Wolf-dogs, exotic cats and a firefighter who went beyond the call of duty

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

A recent search for blog fodder resulted in so many cool articles, I thought I’d touch on all of them in one post rather than doing individual posts on each one. It’s more timely this way. Hopefully it will be just as informative.

Think carefully before you get a wolfdog, or a wolf-dog…

In an article on a Denver TV station’s website, Anica Padilla asked whether wolf-dogs (or wolfdogs) make good family pets.

Padilla’s article was a follow-up to a previous story about the confiscation of an alleged wolf hybrid by local authorities.

The general consensus reached by the experts cited in the latest story is that wolf hybrids (aka wolfdogs or wolf-dogs) are wonderful animals. But they doesn’t mean they’re good pets. Getting one as a family pet is definitely not a good idea.

Because they’re not (and never will be) completely tame, wolf hybrids have different needs than the average dog. They’re generally bigger, more energetic and have a different way of bonding with people.

There are other traits that make wolf hybrids harder to care for than a golden retriever, poodle or chihuahua. And depending on where you live, it may be illegal to have one.

I speak from experience. No, I never had a wolfdog. But as a reporter in Virginia, I spent more than my share of time writing about a woman who got in trouble with the state for breeding them. I don’t remember the specifics, but I do remember that it wasn’t much fun…

Now that’s no ordinary cat

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

On a similar note, some residents in a Paterson, New Jersey, neighborhood got quite a surprise when they spotted an unusual cat last week.

According to published reports, one witness described it as “something like a puma.” Another admitted that she didn’t know what kind of cat it was. She just knew it wasn’t an ordinary house cat.

As it turned out, she was right. It was definitely not an ordinary cat. It was an “exotic” cat called a Savannah. A Savannah is a cross between a domestic cat and an African wildcat called a serval.

Apparently this one escaped when its owner left the window open, but there was never any cause for alarm, one man told the media.

“The cops know him, everyone knows him,” the man said. “He’s always on the window. Real nice cat.”

Although they can get quite big, a local animal control officer told the media that ownership of Savannahs is legal in New Jersey “as long as they’re at least one percent domestic cat.”

Santa Monica’s bravest go above and beyond to save a dog

Since everyone can use something to make them smile — especially on a Monday — I just had to share this feel good story about some California firefighters.

According to media accounts, it took a truly heroic effort, but Santa Monica’s bravest were able to save a 10-year-old dog from certain death last week.

Nalu, a Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix belonging to a Santa Monica woman, lost consciousness and was in grave danger when firefighter Andrew Klein found him trapped inside her burning apartment.

The drama continued outside, where Klein and another firefighter administered emergency medical treatment. Working together, it reportedly took them 20 minutes to revive the little dog.

Within a couple of days after his ordeal, Nalu seemed to be well on the road to recovery.

“He was essentially dead, so to see him kissing people and walking around wagging his tail was definitely a good feeling,” Klein told the media.

“He’s very happy, and we’re very happy, too.”

For what it’s worth, so am I.

Skunks as pets? What cute little stinkers

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

This has got to be my favorite topic to date. I mean, I’ve heard about people keeping all sorts of interesting pets — pigs, snakes, ferrets, birds, gerbils, rabbits and even rats. But skunks? I’ve never met anyone who has a pet skunk. Or even anyone who wants one for that matter.

Apparently it isn’t all that unusual though. The website skunk-info.org lists seventeen states where ownership of “captive-bred pet skunks is allowed.” If a change reportedly being considered by Tennessee lawmakers actually occurs,  the Volunteer State could soon join that list.

According to one news account, the proposed legislation calls for relaxation of existing rules that currently forbid “importation, possession, or transfer of live skunks so that skunk ownership and propagation may be regulated by the wildlife resources commission under its rules for Class II wildlife.”

So far the idea has garnered a mixed reaction and that’s understandable. There are pros and cons to all pet ownership, even for those of us that only have dogs or cats.

In Brief Legal Writing Services owner Alexandra Bogdanovic's cat, Eli.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli under the Christmas Tree. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

The bottom line is that if you’re thinking of getting something more unusual than the average house cat or dog, you’d better know what you’re in for. If you’re serious about getting a skunk, you can find plenty of information on the Internet.  At exoticpets.about.com, you can find advice about skunk behavior, health,  and more. Among other things, there is information about whether or not pet skunks should be spayed or neutered, finding a vet who can treat them, and the proper vaccinations for pet skunks and how to make sure the new addition to your family isn’t a real little stinker.

As far as I know, you can’t have a pet skunk in Connecticut. But that’s fine with me. I’ve got my hands full with Eli.