threw a big party for him! All the whooping and hollering — Master even took Danny’s picture and put the whole story up on the blog. And instead of calling it “The Naughty Puppy” (like he should have), he calls it “The Amazing Adventures of Danny D!” I don’t get it. Uh oh, I hear footsteps. It’s Master! I better get down from here real quick. Too late … I’m busted!

Ray: Reina, what are you doing at the computer? Wait, don’t go anywhere. Sit! Good girl. Let me read this. Oh, I see, you don’t think it’s fair the way we treated Danny D. when he came home after running away. Please don’t be upset, Reina. You should be glad along with us. You should love Danny. He is like a brother to you!

Reina: Look! All these years I’ve been loyal to you and never disobeyed your commands. Yet you never put my picture up on the blog. But when this “other” dog of yours who ran away and always disobeys comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!

Ray: My dear Reina, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

Related posts:
    • The Amazing Adventures of Danny D.
    • Melody in F (The Prodigal Son)

The Amazing Adventures of Danny D.

Danny D. | Cocker Spaniel

Meet Danny D. – our crazy cocker spaniel. Danny D. has been a part of our household since he was a puppy. I brought him home as a surprise for my wife while I was away at a Doctor of Ministry residency. He is a high-spirited, energetic, goofy, affectionate furball of fun. When I picked him out of the litter back in 2002, his tail was wagging faster than a jackhammer, and he wouldn’t stop licking my hand. Six years later his tail is still wagging, and he hasn’t stopped licking. We sometimes call him “the tongue with fur.”

On Tuesday Danny escaped from our backyard. Old man winter had worn down one of the pickets in the fence. Danny found the opening and made good his escape. He was not wearing his collar, and so he had no identification. He has escaped a couple times before but always came back. This time, however, the afternoon wore on, and he did not return. We walked the neighborhood for hours calling his name to no avail. Night came, and Danny had still not returned. We have three boys in the house who love Danny D. to pieces. Needless to say, we all went to bed very sad and concerned.

There were only three reasons we could think Danny hadn’t returned. Either he was lost and couldn’t find his way back, he was hurt and couldn’t come back, or someone had picked him up. I called animal control in the morning as soon as they opened. They had not received any reports of a missing dog. Thankfully, they also had no reports of a dog being hit by a car overnight.

I took the morning off from work and made up 250 “Have you seen our dog?” flyers. I walked around the surrounding neighborhoods and left a flyer in every door. It was cold, wet and raining. Meanwhile, my wife posted a flyer at the local Stop ‘N Shop. I came home for lunch and then headed back to work. Still no word on Danny D.

About 3:00 in the afternoon I finally got a call. The woman on the other end said she had our dog and that he was safe. I asked her where he was, and she said, “Chicopee.” I was flabbergasted. Chicopee is twelve miles away from our home. It is on the other side of the Connecticut River and on the other side of Route I-91, a major highway. How in the world could Danny be in Chicopee?

She explained that she and her friend saw Danny running around a main road and stopped, concerned that he might get hit. They called him over, “Here boy!” and Danny, ever the friendly dog, came bounding over and jumped right into their car. They looked for identification but couldn’t find any.

As it turns out, Danny was not even a thousand feet from our doorstep, but they had no way of knowing whether he was close to home or wandering far away. Rather than put him back out on the street, they very kindly brought him home to Chicopee and took care of him for the night. The next day they checked the bulletin board at the local Stop ‘N Shop to see if someone had left any information. Sure enough, they saw our flyer there and called me on my cell.

I immediately drove to Chicopee to pick up Danny D. I thanked them so much for taking care of Danny and also for contacting us. A dishonest person might have kept the dog for themselves. She explained that she had just lost a dog of fifteen years the month before, and she couldn’t imagine not getting the dog back to his rightful owner.

Danny D. and I hopped into the van and drove back home where we had a joyful reunion with the rest of the family. In the meantime, I patched up the hole in the fence and put his collar back on. One adventure at a time is plenty for me – and hopefully for Danny D. as well!

Click here for the follow-up post: Parable of the Prodigal Puppy

Squirrel Obstacle Course

And you were wondering why it is so hard to build a squirrel-proof bird feeder?

(Video length: 1:53)

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News and Notes – 1/24/2008


Animal rights activists sought to have Matthew Hiasl Pan, a 26-year-old male chimpanzee, declared a person.Monkey business. Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Austria’s Supreme Court ruled last week that a chimpanzee is not a person. An animal rights group was trying to have the chimp declared a person in hopes of gaining guardianship of the animal. Did we really need a Supreme Court to settle this one? I am thinking you could have gotten the same answer just asking a bunch of preschoolers. 🙂

Sneaky squirrels. A new study reveals that squirrels actually pretend to bury nuts and seeds in order to protect their winter food stocks from potential thieves. Scientists say the fake burials are designed to confuse any rival squirrels, birds or humans who might be watching. Dr Michael Steele reports: “To our knowledge, this is the first study to show evidence of behavioural deception by a rodent.” For some reason, I just love that ending quote.

Stowaway kitty. Imagine Rob Carter’s surprise when he opened up his luggage after flying home to Texas and found a kitten inside! It turns out Carter had picked up the wrong suitcase. It gets stranger. The cat’s owners, Seth and Kelly Levy, live in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Apparently the kitten, named Gracie Mae, had snuck into Seth’s suitcase before he left for the airport. The bags got switched, and Gracie flew 1300 miles to Fort Worth. Meanwhile, back at home Kelly Levy was searching all over for the missing pet, when she got the call from Carter in Texas telling her he had found Gracie in the suitcase.

Video bonus. Alaska really doesn’t want to go inside. (HT: Neatorama)

(Video length: 1:53)

News and Notes – 11/29/2007

Fat Hedgehog

Super-size me. Looks like somebody ate too much turkey for Thanksgiving. Meet George, an extremely fat hedgehog found by a wildlife aid group on the side of the road along with his friend Mildred, which is normal-sized.

Unclear of the concept. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to be an official observer for the 2008 U.S. presidential election. In a recent speech to his militia in Iran, Ahmadinejad said, “If the White House officials allow us to be present as an observer in their presidential election we will see whether people in their country are going to vote for them again or not.” Will someone please explain to the president of Iran that George Bush is not even allowed to run in this election?

Also unclear of the concept. The Humanist Community Center in Palo Alto, California offers Sunday School classes for the children of atheist parents. “One Sunday this fall found a dozen children up to age 6 and several parents playing percussion instruments and singing empowering anthems like I’m Unique and Unrepeatable, set to the tune of Ten Little Indians, instead of traditional Sunday-school songs like Jesus Loves Me.” (HT: Stand to Reason)

Happy Face Spider

Now that is one happy-looking spider!

Happy Face Spider
(Photograph by Darlyne Murawski)

Found only on the islands of Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, the happy face spider, such as this one guarding its eggs on a leaf in Maui, is known for the unique patterns that decorate its pale abdomen. Scientists believe Theridion grallator may have developed its distinctive markings to discourage birds from eating it.

I guess that means birds don’t like Happy Meals?

Source: National Geographic Photo of the Day (Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, “Deadly Silk: Spiderwebs,” August 2001, National Geographic magazine)

Sneaky Sam the Seagull Steals Some Chips

Sneaky Sam the Seagull Steals Some Chips

seagull.gif A seagull in Scotland has developed the habit of stealing chips from a neighborhood shop.

Dubbed “Sam” by the locals, the seagull waits until the shopkeeper isn’t looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos. Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.

Sneaky Sam’s shoplifting started in July 2007 when he first swooped into the store in Aberdeen, Scotland, and helped himself to a bag of chips. Since then, he’s become a regular. He always takes the same type of chips.

Customers have begun paying for the seagull’s stolen bags of chips because they think it’s so funny.

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Bears Invade Homes in Lake Tahoe

Home after bear invasion

How would you like to come home to this mess? The Hyde family of Lake Tahoe returned from a five-day vacation to find that three bears had moved into their home. Sounds like Goldilocks in reverse. Bear home invasions in Tahoe have become so common that the local newspaper runs a weekly report.

We don’t live in Tahoe, but we had a bear rip down the bird feeder in our backyard just 20 feet from the living room window. And my wife, Rose, encountered a bear on the street one day when she went out to check the mail. Fortunately, we haven’t had any bears in the house – yet!

News and Notes – 7/25/2007

Keep the change (1). Thieves in Arkansas stole a two-ton vault containing $113,000 from a bank using a fork lift, then ditched it several miles north of the city — with $2 left inside. “We feel like that was a statement to mock us,” said Van Buren police Detective Keith Lindley.

Don’t rock the boat. Chinese police tracking a suspicious vessel on a border river in southwest China got a shock when they found 270 crocodiles on board. Apparently crocodile smuggling is big in China.

Spy squirrels. Fourteen squirrels have been accused of spying on Iran. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the undercover rodents were found near the Iranian border, supposedly equipped with eavesdropping devices. I wonder if it was these squirrels here?

Keep the change (2). Jessica Osborne, a Pizza Hut waitress in Indiana, got a $10,000 tip from a family who ate regularly at the restaurant. The family gave her the check because they heard that she could not afford college.