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Adorable Relationship Between Puppy and Baby Cheetah Will Leave You Amazed!

Lea Lomas




Friendship can be one of the most beautiful things in the world. When you click with someone, you can work together to improve both of your lives. Having said that, friendships are nebulous and hard to define. You never know who is going to be the ‘right person’ to become your next close buddy. For two furry little babies at the Columbus Zoo, friendship came upon them in a way that you’d never expect. Today, you are going to get to meet Emmett the Baby Cheetah and his best friend, a puppy named Cullen.

Welcome to the Columbus Zoo

Before we introduce you to the stars of our story, let’s first settle in on the location of our saga. Today, we are going to be taking you to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, a non-profit zoo nestled in the heart of Powell, Ohio. The Columbus Zoo has more than 7,000 animals on location spanning more than 800 different species. Every year, more than 2.5 million people come to the zoo in order to see the wildlife and support their preservation.

The Stars of Our Story

Now, let’s take a moment in order to meet the stars of our story. In this adorable picture, you can see Emmett and Cullen cuddling up to one another while at the zoo. Emmett is a cheetah and Cullen is a labrador retriever. While this pairing may feel strange to you, there is actually quite the history between the two species!

Fascinating History Between Dogs and Cheetahs

Did you know that dogs and cheetahs have been paired together in zoos around the world since the early 80s? It’s true! Janet Rose-Hinostroza, an animal training supervisor at the San Diego Zoo, discussed the topic in an interview. Janet said, “A dominant dog is very helpful because cheetahs are quite shy instinctively, and you can’t breed that out of them.” Janet went on to explain that a brave companion dog can help to teach a shy cheetah how to interact and behave. 

Companion Dogs Make Cheetahs Happier

While companion dogs are integral to helping adjust the behavior displayed in young cheetahs, there is more to their relationship than that. While the young cheetah will model its behavior after the dominant companion in the relationship, they will also grow to play and enjoy one another’s company. It’s true! Before long, a cheetah cub and a companion dog will feel like they are part of the same litter.

Many Benefits For Both Parties

When Cheetah cubs are first paired with their canine company, the relationship is meant to last for a quarter of the year. At the beginning of their social integration period, zookeepers will allow the two animals to meet with a fence between them. If the two animals show positive behavioral signs, the zookeepers will schedule a ‘play date’ between the two animals.

Now Meet the Babies

Now, let’s really get to know the stars of our story. Emmett was just 10-weeks-old when he was introduced to the younger Cullen. At just two months old, Cullen was quite the young companion to be showing Emmett the ropes. Still, the two became fast friends before developing an inseparable bond. It’s almost hard to imagine that these two adorable friends would have been enemies had they met in the wild.

Two Young Friends Ready For Adventure

Even though Emmett and Cullen were raised together under supervision, they still managed to find ways to break all the rules natural to their species. When Emmett was first introduced to Cullen, the poor cat had been dealing with a bout of pneumonia. Emmett’s handlers were worried about his health, and they felt that a companion would help with his recovery.

Poor Emmett Runs Into Health Issues

As a tiny little cub, Emmett looked downright sad when he was dealing with his respiratory problems. As a result, the zoo had to pursue hand-rearing the animal. Hand-rearing is an effective technique used by professionals to make sure that an at-risk animal is raised in a safe manner. Though not natural to how the world works beyond the zoo, hand-rearing is a completely acceptable practice for both the safety and health of the animal.

Calling On Cullen For Help

Like many other zoos, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium knew that they needed to share their work on social media. Thanks to social media websites like Facebook, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was able to broadcast Emmett’s story to as wide of an audience as possible. As a result, Cullen coming to Emmett’s rescue was able to go viral. More than just great marketing, stories like this are important to inciting interest in the support of zoos everywhere.

Where Did Emmett Come From

On the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Facebook page, the zoo staff shared Emmett’s story. The baby cheetah had been born and bred at the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. After Emmett reached the appropriate age, he was transferred to the Columbus Zoo where he was able to ‘select’ his companion dog. The process was sidetracked when Emmett became sick with pneumonia.

Raised in Captivity

While animals like Emmett can be found all over the world, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium didn’t have to go far from home to find their cheetah cub. Emmett was born and raised in The Wilds, a non-profit safari park located in Cumberland, Ohio. The Wilds is considered to be the largest conservation center in North America. If you want to support the conservation of animals like Emmett, that’s where you should definitely go.

Benefits of Being Raised By Humans

If conservation scientists like those in charge of Emmett had their way, these animals would be able to be raised in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, due to manmade causes, the natural habitats of animals all over the world have come under fire. For that reason, it can be beneficial to raise animals like Emmett in captivity, where they can be protected and given a comfortable life.

Emmett Picked His Own Companion Dog

Back to the story at hand, you’ll be ecstatic to know that Emmett actually chose to be raised alongside Cullen. When cheetahs are granted a companion dog, they have to go through a long process. We described the beginnings of the process above, with the split fence introduction, but there is more to the story than that!

Cullen Comes to the Rescue

After Cullen and Emmett first met one another, they were set up with a play date. While Emmett was still dealing with his pneumonia infection, Cullen was there to give him some love and attention. Cullen helped to make Emmett feel more relaxed and comfortable, something that is very important for young and high-strung animals like baby cheetahs.

Calming Emmett Down

After Emmett and Cullen were introduced, they were closely monitored by their keepers. As the two adorable animals became comfortable with one another, Cullen was able to assume the dominant position in the relationship. It is important for the dog to always be the dominant animal in the pairing because that is how the cheetah is able to calm down and stop being so nervous.

Growing Confident Together

One of the biggest problems that Emmett had after being transferred was that he couldn’t calm his nerves. Cheetahs are naturally skittish animals as they are always wrestling with their flight-or-fight mode. For a baby cheetah with pneumonia in a new home, being nervous was completely understandable. Unfortunately, nervous babies don’t sleep, feed, or heal well. Fortunately, Cullen was around to calm Emmett down.

An Important Training Technique

While emotional support animals have been legitimized in recent years, the idea of a wild animal having a companion is still hard to wrap our minds around. Lacking a parental figure in nature, would a cheetah cub find another ‘parent’ to form a mentor-like relationship with? This training technique has been in circulation for decades, and we’re glad to see it help animals like Emmett.

Emmett and Cullen Grow Comfortable

While Emmett and Cullen are the stars of today’s discussion, they aren’t the only cheetah and companion dog combinations in the world. Since being introduced as a concept in the ’80s at the San Diego Zoo, companion dogs have become a staple in zoos all over the planet. In fact, we’ll talk about another cheetah-dog relationship later on.

Are Emotional Support Animals Legit

Suzi Rapp is the Animals Program Director at the Columbus Zoo. Suzi was recently featured in an interview with CBS News in which she was given the opportunity to discuss Emmett and Cullen as well as companionship dogs in general. Rapp said of giving confidence to cheetahs like Emmett, “We know we can’t give it to them, but we know the dogs can.”

What Is In Store For Emmett

While zoos are an incredible resource for learning and preserving the wondrous animals of our world, their necessity is more than slightly discomfiting. The unfortunate truth is that mankind has played a serious role in the at times quick erosion of the natural world around us. As a result, the future of animals like Emmett is definitely in question.

Mellowing His Natural Instincts

As you can see, Emmett and Cullen are no longer the fresh-faced babies that you had met at the beginning of our discussion. As the two have grown together, their relationship has miraculously stayed the same. According to Rapp, being raised alongside Cullen has allowed Emmett to feel like something of a dog himself. 

Becoming an Ambassador for Preservation

For Emmett, the Columbus Zoo has all sorts of plans. First and foremost, they want to offer their beautiful wild cat a healthy and happy life. In doing so, the zoo wants Emmett to eventually become an ambassador for wild cheetahs all over the planet. For that to work, the zoo knows that Emmett will need continued support from his companion dog.

Sad Reality For Wild Cheetahs

One of the primary reasons as to why zoos and companion dogs are so important is due to the natural erosion of natural habitats for cheetahs. According to scientific research, the population of cheetahs on Earth has decreased by more than 30% over the past twenty years. Can you believe that such a large number of incredible creatures have simply ceased to exist?

Dwindling Population Makes Emmett More Important

In fact, according to those same studies cited above, there are fewer than 10,000 adult cheetahs living out in the world. When we go back to 1900, there were more than 100,000 cheetahs known to be living in the wild. While we are sure that both of those numbers are slightly off, they point to a staggering reality.

Inspiration Through New Exhibit

Thankfully, zoo habitats like Emmett’s are helping to turn the tide toward increased wildlife preservation. The Columbus Zoo takes in more than 2.3 million visitors in a calendar year. That means that Emmett is going to get to see so many people who will, hopefully, spread the message for preservation far and wide.

Cullen Still Steals the Show

Even though most people come to The Columbus Zoo to see animals like Emmett, companion dogs are still quite a popular attraction. In fact, even when Emmett is in his enclosure, the zoo frequently gets asked when the dogs are going to be released. That’s right! Even though the ‘Heart of Africa’ exhibit was built from scratch for $40 million to house the cheetahs, visitors still want to see Cullen. What a good boy!

Other Cats Like Cullen

Even though our goal was to highlight the adorable relationship between Emmett and Cullen, there is so much more to talk about. Companion dogs are changing and saving the lives of cheetahs all over the world. Here we can see a young cheetah named Keyara and her companion labrador, Coby.

Keyara and Coby

Keyara had suffered a broken leg when she was still a tiny cub. Her injury partnered with her natural flighty nature meant that taking care of her was hard. Fortunately, Coby was able to help mellow Keyara out. As a result, Keyara was able to get the love, care, and attention that she needed. Rapp said of this relationship, “Without him (Coby), I don’t know that we could have pulled this off. She will be fantastic.”

Creating Conservation Momentum

The Columbus Zoo makes sure to showcase relationships like the one shared between Emmett and Cullen. The zoo knows that their existence relies on keeping people interested in what the zoo has to offer. For that reason, it is so important to share stories like Emmett’s. Fortunately, it seems like Emmett and Cullen are part of a broader push for change.

Work Going On Around the World

While companion dogs are still relatively new to America, dogs have played an important part in cheetah conservation for a long time. In fact, in Africa, there is a dog that can be cited for saving more cheetahs than any other companion animal. We are talking about the Anatolian Shepherd.

Saving Lives By Barking

The Anatolian Shepherd is one of the most popular dogs for farms in Africa. This breed of dog has a ferocious bark that services to keep encroaching cheetahs at bay. When the Anatolian Shepherd scares cheetahs away from the farm, the farmers don’t have to use their guns to shoot and kill the cheetah.

Continued Efforts of the Anatolian Shepherd

Thanks to the hard work employed by the Anatolian Shepherd, countless cheetahs, and their cubs have been saved. In fact, some would argue that the Anatolian can be credited with helping to prevent extinction from taking cheetahs even sooner. Who knew that dogs and cats had such a fascinating relationship?

Final Goal of Cullen’s Exhibit

While the tide of preservation can’t change overnight, stories like Emmett’s and Cullen’s are so very important. Ultimately, the zoo is hopeful that their companion dogs will continue to help cheetahs acclimate to their lives in captivity. In doing so, there is a very real hope that preservation efforts can improve so that we don’t have to say goodbye to these wonderful animals forever.

Stop On By To Support Your Local Zoo

Supporting your local zoo is one of the best ways that you can show how much you care about the wildlife around the world. While zoos can, at times, gain poor reputations, the truth is that they are ground zero for serious conservation efforts. Zoos are staffed by caring, loving, and intelligent researchers who are doing their best to help save our planet’s animals.

And Stay For Precious Moments Like These

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that zoos provide such touching moments as these. Whether you want to go see Emmett and Cullen or not, supporting your local zoo is something that anybody can do. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get to see a companion dog like Cullen in action at the zoo near you!



Breeder names puppies of new litter after 9/11 canine heroes

Leslie Tander



Every year on September 11, people across the country take time to remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day and one dog breeder in Michigan is honoring some of the heroes in their own special way.

Eight new Labrador Retriever puppies were born in a single litter beginning late Monday night into to Tuesday on September 11, 2018, in Dryden, located in Lapeer County. To pay tribute to the heroes of the tragedies that happened that day in 2001, the owners at Tall Pine Labradors LLC made the decision to name each dog after one of the canine heroes from that time.

Salty was a guide dog who led his owner to safety from the 71st floor of the North Tower in New York City on 9/11 so the breeders gave the firstborn puppy, born at 7:50 p.m. Monday evening, his namesake.

At 8:43 p.m., the second dog of the litter made his appearance into the world and was named Jake in honor of a search and rescue dog who worked hard for 17 days to locate victims of the 9/11 attack on our country’s citizens. The 9/11 Jake went onto train other search and rescue dogs after his time at Ground Zero at his home in Utah before going to work as a therapy dog with burn victims and patients in nursing facilities.

Sirius was born at 9:30 p.m. on September 10 and was named after a K-9 officer with the Port Authority Police Department. His handler was Officer Lt. David Lim who was hospitalized with injuries after being in the North Tower when it collapsed. Sirius did not survive the attack as he was locked in his crate that was housed in the South Tower’s basement while Officer Lim went to investigate. Sirius’ remains were recovered in the winter of 2002.

Thunder made his bang of an appearance into the world at 11:40 p.m. Monday, just twenty minutes before it was officially the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. He bears the name of a search and rescue dog from the state of Washington who had assisted in searching through the rubble of Ground Zero.

Trakr was the last dog of the litter that was born on September 10. The little puppy was given the name Trakr after a German Shepherd who partnered with a Canadian police officer and found the last survivor 27 hours after the South Tower came down. In April 2009, five clones of Trackr were born.

The first puppy of the litter actually born on September 11 is Apollo, who made his appearance at 12:13 a.m. Named Apollo in honor of an NYPD K-9 Officer who happens to have been the first search and rescue dog to arrive at the World Trade Center within 15 minutes of the towers coming down. Not letting anything stop him, the original Apollo’s fur caught fire at one point during his search efforts but after his but his handler put out the flames Apollo got right back to work.

Riley made his arrival at 1:14 a.m. on September 11 and is named after a Golden Retriever who was trained in a special basket to search over canyons. Riley ended up finding the bodies of several firefighters on the scene.

The only female puppy of the entire litter, Roselle was born at 1:26 a.m. on September 11 and is named in honor of a guide dog who had led her owner down 78 floors in the North Tower. She then led her owner to safety at the entrance of a subway where she then proceeded to bring comfort to another woman blinded by dust and debris.

The staff at Tall Pine Labs is referring to the brand-new litter of eight as the “9/11 Never Forget Litter,” and is considered one of the most inspiring dog-tributes to 9/11 that is known.

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A Reporter Becomes the Story, Saving a Dog in a Hurricane

Leslie Tander



Reports see a lot of things and have to remain objective to get the story. It’s part of the job. However, once in a while, humanity is still stronger, even that professional training. That was the case for Julie Wilson one winter when she was in the thick of it in the Carolinas, smack in the middle of a hurricane. The job was tough and the elements even harder’ reporting from the middle of a hurricane’s aftermath is no cup of joy for anyone, even the type who like to brave nature on a regular basis. But the story is the goal and target.

Julie was busy doing her rounds, looking for examples of the human story to film and report on with five to fifteen second snippets of video for her station, WTVD ABC 11. Hurricane Florence was hammering the Carolinas that January 2017, and Julie was one of the few reporters out there catching the scene first-hand. Livestreaming the hurricane damage and the personal stories occurring as they were happening, she found herself talking to a woman going by the name Tasha while looking for the next topic to film or report on.

Tasha was asking anyone nearby for help. She was desperate and the anxiety was painted across the woman’s face. A rottweiler was injured and about to be buried by the knee-high floodwater swirling into the area and rising quickly. But the dog mattered more than Tasha’s own safety; the Rottweiler was a therapy dog for Tasha’s daughter, and as far as the woman was concerned essential to save.

Julie kept working on her reporting as events kept happening around her, and Tasha moved on trying to figure out a way to get the dog out of her house. The neighbors had no such distractions, they were all scrambling to get into rescue boats and get out of the area as quickly as possible. Julie was working with the scene and reporting in the camera, using the panic to show that sticking around when told to get out was a bad idea, even for the brave. Her reporting emphasized viewers to listen to warnings when told to get out of the way of the flooding.

However, things changed when Julie saw Tasha struggling to get her dog to safety. Something fundamental kicked in, and the reporter forgot why she was in the scene of the hurricane professionally. The world suddenly slowed down and became just that moment – someone needed help and Julie had to make a decision whether to get involved or not. She chose to get involved.

Julie stopped reporting and moved to help Tasha with the dog. She got into the water and started wading towards Tasha and her Rottweiler. Both were in a serious situation; Tasha and the dog were both struggling to keep above the waterline and maintain an ability to breathe, but the rising water wasn’t helping at all. And in the panic, there was a good chance both of them were going to drown struggling to survive. Julie got to them both and took the weight of the dog off of Tasha. Being able to now just focus on herself, Tasha got to safety. Julie carried the dog, exhausted and not struggling one bit, to a safe point where they could both stand in the water and not go under. The dog calmly stood until moved, just trying to catch its second wind again.

And Julie’s entire moment was caught on film, from the beginning of her reporting to her engagement into the help and the conclusion, showing Tasha and the dog safe and feeling a lot better about themselves. As for Julie, she did okay was well, wading out of the water with a big smile herself about a day in reporting she wasn’t going to forget anytime soon.

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Giant Hive is Discovered when Bee Whispherer Removes Bricks from Client’s Home

Leslie Tander



Anyone who has paid attention to the news recently has likely seen the news that the honeybee populations are in some degree of danger. Because bees are responsible for the health of countless plant species all over the world, it is critical to take steps to protect them. That is what makes bee whisperers so important. For those who might not know, bee whisperers are professional honeybee rescuers that are located throughout the country. Recently, a heartwarming story was published from the Southeastern United States.

This story concerns a professional bee whisperer who has a tremendous amount of experience safely relocating bees and hives to other locations. While bees are critically important to the overall ecosystem, most people do not want them around their homes or places of business. This bee whisperer is responsible for moving bees into empty hive boxes of local beekeepers who might have lost some important bee colonies. 

This professional bee whisperer feels like he is saving supper every time he rescues a hive from a home. Too often, when people find a bee colony, the first thing they do is call a pest control company. While this might get rid of the problem, it will also destroy the entire colony. This is one of the main reasons why bee colonies everywhere are having issues. As bees continue to die, the issues are only going to get bigger. This story is an example of how someone should handle beehives in a proper manner.

Everyone once in a while, this bee whisperer receives a call from a homeowner who has a problem that is daunting, even for him. In this case, the bees were located high off the ground and behind a brick wall that is nearly impossible to get to. Removing bricks can lead to serious issues, including damaging the beehive itself. Even though this professional bee whisperer was a little bit hesitant to remove the bricks from the home, the final view was quite impressive. This story took place in TN.

When he started to remove the bricks from the house, the final view was unbelievable. There was an enormous hive behind the wall! This professional bee whisperer was only called when the local pest control service was unable to remove the hive. Furthermore, this service even tried to kill the entire hive! Fortunately, it failed. This meant that the bees were tended to by a trained professional who could safely move the bees without harming them.

The bees got into the bricks through a deep hole that was between the bricks at the bottom of the home. They also got in between a gap located near the windows. Over time, the hive gradually grew into the enormous hive the bee whisperer saw when he arrived. Fortunately, he was able to remove and relocate the bees themselves without harming them in the process. This means that the bees can still contribute to the health of the environment, which is certainly needed. This is just another example of the professional bee whisperer doing his job.

This story is a heartwarming example of how people can come together to remove a problem that might be impact the personal residence without harming the animals in the process. It is important for everyone to keep in mind that every animal has a role to play in the environment. By calling the professionals to deal with the issue, these animals still have a chance to make a difference. Rely on someone who has experience dealing with bees when it comes to hives.

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