It's Official: Dog Owners Live Longer, Healthier Lives...Having a dog can bring a lot of love into your life. It could also make it last a little longer.A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analyzed the health records of 3.4 million people in that northern European country, where databases contain detailed information on most everyone’s hospitalizations, medical history and even whether they own a dog. Such detailed records made it relatively easy to suss out the impact of having a canine companion.The results were heartwarming.People in possession of a pooch were less likely to have cardiovascular disease or die from any cause during the 12 years covered by the study, according to the study published in Scientific Reports. The impact was greatest for single people, said Mwenya Mubanga, an author of the paper from the university’s Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory.“Dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death,” Mubanga said. “Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.”
The researchers examined seven national databases in Sweden, including two that track dog ownership, and focused on people aged 40 to 80. Single dog-owning adults who lived alone were 11 percent less likely to subsequently develop heart disease and 33 percent less likely to die than non-dog owners, the analysis found. Hunting dogs seemed to offer the most protection when it came to staying alive.It’s not clear exactly how the dogs helped avert heart disease, or whether getting one directly led to better health, cautioned Tove Fall, the senior author of the paper and associate professor in epidemiology at Uppsala University. It’s possible that dog owners are healthier and more active before they get a canine companion, she said.“We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results,” Fall said. “Other explanations include an increased well-being and social contacts or effects of the dog on the bacterial microbiome in the owner.”Either way, maybe an extra treat for that doting Lab waiting at home is in order.
‘LOW SEALINGS:’ A 450-POUND SEAL DECIDES TO LOUNGE ON AIRPORT RUNWAYIn Alaska, it’s not uncommon for wildlife like polar bears to wander onto an airport’s runway, but a lounging seal is far more unusual.But that’s what workers found at the airport in the nation’s northernmost city on Monday. A seal estimated to weigh 450 pounds was removed from the runway at the airport at Utqiagvik (pronounced (oot-GHAR’-vik) by way of sled.The state Department of Transportation got in on the fun by warning pilots of “low sealings” at the airport.Meadow Bailey, the department’s communications director, said Utqiagvik, an Arctic Ocean coastal community on Alaska’s North Slope, experienced heavy storms this week. Staff found the seal while clearing the runway.The department’s staff members are not allowed to handle marine mammals, so the seal was removed by North Slope Animal Control.The workers have seen birds, caribou, polar bears and musk ox on the runway, but the seal sighting was a first, Bailey said.“Wildlife strikes to aircraft pose a significant safety hazard and cost the aviation industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year,” Bailey said. “Birds make up over 90 percent of strikes in the US, while mammal strikes are rare.”----------------------------
BIGHORN SHEEP JUMPS OFF HILL, LANDS ON CARA driver in Washington state escaped injury when a bighorn sheep jumped from a hillside and landed on his car.The Washington State Patrol says the driver was near the town of Chelan in central Washington when he saw a herd of bighorn sheep on the hillside above the roadway.One of the animals, a ewe, jumped and smashed the car’s windshield.The driver was not hurt and managed to pull his car over.Sadly the daredevil sheep died.----------------------------
FLORIDA MAN ACCUSED OF SLAPPING POLICE HORSE ON PATROLPolice say a 29-year-old Florida man slapped a police horse on the hindquarters while it was on patrol with an officer.News outlets report Casey Waldner was walking down a street when he was accused of slapping Izzy, a 13-year-old horse that has been with the Orlando Police Department for five years. The slap startled Izzy, who spun around.A police report says Waldner ran, but was caught by a nearby officer.The report says officers searched Waldner and found cocaine.Police spokeswoman Michelle Guido says Izzy didn’t need veterinary care.Waldner was charged with injuring a police horse, resisting arrest without violence and cocaine possession.Waldner, who lives in Pace in Florida’s Panhandle, was released on a $1,250 bond. -----------------------------WOODPECKER WRECKER: PESKY WOODPECKER BREAKS CAR MIRRORS IN GEORGIA NEIGHBORHOODAuthorities say a pesky woodpecker has been breaking car mirrors in Georgia.Over a dozen cars in a Snellville neighborhood were damaged last week. Snellville police took several written reports and stepped up patrols before receiving a tip about the likely suspect.The police department said in a Facebook post that a witness observed a pileated woodpecker breaking her car mirror in the neighborhood. Authorities say they’ll continue their patrols, although they believe that the case is solved.Some residents are covering their mirrors with bags to prevent any further damage.----------------------------
It's too bad the soup could not eat back!President Trump is in hot water with animal rights activists over shark-fin soup that they claim he ate during his visit to Vietnam.According to E&E News and the Associated Press, Trump was served the soup at last Saturday's state dinner in Hanoi. The meal is considered a delicacy and a status-symbol for some in China and Vietnam and across the globe.The reports that Trump was served and ate the soup couldn't be independently verified by USA TODAY.The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) issued a statement Monday and slammed Trump for allegedly not understanding "the plight of endangered species worldwide."“We are dismayed at the news that President Trump was served and ate shark-fin soup during the recent state visit to Vietnam," Azzedine Downes, president and CEO of IFAW, said in a statement. "Dozens of shark species are listed as vulnerable or endangered worldwide. Actions like this undermine global conservation efforts and signal to world leaders that the US is abandoning its leadership role." Animals rights groups have long considered the practice of cutting fins off of sharks and dumping back them in the ocean to be on the top of their agenda. The practice, according to IFAW, kills nearly 100 million sharks each year and "has led to an extinction crisis for many shark species"Shark-finning — catching a shark, sawing off its fin, and dumping it back into the water to die — is illegal under U.S. federal law and is regulated in more than 20 countries.Under federal law, the possession of shark fins is not illegal. IFAW warned that shark-finning could put certain shark species at long-term risk."If careless actions such as these continue, endangered species across the world will continue to be driven towards extinction, rolling back decades of progress," Downes said.