Wednesday, March 31, 2010

1st Year Anniversary Celebration & Woof Hoofs Giveaway!

Photo: Dan Bennett

Last year, I started this blog as part of my class assignment in school. After I finished the class last May, I enjoyed blogging about dogs so much, I decided to keep this blog. Today marks the first anniversary of Too Kool Doggies. If it wasn't for Blogger, this blog wouldn't be here. I've heard so much about Wordpress, but so far, Blogger has worked well for me.

Since we've begun:
  • I've written 197 blog posts, 4 of them being podcasts.
  • We've increased feed subscribers by almost 600%.
  • Too Kool Doggies has been viewed in 76 countries.
  • Dog Fonts has had the most views in one year.
  • The site had the most visits on July 6th when I wrote my interview with Aimée Hoover, a famous dog portrait painter.

Looking Ahead

During this next year, I will be bringing more fabulous articles, interviews, podcasts and more adventures with Cookie and Gigi for all of you guys. I will be having special giveaways. I will be changing the design to give this blog a new look.

Let's Celebrate!

To celebrate the first successful year, we will be doing some product giveaways. Woof Hoofs is giving away a free pair of dog boots to a lucky reader! These sell for $24.99 retail. Even though winter has come and gone, these boots are great to use for hiking. The contest is limited to those who live in the United States.
How to Win A Set For Your Pooch!
Woof Hoofs Dog Boots - Black Diamond, XS, (set of four)
Write a comment below on why you would like a pair of Woof Hoofs and how your dog can use them. All entries must have a valid e-mail as well. Any retweets of this contest on Twitter would be greatly appreciated.

The more creative your entry is, the better. The winning comment will be decided by Woof Hoofs themselves. You can attach pictures, write a great story, etc. Anyone who leaves a comment will get a special discount to be able to purchase the boots through Amazon after the contest is over. The last day to enter is Saturday, April 10th.

Thanks for stopping in. Good luck to everyone! There will be future contests to celebrate our anniversary so keep checking here.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When Dogs Go From Having A Ball To Being In A Brawl!

Dogs are funny creatures. One minute they're trotting along while romping and playing together, the next minute they are in total attack mode. It doesn't take much for dogs to get aggressive. It could be over one getting too close to one's food, stealing a favorite toy or one invading the other's territory.

Break It Up!

It's not the easiest thing to break up two dogs when they are in fight mode. As Cesar Millan refers to it as the red zone, fighting between two dogs can be very hard to break up. Here are some ways that work best for these situations.

  1. Use pressurized water.The force of water from a garden hose, water gun, or spray bottle of water will be enough of a distraction to make the dogs forget about what they were fighting about in the first place.
  2. Make a loud noise. Dogs have sensitive hearing. Something as simple as hitting the back of a cookie sheet or clanging the inside of a pot with a large spoon will be a strong enough sound to get them to snap out of it.
  3. Do the wheelbarrow move. What is the wheelbarrow? When two dogs are fighting, two people can break them up by pulling their hind legs off the floor and back away from the source of the fight slowly. Some people rotate the dog in a circle slowly as they're pulling away because it's more effective since the spin will have a greater amount of force. Still, you need two people to do this effectively.
  4. Drop a laundry basket. Using an object like a laundry basket or a blanket will physically separate without the human getting caught in the middle. It may seem a little strange but doing this is much more humane for the dogs by creating a barrier between the two animals.
  5. Stay Calm and Assertive! Humans are the ultimate pack leader for dogs. Dogs can smell fear and will steamroll over a person once they are in fight mode. Using an strong, masterful voice and taking up space by protecting your body and doing a body block will show them who's boss. However, this method is for the more experienced dog owners

Tips For Prevention

There are many signs a person may notice just before their dog gets aggressive. Most dog fights arise out of a need for dominance. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Introduce dogs in neutral territory. If you have two dogs that you would like to be playmates or maybe are bringing a new dog into your household, it's best to introduce them in an area that neither knows. Dogs are very territorial and will consider another dog an intruder.
  • Don't Let Them Share! If you have a household with multiple dogs, it's important to have them eat from their own bowl. Dogs will guard what's precious to them and any dog that encroaches on their food they will view as a threat. When they have their own bowl, that will give them a solid boundary. If they are aggressive about you touching their food bowl when they're eating, start off by feeding by hand until they realize that their food comes from you as their provider.
  • Establish Yourself As The Leader. Obedience classes are very helpful in showing your dog who is the leader. You can be loving to your dog and still have an air of authority.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever had your dog become an unwilling party to a dog fight? What methods helped you break it up?

Useful Websites

To learn more about this topic you may want to check out:
Cesar Millan's Website and Blog
Candidae Blog Article

Thanks all for stopping in. Sorry it's been awhile since I've blogged, but I've been bogged down with school and was on a dogsitting assignment over the weekend. I will be back tomorrow. Have a great night.


Friday, March 26, 2010

The World of Petsitting

It used to be, a person would go away for a few days and drop his dog off at the local vet or boarding kennel. Other times, you would ask a friend or family member. While that's an ideal situation, it can feel like an imposition at times.

Now, dogsitting is more popular with dog owners. It's so in demand that there are three national pet sitter associations. One of them, Pet Sitters Associates, LTD offers insurance with their membership. Pet Sitters International (They also are the founders of Take Your Dog To Work Day). and the National Association of Pet Professionals are renowned for being quality organizations as well.

Its Advantages

  • You know that the dog is staying in an environment that they are familiar with.
  • It's a good source of extra income.
  • It gives the person a change of environment.
  • It helps you understand the unique characteristics of each animal.
  • The dog stays used to its daily routine.
  • An owner doesn't need to have your mail forwarded.

Its Disadvantages

  • You have to put your regular routine on hold.
  • It can be a costly investment.
  • It may be for a long-term period.

What To Look For In A Great Pet Sitter

  1. They should get along well with your pet. Ideally, you need to have them meet beforehand to ensure that your dog is comfortable with that person.
  2. They are insured.
  3. They have a flexible schedule.
  4. They have reliable references.
  5. What is part of their service? Do they include dogwalking?
  6. Do they know first aid and what to do if an emergency arises?
  7. They are members of the professional association.

Let's Discuss!

Have you ever used a pet sitter? What do you do when your pet is away?
Understanding Fancy

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

It's A Beautiful Day For A Ballgame!

Major League Baseball will be starting in just a couple of weeks. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours. For me, being outside in the crisp air and cheering my favorite team (the Cubs) is such fun.

Some of the ballparks have Dog Days where you can take your own dogs. Others have pet-oriented promotions for owners.It's really important to get tickets in advance because they sell out really quickly. Also, some parks have special rules in place so you need to make sure your dog qualifies.

For instance, the San Diego Padres fans dog tickets have to be applied for. The lucky dogs are drawn at random and the application forms will not be available till June. Other parks require that you bring proof of rabies vaccination. Some teams like the Florida Marlins and the Cincinnati Reds will be having two game dates for dog owners.

Here's a calendar of the parks that will be participating for 2010:
Home TeamDateTimeVisitorsNotes
Arizona DiamondbacksApril 11th1:10P.M.PiratesAdopt-A-Pet Only
Houston AstrosApril 11th 1:05P.M.PhilliesCheck with Team
Oakland A'sApril 18th1:05P.M.OriolesPet Calendar &
Adopt-A-Pet Day Only
New York MetsApril 24th1:10P.M.BravesPurchase Tickets In Group Sales Dept.
Cincinnati RedsMay 26th7:10P.M.PiratesContact Team
Chicago White SoxJune 3rd7:10P.M.RangersDogs Must Be Pre-Registered
St. Louis CardinalsJune 6th1:15P.M.Milwaukee BrewersDog Tickets On Sale, April 16
Oakland A'sJuly 23rd7:05P.M.White SoxContact Team
San Diego PadresAugust 27th7:05P.M.PhilliesDog Days of Summer (Lottery)
San Francisco GiantsAugust 29th1:05P.M.DiamondbacksSpecial Tickets Needed
Florida MarlinsSeptember 1st7:10P.M.PiratesContact Team
Cincinnati RedsSeptember 14th7:10P.M.DiamondbacksContact Team
San Diego PadresSundaysPet Adoption Sundays

Let's Discuss!

Do you plan to take your dog to a baseball game this summer? What's your favorite team?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Day At The Pet Expo

Hi Guys! Yesterday, I went to Chicagoland Family Pet Expo. Mom was roped in to coming too, since she's a huge dog lover as well. This was my fourth year attending at the Arlington Park Racetrack. It's amazing to see everything that is there. Not only do they have dogs, but also cats, birds and other small animals.

First, we walked around seeing all of the different dogs available through rescue groups. One of the best things about these expositions is all of the different foods and products available. I was able to pick up some samples of new food to try out for the dogs and a couple of treats too.

My main goal was to see the performing dogs. There were two groups performing. The first one we saw was the Indy Dog & Disc Club frisbee demonstration. Though we only caught part of it, it was astounding what these dogs could do with a simple frisbee.

Afterwards, we then caught the Rock and Roll K-9s performance team. The group had the coolest decorations too. This performance was first-class. Not only did the M.C. Jill have a sense of humor, the dogs made agility exhibition look fun. They were so well-trained, it was unbelievable.

There was also a dedication ceremony to unveil the new Animal Rescue Adopt A Shelter Pet Stamps from the Post Office. One of the main goals of this expo was to encourage potential dog owners to get their dog from a shelter and to avoid dogs that have been commercially bred.

Some things I missed was the Dancing With Dogs exhibition, the CFA All Breed Cat Show, and the American White Shepherd Judging Competition. (White Shepherds are a type of German Shepherd that are not accepted by the AKC because they believe the breed does not adhere to the German Shepherd Standard. Opponents argue that the white color is caused by a recessive gene and not a genetic defect. These judgings are done to increase awareness of the breed and give it credit where credit is due).

I've attached some of the pictures I took during the expo. I hope you enjoy them and have a great start of your week.
Frisbee Show

The Incredible Flying Border Collie
Vertical Grab

Rock and Roll K-9s

 Gimme five!
Jill The MC

Up You Go!
Out Of The Tunnel
This guy jumped four feet over!
Graceful Jump
The Whole Troop

Three Month Puppy for Adoption

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nubs: The True Story Of A Mutt, A Marine And A Miracle

Book Review

When I took Cookie for her first grooming appointment, the groomer told me, "You don't choose a dog, the dog chooses you." Reading Nubs reminded me of what she had said.

It starts out in October of 2007, when Major Brian Dennis and his group of fellow marines drove into Iraq, to help train Iraqi soldiers. The first time he saw Nubs, he saw that his ears were cut off with just a small area left over. Brian gave him the name Nubs because of that. He would pet it and gave it a little food since Marines could not have pets at the out post.

After a couple more visits, Nubs wanted to be with Brian but he couldn't take him back with him as the Marines do not allow soldiers to have pets. Seeing the humvees drive off, he follows their path 70 miles from Iraq to Jordan finding his way to Brian's outpost. Brian saw him there and knew if he dropped him off, he would just find his way back.

This book is a wonderful story for both children and adults. It is a book that most children can read. It shows how a little kindness goes a long way as well as the unbreakable bond of dog and owner. It's a book that tells you  that you'll never know when your life can change and how it can change for the better. It shows how dogs who've had a rough life can move past the past and enjoy life to the fullest.

This is a book you'll find in the children's section of most bookstores or at Amazon. You can also find it at your local library.

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

It's been fun being off of school this week, because I've been able to write more posts than usual. Now, I'll be going back but I'll try to write at least four posts a week. I hope you all have a great weekend.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Flash Drives That Are Going To The Dogs

Flash drives have made the 3.5 inch floppy disk obsolete these days. They are only about 3 inches long and less than an inch wide. They're small enough to tuck into your jeans pocket. With all of the different types of data storage out there, I found some ideal ones for dog lovers. If you're going to have one on hand, why not have one with a little extra flair? Here are some flash drives that may tickle your fancy.

Jade Dog Bone 4GB

This flash drive is actually made of jade. It's compatible with both Macs and PCs. It's currently $21.80 USD and you can find it at this website.

Pink Cartoon Dog

This is made primarily for storage. It's a throwback to cartoon characters and is really cute, especially if you like the color pink. What's great is that the product has received good customer feedback on the website. You can find it here for $19.19 (2GB), $21.58 (4GB) and $36.20 USD(8GB).

Naughty Dog Cartoon Flash Drive 2GB and 8GB

I love the detail on this one. I found it at two places:a 2GB flash drive at Tonymap for $11.19 USD (although if you buy more than 5 they give you a break on the price) and a 8GB flash drive at Dino Direct for $36.20 USD. They are well-made and work well for your laptop.

Black and White Funny Dog Flash Drive 4GB

Made by U-Disk, this adorable flash drive is reasonably priced at $19.00 USD. You can get it from Buy Now. One of the best things about this website is that it offers free shipping on all items, however there are no shopper reviews on the site. If you would like to visit the site you can find it here.

Novelty Pink Dog Bone 4MB

This flash drive is clever because it's not made of plastic but rubber. You can find it at China Grabber. While it's great that the website offers free shipping, it does not have the company location printed on the website or a phone number. One thing is that the site clearly states that all sales are final. It's reasonably priced at $21.00 USD but if you fear future problems with the item, you may have to ship it back internationally and pay for the shipping charges to return the item out of pocket.

Cute Dog 2GB

This one is cute for sure. At $20.99 USD, it would be good for someone who wants something whimsical & cute. The dealer, Victoria's Deco is an Amazon Merchant so the sale is guaranteed.

Black Dog Flash Drive 2GB

Also available through Victoria's Deco, this one is unique because the dog looks different with the pointy ears. It's also $20.99 USD. In addition to selling items on Amazon, they also carry them on e-bay.

What About Amazon?

Amazon does have a couple that caught my eye. One is a white bone flash drive but for only 2GB, 2GB DOG BONE FLASH DRIVE - GREAT GIFT!! $25.01 USD seems a little steep. However, it does offer free shipping and Amazon is well known for their customer service, so if you want something simple yet functional, this may be something to try.

Humping Dog

This is more of a gag gift. It serves no purpose except to see the dog move back and forth. It's a great gag gift but don't expect to use it to save information. If you would like to see what it looks like, check out this link...

Let's Discuss!

Have you bought any specialty flash drives for your computer? Personally, I haven't because since I download so much, I'd rather have the storage over decoration. It would be nice to get one.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March Madness Mascots

It's that time of year. March Madness is the big event for all U.S. colleges and universities. This tournament showcases the talented teams and captures the team spirit of the fans. There is such a pure joy of competition and school pride that this event is incredible. It's impossible to know who will win, one can just make the best guess they can. Nothing is ever guaranteed. While I don't know who will be winning this year, I am fascinated by all of the different mascots the universities have.

Mascots are key to keeping the fans' and players' spirits up as well as providing entertainment during the game. Some of the more popular mascots are UGA the bulldog from the University of Georgia and Handsome Dan, the mascot of Yale.

There are 64 teams in the tournament. All of them have different mascots. Of these teams, 29 of these are animal mascots. Five of the animal mascots are dog mascots. All of these colleges have rich histories about their origins, so I will be focusing on the dog mascots from universities that are part of this tournament.

Gonzaga Bulldogs (#8 seed)

Gonzaga University is a Jesuit Catholic school in Spokane, Washinton that was founded in 1887. Spike the bulldog used to be a live mascot but changed to a human being dressing up in 1985. A special costume was made and Spike the bulldog came to life. Now he's a fixture at every game. In 2000, Spike gained national attention when he was chosen to participate with a group of mascots in Nike's "Welcome to Bracketville" advertising campaign for the NCAA Tourament.
Spike photo resource: Gonzaga University

Butler University (#5 seed)

Butler University is a private university located near Indianapolis, Indiana that was founded in 1855. In 2000, after going with many unofficial mascots, Butler Blue I was named as the school mascot. Butler Blue I served from 2000 to 2004, when she decided to retire. In choosing a dog as a replacement, a young puppy Butler Blue II (Butler Blue I's nephew) took over on May 20, 2004. Since then, Butler Blue has been a fixture at the university's sporting events and functions. He is a modern-day mascot who has his own blog and Twitter account.
Photo of Butler Blue II: Butler University

Georgetown (#3 seed)

Georgetown is one of the most historic universities in this country, having been founded in 1789. Many years ago, when all Georgetown students were required to study Greek and Latin, the University's teams were nicknamed "The Stonewalls." It is believed that a student, using Greek and Latin terms, started the cheer "Hoya Saxa!", which translates into "What Rocks!" The name proved popular and the term "Hoyas" was eventually adopted for all Georgetown teams. In 1962 Georgetown adopted the bulldog as its mascot. They were going to name the dog Hoya, but the dog refused to answer to anything but Jack. Therefore, the name Jack stuck. In 1979, the university decided to switch to a human mascot. In 1999 there was a push to bring back the dog mascot successfully brought back Jack. Now, both human mascot and bulldog represent Georgetown at university events. The current Jack has been bringing cheer to students, faculty and supporters since 2003.
Photo of Jack: Georgetown University

Washington Huskies (#11 seed)

Founded in 1861, the University of Washington has over 13 dogs as its mascot. The current dog is Dubs, a Siberian Husky. Born in 2008, Dubs loves what he does. He has five student handlers who help out on campus. Since it's a public university, they've established a fund to assist with his care. He even has his own blog. There's a special club just for kids 13 and under called Dub's Club. Last year, Dubs was named the top mascot of the NCAA March Madness tournament.
Photo of Dubs From: University of Washington

Wofford University

Located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Wofford University has a rich history and is well known as one of the standout private universities. It has been around since 1854. They have both a dog mascot and two costumed mascots, Boss and Lil' Ruff. In 1909, the university adopted a Pit Bull terrier as their permanent mascot. Since 2003, the Boston Terrier now represents them. The mascot is called Blitz but the real name of the female dog is Ayeryel. The owners named the dog after the Wofford University football coach, Bill Ayers. The school has a terrier club to support the student athletes of Wofford. It has over 2000 members.
Photo of Blitz II: Wofford University

Let's Discuss!

Do you plan to watch the March Madness tournament? Who is your favorite mascot?

Well, thanks to you all for stopping in. Normally, I post earlier in the day but due to laptop issues, I was delayed in getting this up. I hope you all are enjoying the day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Cost Of A New Dog

Photo from: Morgue File

How Much ?

I've always been one to believe that having a dog is priceless. It is a huge responsibility though. As much as I'd wish we could just take a dog in and not worry about the costs, sometimes, it helps to have an idea of what goes into caring for a dog financially.

We're in the midst of a recession and many people are out of work. Some people have been forced to give up their dogs because they're barely making ends meet. Others are just abandoning them. I've always believe the best way to roll with the changes is to have the knowledge beforehand.

Preparation Goes A Long Way

Sometimes, seeing things in black and white helps give clarity to a situation.
Since preparation and knowledge will help with getting acclimated to having a dog, I've created a spreadsheet for people who may want to bring a dog into their household but are not sure about the costs.

It's a public Google document that you can edit by just typing in a number. It a simple spreadsheet that has been formatted and formulated so you can type in any amount and have it add automatically.

Download Link

Dog Expense Spreadsheet

Final Thoughts

While there are more important factors that go into bringing a new dog into a person's life, having a general idea of what to expect financially can give peace of mind. I've never regretted any pet that I've adopted but it always helps to plan, especially when the unexpected happens.

Let's Discuss!

How does the financial aspect of raising a dog factor into your decision? Has adopting a dog been a spontaneous thing or something planned out for you?

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Friday, March 12, 2010

DVD Review: Hachi, A Dog's Tale

Hachi Movie Poster

Yesterday, I rented Hachi, A Dog's Tale from the video store. I had wanted to see this in the movie theatres but for some reason it was a straight to DVD release instead. I have no idea why. This movie is exceptional.

The movie is based on one of Japan's most beloved dog stories. Hachiko is a national treasure there and a movie was made in Japan about this in 1987. Richard Gere stars in this remake and everything about it illustrates the story beautifully.

It begins at a local train station when Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) finds Hachi in his crate at the train station. He brings him home and his wife who initially doesn't want a dog but then has a change of heart. It shows how the two bond and the strength and beauty of this dog/owner bond.

Hachi: A Dog's TaleIt's a movie that will make you laugh and make you cry. The acting is exceptional and the writing is strong. It's beautifully directed and captures the nostalgic charm of Rhode Island. If you're a dog lover and are looking for a good movie, this is one not to miss. If you've wondered about dogs but never understood the fanfare, this movie is a great teacher. Although this movie is rated G, if you have children I recommend that they are at least eight-years-old and older, since death is a prevalent theme in this movie and may be a difficult topic for a younger child to fully comprehend.

Side Note

There's one thing to remember about Akitas. Don't let their beauty and devotion fool you. They require an experienced owner because this breed can have an aggressive streak. Movies like Hachiko will bring an increased interest in this breed and if this breed appeals to you, it's important to do the research first.

Well, if any of you have seen this movie, I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks for stopping in and I hope you have a great weekend.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Website Of The Week:

Dog toys are huge for dogs these day. Not only do they keep dogs from getting bored, they can keep your dog from being self-destructive when you're away. I was excited to find this website called This online retail store is based in Pennsylvania but ships all over the world.It's nice to see that they have no limitations holding them back when it comes to sending products to their customers.

What Makes Them Different

There are a couple of other things about this website that make it stand out. They offer eco-friendly dog toys as well as the classics. They have a donation program where you can buy a toy and donate it to their animal shelter program. They even give you the option to shop by dog breed, size, or alphabetically by brand. They offer a birthday club which give you special discounts for your birthday.

Check it out!

Would you like to learn more? Visit them at Dog If you've ever been stumped for a new dog toy, this is a site worth checking out. Well, I hope the week is treating you well. Thanks for stopping in.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The New Legal Assistant


Legal Eagles

More employers are making accommodations to bring your dog to work these days. Take Your Dog To Work Day has blossomed in popularity. The law office is a place that it's becoming common to bring your dogs with you for the day. Some law offices do it every day.

A Valid Argument

Since lawyers work long hours, many have found that bringing their dogs into the office is a great benefit. Not only does it boost morale, the lawyers don't have to worry about being away from them so long and the dog's presence helps keep their stress levels down. Since many lawyers are self-employed, there have been some who have negotiated allowing their dogs to be at the office as part of their lease.

The effects of this have been positive all around. It gives clients a welcoming environment, especially with stressful cases like divorce or bankruptcy. Dogs have a non-judgmental presence which eases any anxiety they may have. Many clients look forward to seeing the dog and some will even bring a treat or toy.

The Verdict

For a stressful work environment such as a law office, dogs are extremely helpful. As long as the pets are well-behaved and allergy sufferers are not affected, I believe this will probably become more of the norm in the future. This year, Take Your Dog To Work Day is on Friday, June 25th. Since 1996 in the UK and 1999 in the US, this day has become more popular in the workplace.

If you would like to learn about which places you can take your work, visit this website.

Let's Discuss!

Are you a lawyer who brings the dog to the office? Do you know one who does?

Take Your Dog To Work Today

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dog Plunges 300 feet And Survives

On a winter afternoon in England, Lia Markwick and Stephen Winslade were taking Poppy, out for a walk. They were walking the dog as a favor to her brother. Out of the corner of Poppy's Eye, she chased a seagull and continued to chase after it, falling 300 feet off of Seven Sisters' Cliff. It had happened so quickly, the couple assumed the worst but when they looked over they saw her dog paddling in the water.

Calling the coast guard, it was their effort with the RNLI, a voluntary rescue organization based in the UK, that helped bring this dog to safety. She was found clinging on a rock and was brought to safety. The odds of the dog surviving was slim to none and here again, yet she survived with only a partially collapsed lung that normalized on its own in 24 hours.

It turned out that she ran after that seagull with enough force that she cleared the beach area underneath so there was enough water to cushion her fall. She also caught the tide at the right point to bring her in close to keep her from drowning. This was truly a miracle.

The owners are thankful that the RNLI and coastguard were able to save her. If you would like to read more about this incredible story, please visit the Daily Mail website.

*Photos from the Daily Mail

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