Category Archives: Linda Cole

Lost Pets That Traveled Far to Find Their Owners

lost pets margoBy Linda Cole

How a lost pet is able to find their way back home is still a mystery. What’s even more remarkable is how some pets can find their owner no matter where they are. Whether it’s a homing instinct or a determined desire to be with the person they love, some lost pets have traveled far to find their home or owner. For a lost pet, there’s danger around every corner, but these dogs and cats never gave up.

Howie, a three year old Persian cat, traveled 1,200 miles through the Australian Outback in 1978 to find his way home. When Kirsten Hicks and her family went on an overseas vacation, they left Howie with her grandparents. After returning to Australia, Kirsten was told Howie had disappeared, so the Hicks family returned to their home in Adelaide with heavy hearts. In the meantime, Howie was traveling through the inhospitable lands of the Outback heading towards home. No one knows what he encountered or went through, but a year later he finally made it back home, dirty, hungry, thirsty and with an injured paw. Howie had walked from the Gold Coast, Queensland to Adelaide.

Prince, an Irish Terrier, moved with his family during WW I from Ireland to England in 1914. His owner, Private Brown, was serving in the army and went home on leave every chance he got to visit his wife and Prince. Each time he returned to base, Prince grew sadder. Finally, Private Brown was shipped overseas to France. Prince grew more depressed and stopped eating. One day he disappeared and Mrs. Brown frantically searched for him. She knew she had to write her husband and let him know what had happened. Brown was holed up in the trenches of Armentieres, in Northern France, when he got her letter. What Mrs. Brown didn’t know was that Prince had found his way to the English Channel and somehow got on a boat or swam across the water. When he reached France, he searched the war torn land as bombs exploded and tear gas filled the air to find Private Brown in the trenches. What Prince accomplished was truly an amazing act of courage and love.

Nick, a German Shepherd, belonged to Doug Simpson. In 1979, Nick was lost while on a camping trip with Doug. Unable to find him, Doug had no choice but to return to his home in Selah, Washington. Nick was lost in the Arizona Desert some 2,000 miles away. The dog had to fend for herself in some of the most inhospitable land on earth. lost pets jacilluchShe had to cross deserts where water was nowhere to be found, swim freezing rivers, cross over 12,000 foot mountains and navigate the Grand Canyon on her way home. She arrived four months later, just a shell of the dog she was. Doug could see her difficult journey in her emaciated, bloody and battered body. It was obvious there was no obstacle tough enough to keep Nick from getting back home to the person she loved.

Sugar, a two year old Persian cat, didn’t like traveling in a car because of a hip deformity that made it uncomfortable for him to ride for long distances. In 1951, the Woods family decided to leave their home in Anderson, California and move to a farm in Gage, Oklahoma. They decided it would be better to let Sugar be adopted by a neighbor. Sugar apparently didn’t like his new digs and three weeks after his family moved, he headed out to find them. It’s one thing for a pet to find their way back to a home they’re familiar with, but Sugar traveled 1,500 miles in search of a home he had never been to. It took him fourteen months, but he was successful in his quest and when he saw his owner, he leaped up on her shoulder.

Sophie Tucker would have followed her heart to find her home, if there hadn’t been an ocean between her and her owner. A gray and black cattle dog, Sophie Tucker was with her family on their yacht when bad weather hit around the coastal town of Mackay, Queensland. She fell overboard and became lost in the ocean. She had to navigate through rough, shark infested waters, swimming six miles to St. Bees Island. After she got to the island, she survived by hunting wild goats. Wildlife rangers were called in to investigate when several carcasses were found, and there they discovered the lost dog. Sophie Tucker didn’t have to travel far to get home, but she did have to overcome great odds to make it to the island in the first place and then survive on her own.

Never underestimate the power of a strong bond, and the unconditional love of a pet!

Persian cat photo by Margaux-Marguerite Duquesnoy/Flickr
German Shepherd photo by jacilluch/Flickr

Read more articles by Linda Cole


Want to win some goodies for your cat or dog? CANIDAE has a fun caption cocaption contest cat tp aug 10ntest on their Facebook page today. To enter, just come up with a great caption for the cat photo at right, and hop on over to their Facebook page! The caption with the most likes by Wednesday at 9 AM will win a voucher for a bag of CANIDAE pet food and a bag of treats.

EmailGoogle GmailBlogger PostTwitterFacebookGoogle+PinterestShare

5 Reasons Dogs Should Wear a Life Vest for Water Activities

dog lifejacket jenBy Linda Cole

Not all canines can swim, even some that are considered to be “water dogs.” Some breeds aren’t suited for swimming, and dogs with health issues, puppies and older canines can be put at risk. Boaters are required by law to provide a life vest for each person on board. A pet life vest is equally important if you take your dog with you on a boat or spend an afternoon swimming and playing at the beach or pool.

Boating is a fun summertime activity as long as everyone on board stays safe, including pets. Swimming can also pose a danger to dogs if the body of water has strong currents, like rivers or the ocean. Life vests can save lives. Here are five good reasons why your dog should wear a life vest when enjoying water activities.

Swimming Ability

Dog breeds bred to work in water have water resistant coats, webbed feet, and a tail that works like a rudder. Even though these breeds are comfortable in water and considered strong swimmers, they can still run into trouble in some circumstances, especially if they become fatigued. Dogs that have a large chest and small hindquarters are top heavy and not strong swimmers. Bulldogs, Boxers and Dachshunds have a hard time trying to stay afloat and are more apt to sink like a rock. Dogs with pushed-in noses and short-legged breeds tire easily.

Read More »

Should You Let Your Dog Drink From Lakes or Rivers?

dog drinks michelleBy Linda Cole

Dogs are notorious for eating some disgusting things at times, which gives a false impression they must have a cast iron stomach. So it’s easy for dog owners to assume that a natural water source like a pond, river, stream or lake is safe for Fido to drink out of. However, there can be some nasty things lurking in the water that can harm your dog and put you at risk of developing a disease, as well. As responsible pet owners, we must beware of bacteria, parasites and chemicals that could be lurking in outdoor water sources.

There’s a reason we need to boil water taken from a natural water source before drinking it, and it’s the same reason pet owners shouldn’t allow their dog or cat to drink from ponds, streams, rivers or other water sources. Different bacteria species like E. coli and Leptospirosis, which are zoonotic diseases, can live in water and may pose a health risk to pets, along with other types of bacteria and infection-causing parasites like Giardia. Very young or very old dogs, and canines with depressed immune systems are at greater risk of developing medical concerns. Also keep in mind that boiling water won’t remove any chemicals present in it.

Read More »

You Know You’re an Animal Lover If…

animal lover marcBy Linda Cole

Are you more apt to notice a dog or cat walking along the street, but totally miss seeing a human standing on the sidewalk? Do you get all misty eyed as a brave firefighter scrambles down a tree clutching a frightened kitty close to his chest, or do you even see the firefighter because your focus is on the meowing cat? Does finding a human hair in your food gross you out, but you have no problem finding a dog or cat hair?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re a bona fide animal lover! Read on for more humorous examples of “You know you’re an animal lover if…”

*Your pet’s Facebook page has way more “friends” than your own page.

*You have so many pictures of your pet on your phone that photos of your human family members are relegated to a miscellaneous file. More embarrassing is discovering you don’t have a single photo of your human family on your phone.

*You wear animal themed jewelry, slippers or T-Shirts, and canine or feline paintings and knick-knacks are proudly displayed around the house. Your favorite coffee cup is an animal themed “treasure” you picked up while on vacation – with matching teapot.

*Vacations are planned around pet-friendly hotels, campsites or parks.

Read More »

Five Dog Park Risks You Need to Consider

dog park donBy Linda Cole

Dog parks are secure areas where your pet can race around with his friends and play off leash. It’s a great way for your dog to interact with other canines in a social environment. However, dog parks also come with some risks that could affect your pet’s health and behavior.


When a dog is having fun at the dog park, he may not stop when he gets overheated. Hot, humid days can zap the energy from humans and animals in the same way. Add in a heat index that makes it feel even hotter, and a warm dog can have a hard time trying to cool down. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh drinking water and shade, and watch for signs of heatstroke.

Depending on age, health and whether he’s wet or dry, a dog can suffer from hypothermia on colder days even when the temperature is above freezing. Hypothermia can set in at temperatures as high as 50 degrees. There’s a risk for humans and animals whenever the body loses more heat than it generates. If your dog’s core body temperature falls below 90 degrees, he’s at risk of developing mild to severe hypothermia. Dogs don’t worry about how hot or cold it is when they are playing and having fun. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to know the symptoms of hypothermia.

Read More »

8 Dogs That Played a Role in World History

dogs history jasonBy Linda Cole

The space race between the United States and Russia began in the early 1960s when President Kennedy issued a challenge to NASA to put a man on the moon by 1969. Russia was first to put a living being into space when they launched a stray terrier named Laika. Sadly, she didn’t survive long enough to reach orbit, but it had a profound effect on the world and gave us the drive to put a man on the moon. Laika wasn’t the only dog that played a role in world history, though. Here are 8 more.

Belka and Strelka

When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 5 in 1960, two mixed breed stray canines from Moscow were the first dogs to go into orbit and return alive. The furry cosmonauts’ 24 hour orbital flight gave the Soviets the confidence to continue their dream of putting a man into space. The dogs became national heroes and were honored worldwide for their contribution to the space race. Shortly after Strelka returned from space, she gave birth to six puppies. Nikita Khrushchev gifted one of the pups, Pushinka, to President Kennedy and his family.

Read More »