The Star-Herald

Fun pet facts

It’s always fun to discover interesting facts about the pets we love. These and other fun tidbits can be found on animalplanet.com.

Fifty-eight percent of dog owners include their dogs in their annual holiday photos. And 33 percent of dog owners admit to talking to their dog over the telephone, often leaving them messages on the answering machine.

At the end of The Beatles’ song “A Day in the Life,” Paul McCartney recorded a high-pitched whistle that only dogs can hear. This was done specially for his pup, Martha.

Dalmatians are often deaf doggies. Thirty percent of them cannot hear in either one or two ears.  For the first 10 days of their lives, Dalmatians’ spots are only visible on their skin under the fur. Then the spots emerge.

In the Harry Potter series, Hagrid’s dog, Fang, was a Neapolitan Mastiff — a breed that almost became extinct after World War II.

A dog’s first sense to develop is touch. Dogs’ sense of hearing can reach four times the distance of humans.

In 1937, America’s first Akita came over from Japan. Its travel companion was Helen Keller.

 Dogs can be beneficial additions to the lives of children with autism. Trained dogs can lessen the child’s tendency of aggressiveness and give them a sense of independence.

After a scandal involving dog fighting, one of former football quarterback Michael Vick’s fighting dogs ended up being a therapy dog and brought joy to dying children.

Greyhounds can run as fast as 45 mph and are the fastest canines on the planet.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s smallest dog, a Yorkshire Terrier from Great Britain, weighed a teeny-tiny 4 ounces at age two.

“Him” and “Her” were the names of President Lyndon Johnson’s two beagles.  Walt Disney’s family dog was a Poodle named Lady.

According to legend, the dog rescued on Noah’s Ark was the Afghan hound.

Smiling at your dog may make him feisty: dogs see your smile not as friendly body language, but detect your “baring teeth” as a sign of aggression.

More dogs are called Max, Jake, Maggie or Molly than any other pet names.

Some dogs can identify the smell of lung cancer from sniffing a person’s breath.

The priciest dog in the world, a Tibetan mastiff, was recently bought in China for $1.5 million.

In 1969, Lassie the famous collie dog was the very first animal inducted into the Animal Hall of Fame.  

Have fun with your pets, and please remember to be responsible pet owners — spay and neuter.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board for the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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