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Top Pet Stories of 2009

2009 was a year of struggles and accomplishments for everyone—humans and pets alike. Here, we will take a look back at some of the most powerful pet stories that touched our hearts. Pets are capable of some amazing things and these stories are a testament to the extraordinary abilities they are capable of.

Nubs the Iraqi Dog
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A Marine pilot, Major Brian Dennis, met Nubs on duty at a border fort in Iraq. Nubs, hurt at the time, found and bonded with Dennis' group after receiving treatment for a big wound. Dennis was then reassigned to another part of Iraq, having to leave Nubs behind. Nubs ended up following the group for 70 miles. Dennis was then forced to get rid of Nubs once word spread that his Marines were housing a dog. Nubs was later shipped to Dennis' home in San Diego with the help of a few friends. Dennis later wrote a children's book titled, Nubs The True Story of a Mutt, a Marina & a Miracle.

Ella Gathers Clues To Find Her Family
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Back in September, Ella, a Rottweiler, was in a car crash with her family. After the accident, Ella was lost and separated from her family, but was reunited with them weeks later. Ella survived drinking from a drainage ditch along an empty stretch of the highway and ended up at a shelter. A stranger found Ella among a set of clues that she gathered. The clue led to the reuniting of Ella and her family.

20 Puppies Born To Mama Cane Corso
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Recently in Ohio, Sweetpea, a female Cane Corso (a.k.a. Italian Mastiff), gave birth to 20 puppies. Sweetpea belongs to 30-year-old college student and veterinary technician, Christy Six. Sweetpea was expected to have only 10 puppies, but continued to give birth until the 20th one. Three died within the first week, but 17 survived.

Beagle Survives 98 Days On Deserted Island
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On August 31st, a four-year-old Beagle, Buddy, ran away from his family while at Dog Beach in New Jersey's Manasquan Inlet. Buddy was believed to have survived by eating dead seagulls. Buddy had lost almost half of his body weight, weighing only 19 pounds from his original 35 pounds.

Wealthy Couple Spends $155,000 To Clone Family Dog
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The world's first commercially cloned dog goes to Lancelot Encore, a yellow Labrador Retriever cloned in South Korea. Ed and Nino Otto spent $155,000 to clone their Retriever, Lancelot who died of cancer. Lancelot's DNA was frozen and taken to BioArts International, a California company who agreed to take the DNA to South Korea. The genetic material was inseminated, fertilized and inserted into a local dog. The debate is still out on whether Lancelot Encore looks like the original Lancelot.

Obama Family Introduces The First Dog, Bo
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Among the difficult decisions President Obama has had to make, choosing the First Dog was one of them. Bo, a Portuguese water dog, was unleashed across the South Lawn of the White House in April. One reporter asked, "Will the President be walking the dog?" "We all have to take turns walking the dog," President Obama said. Bo will be sleeping in the White House, but not in the President's bed.

Russian Girl Dubbed "Mowgli"—Raised By Dogs & Cats
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Five-year-old Russian girl, Natasha Mikhailova, was discovered in June, living in a filthy apartment with her father and grandparents in Chita, Siberia. Neglected by the humans in her household, Natasha was taken in and raised by dogs and cats living in the apartment. Deprived of human interaction, Natasha does not speak Russian and even barks and acts like a dog. When authorities entered the apartment, the dogs tried to protect the little girl. "We had to fight to take her away," said police chief Larisa Popova.

Pet Airways Launches Pet Passengers Only Service
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In July, Pet Airways launched the first airlines only for pets. The first flight took off from the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York. Pet Airways is a good option for people who want to transport pets and are unable to take them aboard a regular commercial flight. Pets are serviced by a Pet Attendant who will board and properly fasten them into kennels, take them out for potty breaks, give them snacks, and escort them to a Pet Lounge to wait for their owners' arrival.

Cat Stows Away and Survives in Shipping Container
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From Egypt to England, a male cat, Phoenix, survived a 3,000-mile oceanic journey trapped inside a shipping container. It was believed Phoenix survived by licking condensation from the inside of the container. "He was very scrawny. One of my colleagues gave him his sandwich. He ate the meat very quickly. He was very happy to see us," said freight company employee Joe Biscoe.

Dog Spends $62.50 On Xbox Points As Owner Sleeps
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Oscar is one of a kind. When his owner went to sleep, Oscar grabbed the Xbox remote control and started chewing and pawing at it. Oscar spent $62.50 buying 5,000 points on the Xbox Live network. "The more amazing fact is that Oscar turned on the Xbox because it was off when I went to sleep," said owner Greg Stroke.

If you have an amazing story to share about your pet, submit it to our Pet of the Week at Also, our Pet of the Year feature highlights your choice of favorite pet for 2009.
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