All posts in "Animals"

#968 Dog with three legs and boy with genetic disorder are best friends

By Cathryn Wellner / March 11, 2014

A little boy with a rare condition and a dog with three legs have changed each other’s lives. The child is Owen Howkins, born with Schwartz-Jamel syndrome. Only 25 people in the world have been diagnosed with the muscle-stiffening disease that stunts growth, affects facial features and impairs vision. Owen is a bright, normal child […]


#941 For love of a pig

By Cathryn Wellner / February 12, 2014

Although I do not normally join fan clubs, I just joined the one that honours Esther the Wonder Pig. In my farming days, I loved pigs. So I was curious about this large, porcine pet. With her expressive eyes, sensitive nose and big-hearted love, Esther is a media sensation. Her two human pals, Steve Jenkins […]


#938 Loyal friends find their forever home

By Cathryn Wellner / February 9, 2014

A cat with paralyzed back legs and twisted front legs and her dachshund pal were abandoned by a gated driveway. They could not tell their story to the Seminole County Animal Services staff who found them, but program coordinator Diane Gagliano told the Orlando Sentinel: We actually don’t know what’s wrong with her. We think […]


#925 Wildlife as teachers

By Cathryn Wellner / January 27, 2014

Bears, crocodiles, mountain goats and owls are among the teachers at Wildlife Associates in Half Moon Bay, California. Steve Karlin founded the sanctuary in 1980, with the vision of helping humans “to better perceive their relationship with the living world.” The environmental educator started taking reptiles to school assemblies. The demand for his interactive, whole-brain […]


#884 Pig to the rescue

By Cathryn Wellner / December 17, 2013

Some stories bear repeating, like the one about LuLu, the pot-bellied pig. Back in 1998 she was one of those unlucky creatures who were part of the craze for pet pigs. Someone thought she would make a great 40th-birthday gift for Jackie Altsman. When Jackie went whale watching on her next birthday, she asked her […]


#857 Nothing keeps Rodan from his beloved Malena

By Cathryn Wellner / November 20, 2013

A love story made the rounds of the Web in 2010, and it is worth retelling. Like all storks, Rodan and Malena had mated for life. In 1993 a hunter shot one of Malena’s wings. Thanks to the kind care of Stjepan Vokic of the village of Brodski Varos in Croatia, Malena survived. But with […]


#851 Horses give wings to special riders

By Cathryn Wellner / November 14, 2013

I cannot walk, or run, or play a game of tennis everyday…. But I CAN ride through the forest trails… when carried high, my feet take wings… John A. Davis “My feet take wings” is such an apt and beautiful description of the spirit-buoying freedom that many physically and developmentally disabled people experience on the […]


#837 The ethereal cricket chorus

By Cathryn Wellner / October 31, 2013

In the foreground we hear the chirping of crickets, played at normal speed. In the background, an ethereal chorus sings rising and falling notes, like a meditation inspired by the spirit’s search for meaning. The chorus is made up of crickets, recorded and slowed down until they sound like a magnificent choir singing a cappella. […]


#825 Eerie world of the sea

By Cathryn Wellner / October 19, 2013

The sea is vital to life on the planet, yet its mysteries are seen by so few of us. One of the best ambassadors for the astonishing creatures at home in the watery world is David Gallo. He gives us new eyes in the water that covers 70 percent of the earth. In his 1998 […]


#797 A girl and her dog graduate from the University of Illinois

By Cathryn Wellner / September 21, 2013

A fresh-faced, 21-year-old Bridget Evans entered the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2010. At her side was Cole, an 11-year-old black Labrador retriever who had been her faithful sidekick for years. Evans has spina bifida so Cole pulled her wheelchair, picked things up for her, opened doors and turned switches on and off. In addition […]

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