Monday, December 27, 2010

Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

 L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern California and beyond

Reader photos: 'Fighting like cats and dogs'? Yeah, right. 40+ examples of dog-and-cat friendship

Dog and cat are best friends
If there's one thing on Earth that can make our hearts swell and send negative thoughts far from our minds, it is without a doubt friendship between animals.
All the better when that friendship is between animals of different species -- like, say, a dog and a raven who play ball together, a cat and a rabbit who enjoy napping next to each other, a deer and a dog who love to romp together on the lawn, a rabbit who generously shares its carrot with a puppy or a giraffe and an ostrich who are best pals despite their obvious dissimilarities.
Readers have shared hundreds of amazing photos of friendship between animals at The Times' photo-sharing site, Your Scene. Here, we've assembled some of our favorite shots of friendships between two species that conventional wisdom tells us don't get along: cats and dogs.
But the phrase "fighting like cats and dogs" is foreign to these four-legged friends -- they're lovers, not fighters. Submitter reporter1 says Bobby, the dog in the photo above, thinks the cat is his own pet. (We bet the cat thinks it's the other way around, but the point is, they love each other!)
After the jump, check out more wonderful glimpses into the world of inter-species friendship.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Dhondi's pets, Bear and TeddyBear, are so close that even their names are similar!
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter howard's pets Scollie and Mickey "were both adopted strays ... became  the best of friends, and respected each other's space," he says. "[M]any years later they're probably romping together in animal heaven ..." Amen to that!
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter MKW says Jaleo the Plott hound is really Chima the cat's dog. We're beginning to sense a trend here -- animals with their own pets! Well, if it's good enough for Koko, why not dogs and cats?
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter jules' redbone coonhound, Obi, wasn't used to being around cats until this one arrived on the scene. Fortunately, "our cat has a very [dominant] personality and holds his ground," jules says. Now these two are so comfortable around each other that the kitty can use Obi as his personal chair!
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Danielle's pets, Baxter and Lincoln, are so cute together that it almost hurts to look at them!
Dog and cat are best friends
Who needs a purple dinosaur? Submitter Ginger's golden retriever and cat illustrate the importance of sharing nicely, we think -- and without using songs that get stuck in your head for days on end.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Klaus_W's cat seems to have a secret to share with his canine friend.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter dee's terrier mix, Tara, quickly made friends with Mr. Kitty, who came to live with them as a kitten after being found alone in the snow. Clearly, Tara's love hasn't faded since then!
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Danielle's cat Angel "loves snuggling up to Billy [the dog] for a nap," she explains.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter KLHW's dog Oscar did his part helping to care for three cute foster kittens.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter ccrider's Weimaraner sure looks comfortable, though we're not sure we can say the same for the kitten.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Shadow's Doberman pinscher Baby Girl and kitten Einstein are the best of friends.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter DrDoLittleAsPossible (who deserves a shout-out for the creative username alone) says Zipper the cat uses her Labrador pal as a mobile couch.
Dog and cat are best friends
"Animals show us how to be better humans," submitter MEG says. Seeing the photo of her sweet dachshund-and-cat pair makes us inclined to agree!
Dog and cat are best friends
We're going to take a wild guess that submitter LeighAnnR's orange tabby is the dominant member of this cat-and-dog duo.
Dog and cat are best friends
We love the look on this cat's face as he struggles to share the couch with a Saint Bernard! Submitter Eli's caption is simple, but says it all: "Encroachment."
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Moose's dog Max makes a great babysitter to this litter of cute kittens.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Broomhilda's redbone coonhound, Peggy Sue, appointed herself guardian of Prince Harry the Siamese when he was just a kitten. Now Prince Harry is fully grown, but Peggy Sue still seems to feel protective of him!
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter deleweye's pets seem determined to share an armchair, even though space is limited.
Dog and cat are best friends
Unlike deleweye's dog and cat, submitter rob's pets have a whole couch to lay on -- but they'd prefer to snuggle next to each other anyway.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Eli's pets Fred and Wallie are "both rescues [and the] best of friends," he says.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter M1's dog Rover and cat Miles are so in sync that they even hold their paws the same way!
Dog and cat are best friends
"These two grew up together and think that they are twins," submitter dafoink says. We hope you haven't told them otherwise, dafoink!
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter boom chick's dog and cat are ready for any adventure that comes their way.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter George Patrick Leonard says his Chihuahua and cat are "best gal pals." We'd take them over Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte any day.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Loops' pets Luna and Lilith decided to spend a lazy day in bed. (We envy them!)
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Kian's pit bull Lulu became a surrogate mother to 3-week-old orphaned kittens.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Tasha's Mom says Tasha the dog and Sam the cat "share everything: food, beds, toys and Mom." They even share Tasha's basket bed, which clearly was not built for two.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Den says this dog-and-cat pair are inseparable. We can believe it.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Maestro's dog may have mistaken this cat for a pillow, but the cat doesn't seem to mind.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter kenwah describes his napping dog and cat as "bitter enemies to the end." Yeah, right!
Dog and cat are best friends
We don't think submitter burn z's kitty and golden retriever could get closer if they tried!
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter wg's dog shared babysitting duties when five motherless feral kittens came to live with them. Wg wound up keeping all five kittens and reports that the "dog loves them, and they love him."
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Takako's pets Keio and Mickey rest together after a tough day of -- well, OK, their day probably wasn't all that tough. We suspect they spent it napping together. Tough life!
Dog and cat are best friends
Who needs a back-support pillow? Submitter Arlene's cat has a Rottweiler, and he fills the bill nicely.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Petvetnurse says her dog Sophie and cat Oakley "were the best of friends, may they both RIP." Here's hoping these sweet pets are hanging out together at the Rainbow Bridge.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter freeepeace's sleepy calico cat and golden retriever aren't just friends -- they're cross-country traveling buddies!
Dog and cat are best friends
We imagine submitter Kendal's Yorkie saying, "Cat? What cat? I don't see any cat. Move along, please. Nothing to see here."
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter marek's cat thinks her terrier friend missed a spot, right above the eyebrow.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter SolarGuy says these two have been pals since his 70-pound dog was a 5-pound puppy.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Islander's dog Rebel and cat Spookie like to cuddle up together, and who can blame them?
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter PSibek's pets Charley and Jack take napping together to a whole new level.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter Jess' pets Bob and Max stick close to each other on those stressful car trips.
Dog and cat are best friends
Submitter MB's kitten found a soft spot to curl up for the night. If your own pets are the best of friends (be they dog and cat, dog and dog, cat and cat or any other animal combination you can throw at us), we'd love to see it! Click the photo gallery below to see more pictures and submit yours.
Share Your Photos of Four-Legged Friends
Reader photos: Two cats are better than one
Reader photos: Busted! Pets behaving badly (and caught on camera)
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo credits, from top: reporter1, Dhondi, howard, MKW, jules, Danielle, Ginger, Klaus_W, dee, Danielle, KLHW, ccrider, Shadow, DrDoLittleAsPossible, MEG, LeighAnnR, Eli, Moose, Broomhilda, deleweye, Eli, M1, dafoink, boom chick, George Patrick Leonard, Loops, Kian, Tasha's Mom, Den, Maestro, kenwah, burn z, wg, Takako, Arlene, Petvetnurse, freeepeace, Kendal, marek, SolarGuy, Islander, PSibek, Jess, MB

Good Morning Good News !!!! December 27, 2010

I’m Vincent D. Cat and here to make you happy!  You are HEROES!  You work hard every day and you deserve to smile every day!  Those of you working to save us animals hear so very many very sad things.  And there’s lots of very glad things too and that’s what we talk about here!  All pawsitive all the time!  I want my friends to be happy and smile and know there’s a lot of good - including YOU - in this world!!  Be kind and pass it on!  Please send me your Good New and Fun Stuff to share, personal or global. Let’s keep it fun and interactive!!  After all, if we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane!

My Favorite Quote, Today
Psychologists now recognize that the need in some people to have a dozen cats is really a sublimated desire to have two dozen cats.  ---Robert Brault
 The Snow Stopped ... YIPPEEEEE
We only got about two inches of snow!!!  Lucky lucky.  Sean didn’t make it in so we were short staffed.  Katarina worked all day yesterday to help everybody.  She was the only volunteer out yesterday.  It got really cold last night and very windy. 

Ivory the sheep is doing really well and is in the small livestock pen attached to the hospital now.  She’s much happier to be outside.  She’s still a little weak on her legs but getting up and down find on her own and eating well.  Her friend Ebony is staying with her.  When Ebony came in the summer she was all black.  Her long wool grew in white!!!  You can still see her black face and legs. 

We were worried about Ivory in the cold last night.  What is she took a walk and fell and couldn’t get up and get back into a protected house?  So me and mom kept getting up to check on her.  I’m glad she did well all night and didn’t fall down cus mom and me would have had one heck of a time getting her up - she weighs more than us put together!!!

It’s really windy and though the thermometer says it’s warmer out there - ABOVE freezing - it still feels freezing cold.  It’s almost 40 and it’s real sunny and the ice and snow is melting into puddles.  The predictions are really nice and it’s keeping on warming up and by time for the Nature Hike on Saturday, January First - it should be really nice and warm. 

Are you coming on the nature hike?    Are you scared of bigfoot lurking in the woods?  He’s really big !!!!

Mary is here helping us in the office today.  She went to the post office and brought lots and lots of big boxes.  Ohhh I’m gonna have fun opening them later on......   But mom says I have to get all my work done first.  If you ask me this ought to be her work.  But I gotta do what she says so she’ll keep those opposable thumbs cranking and opening the cans!!!  I hope somebody donated an electric can opener - I think I might be able to figure that out.  Then we could eliminate hoomans.  Oh, well maybe not.  Somebody has to do the litter boxes!!

Did you know?
In the United States 43% of people aged 75 and over are reported to volunteer!!!  That just goes to show - you DO get wiser !!!!   Reach out and help somebody today!!!  You don’t have to wait till you’re 75 either - get started today!  Share a little bit of your time and love.

Before he became a home-repair guru on U.S. television, Bob Vila was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama.

On the Twenty-seventh Day of Christmas,
look what came to Rikki’s,
twenty seven versatile volunteers,
twenty six dogs a drooling,
twenty five delightful donors,
twenty four plump pigs a plundering,
twenty three goats a butting,
twenty two sheep in need of sheering,
twenty one chickens a cackling,
twenty puppies a pooping,
nineteen rebellious roosters,
eighteen litter challenged kitties,
seventeen emus escaping,
sixteen dangerous ducklings,
fifteen peaceful pigeons,
fourteen peacocks plotting,
thirteen humans helping,
twelve temperamental turkeys,
eleven pouting pussies,
ten crotchety creaking canines,
nine grumpy geese,
eight kicking kittens,
seven guinea fowl freeloading,
six lizards a lazing,
five guinea pigs a gnawing,
four elderly equines,
three burly bossy bovines,
two rabbits a mating,
and a chukar in a cherry tree.

See all the pictures

In the Land ....

A Real Good Samaritan
 From BBC Mobile News Magazine
One act of kindness that befell British writer Bernard Hare in 1982 changed him profoundly. Then a student living just north of London, he tells the story to inspire troubled young people to help deal with their disrupted lives.

The police called at my student hovel early evening, but I didn't answer as I thought they'd come to evict me. I hadn't paid my rent in months.

But then I got to thinking: my mum hadn't been too good and what if it was something about her?

We had no phone in the hovel and mobiles hadn't been invented yet, so I had to nip down the phone box.

I rang home to Leeds to find my mother was in hospital and not expected to survive the night. "Get home, son," my dad said.

I got to the railway station to find I'd missed the last train. A train was going as far as Peterborough, but I would miss the connecting Leeds train by twenty minutes.

I bought a ticket home and got on anyway. I was a struggling student and didn't have the money for a taxi the whole way, but I had a screwdriver in my pocket and my bunch of skeleton keys.

I was so desperate to get home that I planned to nick a car in Peterborough, hitch hike, steal some money, something, anything. I just knew from my dad's tone of voice that my mother was going to die that night and I intended to get home if it killed me.

"Tickets, please," I heard, as I stared blankly out of the window at the passing darkness. I fumbled for my ticket and gave it to the guard when he approached. He stamped it, but then just stood there looking at me. I'd been crying, had red eyes and must have looked a fright.

"You okay?" he asked.

"Course I'm okay," I said. "Why wouldn't I be? And what's it got to do with you in any case?"

"You look awful," he said. "Is there anything I can do?"

"You could get lost and mind your own business," I said. "That'd be a big help." I wasn't in the mood for talking.

He was only a little bloke and he must have read the danger signals in my body language and tone of voice, but he sat down opposite me anyway and continued to engage me.

"If there's a problem, I'm here to help. That's what I'm paid for."

I was a big bloke in my prime, so I thought for a second about physically sending him on his way, but somehow it didn't seem appropriate. He wasn't really doing much wrong. I was going through all the stages of grief at once: denial, anger, guilt, withdrawal, everything but acceptance. I was a bubbling cauldron of emotion and he had placed himself in my line of fire.

The only other thing I could think of to get rid of him was to tell him my story.

"Look, my mum's in hospital, dying, she won't survive the night, I'm going to miss the connection to Leeds at Peterborough, I'm not sure how I'm going to get home.

"It's tonight or never, I won't get another chance, I'm a bit upset, I don't really feel like talking, I'd be grateful if you'd leave me alone. Okay?"

"Okay," he said, finally getting up. "Sorry to hear that, son. I'll leave you alone then. Hope you make it home in time." Then he wandered off down the carriage back the way he came.

I continued to look out of the window at the dark. Ten minutes later, he was back at the side of my table. Oh no, I thought, here we go again. This time I really am going to rag him down the train.

He touched my arm. "Listen, when we get to Peterborough, shoot straight over to Platform One as quick as you like. The Leeds train'll be there."

I looked at him dumbfounded. It wasn't really registering. "Come again," I said, stupidly. "What do you mean? Is it late, or something?"

"No, it isn't late," he said, defensively, as if he really cared whether trains were late or not. "No, I've just radioed Peterborough. They're going to hold the train up for you. As soon as you get on, it goes.

"Everyone will be complaining about how late it is, but let's not worry about that on this occasion. You'll get home and that's the main thing. Good luck and God bless."

Then he was off down the train again. "Tickets, please. Any more tickets now?"

I suddenly realized what a top-class, fully-fledged doilem I was and chased him down the train. I wanted to give him all the money from my wallet, my driver's license, my keys, but I knew he would be offended.

I caught him up and grabbed his arm. "Oh, er, I just wanted to…" I was suddenly speechless. "I, erm…"

"It's okay," he said. "Not a problem." He had a warm smile on his face and true compassion in his eyes. He was a good man for its own sake and required nothing in return.

"I wish I had some way to thank you," I said. "I appreciate what you've done."

"Not a problem," he said again. "If you feel the need to thank me, the next time you see someone in trouble, you help them out. That will pay me back amply.

"Tell them to pay you back the same way and soon the world will be a better place."

I was at my mother's side when she died in the early hours of the morning. Even now, I can't think of her without remembering the Good Conductor on that late-night train to Peterborough and, to this day, I won't hear a bad word said about British Rail.

My meeting with the Good Conductor changed me from a selfish, potentially violent hedonist into a decent human being, but it took time.

"I've paid him back a thousand times since then," I tell the young people I work with, "and I'll keep on doing so till the day I die. You don't owe me nothing. Nothing at all."

"And if you think you do, I'd give you the same advice the Good Conductor gave me. Pass it down the line."

Has a stranger ever done you a good turn? Send us your stories and we'll publish a selection in the coming days.

Look at this Beautiful Horse
for sale on e-bay.

Don’t forget to check out the e-bay items for sale benefiting Rikki’s from time to time.

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I think he should come volunteer at Rikki’s, what do you think?

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Ice Sculpture Festival

Did you go on a trip?
Share your exciting holiday travels with us!  I didn’t get to travel and I want to hear all about yours!!!   Add them to the comments in the blog or send to me

I Love YOU very very much!!! 
Thank you for making my Christmas so wonderful.

And LOOK !!!!   59% of the way there.  I think we just might make our Double Your Donations fundraising challenge!!!!  Only four more days to go - COUNT DOWN - will we make it???  YOU can help make it happen!!!

Count down for TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS for 2010 only FOUR more days to feed us instead of Uncle Sam !!!!!


PS You tell me what you want!  Email me at with instructions to change your subscription: additions, deletions or modifications!  Subscriptions:    Vincent’s VIPs - up to the second alerts about issues at Rikki’s Refuge for those who care and want to be intimately involved.  Scheduled as needed.  Good Morning Good News - a little something to get you going in the mornings, for those of you who want to keep smiling with us!  Scheduled daily.  Hairballs - so you know what’s coming up at Rikki’s!  Scheduled weekly.

Rikki's Refuge, supported solely by private donations, houses over 1200 animals of 22 species. On line at Checks, money orders, cash, items at Rikki's Refuge, PO Box 1357, Orange VA 22960

Rikki's Refuge is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Virginia Corporation, tax-id 54-1911042. Combined Federal Campaigns #77674, Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3163, PetsMart Charities #1377.  A financial statement is available upon written request from the State Office of Consumer Affairs.

Learn more and help spread the good word, tell everyone you know about Rikki’s Refuge