This week in dog news! Dogs help in times of disaster. The dog LIVES! And meet Mochi, the dog with the longest tongue!

Finding Good News in Bad

There’s been an insane amount of horrible news of late: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; the earthquakes in Mexico; and now the mass shooting in Las Vegas. But whenever there are bad tidings, I know I can alway count on dogs to help me find some bright spots on my news feed to make things seem a little less depressing.

Las Vegas

Comfort dogs have been brought to Las Vegas area hospitals to cheer up victims of the shooting. Buzzfeed reports:

It’s been four days since Michael Caster was shot and injured… and he still hasn’t regained feeling in his legs… His long road to recovery will include rehabilitation and eventually a trip back to his home in Indio, California. It’s a daunting future, but on Thursday there was at least one thing bringing him comfort: Lois, a golden retriever who at that moment was gently resting her head on Caster’s hospital bed. “You kind of look to the dog for some clarity,” he explained. “Your mind’s totally on what you need to do going forward and the tragic nature of this event. And they bring the dog there and they’re so innocent.”

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Michael Caster Pets a Comfort Dog (Photo: Jim Dalrymple II for BuzzFeed News)

For more from BuzzFeed, click here.

Florida

Hurricane Irma hit Florida hard, but there was a happy ending for at least one pet owner. KHQ News reports that Pete Mayher was reunited with his lost dog after the storm. But unlike most, Mayher’s dog went missing five years earlier!

What does Irma have to do with that? Glad you asked.

Mayher says in 2012, his two dogs, Wizzer and Max, got out of his back yard in Fort Myers Beach. Max was found a few days later, but Wizzer remained missing. Five years later a representative from a local animal shelter called and asked Mayher if one his dogs was missing. Mayher was confused because his two current two dogs were with him, safe at home. Then a light bulb went off and he asked if the dog’s name was Wizzer!  Shockingly the staff confirmed that was the name on the dog’s microchip. It appears that whoever had Wizzer for the last five years had either abandoned him or lost him during the storm. Someone turned Wizzer into the shelter where the staff were able to identify him because he was microchipped. Mayher says he’s now reunited with his 14-year-old pup, and although the dog was a little weak when he picked him up, Wizzer has recovered and is doing well.

Wizzer

This is a good reminder that it’s smart to have your dog microchipped! Read more here from KHQ.

Mexico

Frida, a seven-year-old Labrador owned by the Mexican Navy, became a national celebrity and emerged as a symbol of the rescue workers after an earthquake in September killed at least 369 people. According to her handlers, she has a “sixth sense” for finding humans that’s unlike any other dog they’ve ever trained before. She received a hero’s salute at a recent national soccer match in Mexico City. Before the game, the Mexican team celebrated first responders in an emotional pre-match ceremony that included a moment of silence, the national anthem, and fists raised in solidarity. Frida was a highlight of the salute wearing her rescue outfit: protective eye goggles, booties, and a work vest.

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Frida (Photo: Omar Torres/AFP/Getty Images)

She also got a great seat to watch the game. Read the whole story here on Slate.

Puerto Rico

Animal Lighthouse Rescue, a New York City-based nonprofit, is working to rescue shelter dogs from Puerto Rico and bring them to the city, where they’ll be put up for adoption. The organization’s facility in Puerto Rico, El Faro de los Animales, “took a direct hit” from Hurricane Maria and needs to be rebuilt. A special team of rescue experts and veterinarians traveled to Puerto Rico last week to pick up a group of twenty-five dogs and six kittens. The animals are expected to be placed with 35 local foster families until they find their forever homes.

El Faro is a recipient of donations from my parents’ charitable foundation. For more, check out this story from AMNY.

The Dog Lives!

Let’s move on from disasters and take a look at some more amusing dog news.

The Mountain Between Us, a movie starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba opened recently. They play two strangers who have to cooperate in order to survive a plane crash high in the mountains and hundreds of miles from civilization. The film’s trailer reveals that there’s also a dog in the movie who survives the crash as well. Washington Post reviewer Ann Hornaday wrote: “The canine does serve a flimsy purpose of sorts. Just in case the survival of Idris Elba in chunky knitwear doesn’t create enough buy-in, the filmmakers helpfully throw in an adorable dog for, you know, stakes.”

No one wants to see an adorable dog die a horrible death high on a frozen mountaintop, do they!?!

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Kate Winslet and her Canine Co-Star

No they don’t.

Several days before the film’s release, the folks at Twentieth Century Fox decided those stakes were just a bit too high. They released a spoiler video on Facebook assuring potential viewers that the dog survives not only the crash… but also a mountain lion, subzero temperatures, thin ice, the backbreaking trek across the mountains…  and… our protagonists’ gnawing hunger!

“Spoiler alert!” the studio announced. “The dog lives.”

All of which leads me to my discovery of a web page entitled:  Does the Dog Die?

You can check this site out if you find yourself in a similar situation and don’t want to see any canine characters cross the rainbow bridge in your cinema. It’s all compiled by movie goers who report to the site. For example, (SPOILER ALERT) here’s the entry for a movie I saw recently, Kingsman: The Golden Circle:

DOES AN ANIMAL DIE? YES Why would they kill the dog there is literally no gain from this he just gets sad. The little guy just gets blown up right after you see him calmly relaxing on his cute little dog bed. rip JB 2014-2017 you will be missed. I hate whoever thought it would be a good idea to further Eggsy’s development by killing this dog for no reason. There is a dog towards the middle of the film that is threatened but not harmed. two robot dogs are killed

I have to say I really appreciate that the reviewer noted that two robot dogs died as well.

The Tail: The Dog with the World’s Longest Tongue

To close out our dog news this week… The Guinness Book of World Records has a new record holder. Mochi “Mo” Rickert, a female St Bernard from South Dakota, possesses the world’s longest canine tongue. Her tongue was officially measured by a vet and clocks in at 18.58 centimeters or 7.3 inches.

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Carla and Mochi (Photo: Kevin Scott Ramos for Guinness World Records)

You can see this amazing tongue in action in the video below.

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