Newsletter February 2018

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February 2018

Animals with Better Valentine's Day Plans Than You


You might have guessed that the most romantic animal would be a primate, or something more closely related to humans. However, it turns out that the albatross is a pretty big hopeless romantic. It can take up to ten years for these massive birds to reach sexual maturity. But even then, they never rush into a relationship. Younger individuals watch and observe more experienced albatrosses at first.

These birds use an elaborate mating ritual including dancing, preening, staring, pointing, and vocalizations. It takes not months, but years of trial and error as these birds learn to participate in the complex rituals required to find a mate. They begin by dancing with many partners. However, year after year, they narrow down their pool of potential matches until they have chosen only one partner that they will be with for the rest of their life.

See the Mating Ritual

Once this pair is chosen, well into the Albatross’s life, they will actually develop their own unique language comprised of bits of their mating ritual. Yes, we know, that’s the most adorable thing you’ve ever heard.

Great Hornbills

While almost all birds are monogamous, the Great Hornbill stands out for how much each partner depends on their mate. Great Hornbill couples will often sing duets together as if they are in a Disney movie. The male starts the tune, and then the female jumps in. After a moment, they sing in unison together.

Great Hornbill couples occupy a large nest inside the hollow of a massive tree. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, the mother will seal herself in the nest and the father will provide food for her and the chicks through a small hole. This makes the mother completely dependent on the father for survival; the level of trust between the two birds is incredible.

This continues for a few months until the mother leaves the nest, sealing the chicks in side. At that point, the parents work together by taking turns bringing the chicks food until they are grown enough to break through the seal and survive on their own.


These birds live up to their name and then some. In fact, they are sometimes given as wedding presents because they are so cute. Lovebirds choose one partner to be with for their entire lives. Quite the opposite of the Albatross, the lovebird finds its mate when it is only two months old. They perform a courtship dance and the rest is history. 

Throughout their lives together, lovebirds are extremely affectionate, often sitting beside each other and cuddling together. In fact, these tight knit pairings caused Ancient Greeks to believe that they birds would die if they lost their mates.

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The Hippo Who Predicted the Super Bowl Winner

Fiona the Hippo is a one year old baby hippopotamus. She was the first of her species to be born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 75 years and the first hippo ever imaged with an ultrasound before birth. On top of that, Fiona was born six weeks premature, at only 29 pounds, making her the smallest baby hippo ever to survive. In the very first moments of her life, Fiona was already breaking records and making headlines.

However, Fiona did not peak at birth. In fact, she has done nothing but continue to impress the entire world with her amazing power and ability to overcome all odds against her. She has also gained incredible clairvoyant powers at the tender age of one year old which has allowed her to correctly predict the outcome of the 2018 Super Bowl.

In an impressive video released by the Cincinnati Zoo, Fiona was presented with two cardboard boxes, one decorated in green with the Eagles logo and one in red white and blue with the Patriots logo. Each had a few leaves of lettuce on top. Fiona’s task was simple: eat the lettuce off of the box containing the logo of the winning team.

Fiona approached the Eagles box first, examining it closely. She then inspected the Patriots box with great care before returning to the Eagles and munching a big green leaf off the top, revealing that they would win.

See Fiona in Action

And on Sunday, the Eagles proved Fiona right, winning against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII 41 to 33. Of course, we had no doubts about Fiona’s impressive future-telling abilities.

Fiona is not the only animal who has predicted major human sporting events. She is joined by Paul, the World Cup-predicting octopus, Sonny Woll, the rugby-predicting sheep, Yowie, the Super Bowl-predicting Australian cattle dog, and many others. 

In fact, several other animals predicted this Super Bowl, including a group of puppies on Jimmy Fallon’s television show. However, the puppies clearly did not possess Fiona’s poise and wisdom, incorrectly picking the Patriots to win. Clearly, it took an underdog like Fiona to predict an underdog.

In other parts of the country, April the Giraffe and Mukah the Orangutan picked the Patriots as well. Skunks, Boston Terriers, bears, elephants, and even sting rays made their predictions as to who would win, but none of them were as lovely and talented as Fiona.  

Fiona was even the star of her own Super Bowl ad, which only aired locally. Created by Rockwood Pottery, the ad praises Fiona and advertises Team Fiona mugs made by the company. We’re guessing the value went up after her prediction came true.

Fans can watch Fiona on “The Fiona Show,” her Facebook page which airs videos of her every Thursday afternoon. 

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The Power of Parrots

Nicholas Briggs left the Marines years ago, but the effect that it had on him was still present even decades later. Like many war veterans, he struggled with anger, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other emotional issues. Although some veterans in Nicholas’s situation use dogs to help them get through day-to-day life, he found something better: a cockatoo.

Patricia the cockatoo works as an emotional support animal with Nicholas by providing him routine and responsibility. Many veterans feel that they lack this kind of structure in their lives after leaving the service. By working with an animal that demands this kind of normalcy on a regular basis, veterans can get the kind of structure and support they need to function in regular day to day life.

Parrots get up at a certain time, and require the same pattern every day. They exhaust veterans during the day, which helps them get a full night’s sleep at night. They also have a high level of empathy, allowing them to work well with those in need of emotional support. Finally, parrots can be taught words and phrases, which can help them to work with individuals during psychological episodes.

Parrots for Patriots is one program that pairs abandoned birds with veterans in need. They are able to provide loving homes for these birds while giving an incredible gift to veterans who get more from a parrot than any other animal. Because parrots live so much longer than many other household pets, they are often abandoned when the owner passes away, or simply cannot take care of the bird any longer. In fact, parrots can live for up to 80 years. This is also helpful for veterans that do not want to be forced to deal with the loss of a pet such as a dog, which lives a much shorter life.

Parrots for Patriots has placed over 90 birds with veterans, most of which were abandoned or abused. Veterans appreciate these birds because they are non-judgmental. They provide unconditional love and are there with their owners through all the ups and downs of life. In fact, Parrots for Patriots takes many steps to ensure that the right bird is paired with the right owner, including having the potential match meet several times before adoption.

Unlike many other animals, parrots can use language to show their affection and love towards their owners. They do things as simple as calling for their owners when they are in another room, or saying good morning and goodnight every day. Parrots can also often tell when their owners are feeling down, and will try to make them feel better.

Many people say that parrots can connect with them in a way that no other animal or human therapist ever could. They have the ability to teach patience, trust, and understanding. Many theorize that traumatized parrots and traumatized humans share a common bond that allows this type of deep connection to unfold. Parrots are flock creatures who imprint on people and form extremely strong relationships. They are incredibly loyal for their entire lives, and they make a world of difference to war veterans across the globe.

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Top Canine Related Jobs

Is working with dogs your dream? Not sure how to make it a reality? Stay tuned for the top canine related jobs where you can interact with dogs every single day, enriching and improving their lives.

1.     Dog Trainers and Behavioral Consultants

Turn your ABI certificate into a rewarding and fulfilling career as a dog trainer. Being a dog trainer is one of the most popular careers for people interested in working with dogs. On a day to day basis, dog trainers deal with problem behaviors by providing solutions and steps to take together with dog owners. Trainers often run their own businesses, though some work for large employers such as pet store chains.

Behavior Consultants help dogs and their owners to deal with unwanted behaviors such as aggression or anxiety. These patterns in dogs can be extremely detrimental, and the ability to help find solutions can make a world of difference to both the dog and the owner. By learning about behavior patterns and training techniques, you can become a valuable trainer or consultant and launch a successful business for yourself, making money by doing what you love.

2.     Veterinary Technicians

If you dream of healing dogs and other animals, being a veterinary technician may be the perfect fit for you! Like dog trainers, veterinary technicians deal with behavior problems on a daily basis. In this role, you may help owners who create health or behavior problems for their pets simply because they don’t understand their animals’ needs. In addition, your understanding of canine behavior can help you work with dogs to help them cooperate with procedures and minimize anxiety.

Veterinary technicians often function like a nurse to the Veterinarian. They assist with normal procedures for animals coming in for medical assistance. In this role, you can help dogs and other animals recover from illness and injury and maintain good health throughout their lives.

3.     Groomers, Pet Sitters, Kennel and Dog Daycare Staff

Other careers working with dogs involve helping to take care of them day in and day out in order to help them live healthy and happy lives. You will need to understand canine body language and behavior in order to anticipate problems before they develop, and manage the environment to make sure that dogs are as comfortable as possible.

In these positions, you will gain dogs’ trust and maintain strong relationships with them over the course of their lives. You will help them with nail trimming and other potentially stressful procedures by working with them and getting to know each individual. Some pet sitters and kennel staff may also provide training services to continue to enrich the dogs’ lives and overall experience.

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