Share a Table with Your Pooch at Deco’s Dog Café

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Animal cafes, places where you can enjoy a nice drink surrounded by animals, have become really popular in Asia, but Deco’s Dog Cafe takes things to a whole new level by allowing pet owners to share a gourmet meal with their pooches.

Even if they don’t have the time or space to take care of a pet, people seem to enjoy spending time around animals, so cat cafes, dog cafes, and even reptile cafes have become popular venues in Asia. But when Hideko Notani opened Deco’s Dog Cafe, in 2001, she wanted to create more than just a place where people could relax surrounded by pooches. She envisioned a cafe where dogs would be in charge instead of their owners, where they would be treated to gourmet meals very similar to those eaten by their human masters. The special menu includes human and canine versions of fine dishes like cabbage rolls, sweet potato scones and chicken pie, but  no one’s stopping owners from sharing the food with their dogs.

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Faithful Dog Refuses to Leave Graveside of Owner Who Died Six Years Ago

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Capitán, a dog who has remained by his deceased owner’s graveside for the last six years, proves an animal’s love and loyalty transcend the boundaries of life and death. Although he still has a family to go back to, the canine simply refuses to leave his master’s side.

Dogs’ devotion to their human owners never ceases to amaze me. In early 2011, when Brazil was devastated by floods and landslides, we posted the story of Leao, who made international headlines when photos of him lying next to his deceased master’s grave went viral. Later that year there was the story of a Chinese dog who wouldn’t leave his owner’s graveside even when other villagers tried to feed him, and today I came across another heartbreaking tale of canine loyalty. Capitán, a German shepherd from the Argentinian town of Villa Carlos Paz Cordoba, has chosen to remain close to his master, even though he died over six years ago. The man’s wife told La Voz that Capitán disappeared from their home soon after her husband died, and after searching for him, she and her son believed he was either killed by a car or adopted by another family. But when they went to visit her husband at the cemetery, there was Capitán. They couldn’t explain how he had managed to locate the right grave, but there he was, by his master’s graveside.

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TreT – The Amazing Parkour Dog from Ukraine

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Parkour is cool when performed by humans, but when it’s a dog that doing the stunts, it’s simply amazing.  TreT, a 5-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier from the Ukraine jumps over railings, climbs walls and sprints, proving he’s a Pakour master on four legs.

TreT is one of only two known Parkour dogs around the world. His owner, Evgeny Elchaninov, says he knew nothing about the other dog from Hawaii when they started training, and that TreT’s moves are much more spectacular, anyway. The young man from western Ukraine used to practice Parkour himself, until a bad knee injury ruined his career, Suddenly he had to give up his biggest passion in life, but his unfulfilled dreams reincarnated in his six-months old dog, who loved to run and jump. He began training TreT in the art of Parkour, both in urban landscapes and at historic landmarks, and posted videos of his amazing stunts online. Now the pooch is a true Internet celebrity.

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Welcome to the World’s Most Controversial Pet Shop

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NOAH: The Inner City Zoo is a Japanese pet shop condemned by animal activists for caging and selling penguins, meerkats, alligators, monkeys and other exotic animals.

Located in a cramped room, on the second floor of an office building in Yokohama, NOAH: The Inner City Zoo is hardly the kind of place you’d think of keeping exotic animals. But ever since 1999, NOAH (Nature Orientated Animal House) has been the go-to source for all kinds of unusual pets, from alligators to otters and cranes. Many of them are endangered in their natural habitats, but that doesn’t seem to raise any red flags with Japanese animal protection authorities, and neither does the fact they are all being kept in tiny cages, with barely enough space to move around. The controversial pet shop’s clientele also seems to ignore the improper conditions, and spends thousands of dollars on unique pets.

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Tiger Tug – Playing Tug of War with a Full-Grown Tiger

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Visitors at the Busch Gardens Zoo, in Tampa Bay, Florida, are given the chance to test their strength against a mighty tiger, in a game of tug of war.

Zoos these days just aren’t what they used to be. Just last week, we had an article on Lujan Zoo, where guests are allowed to get in cages with all kinds of wild animals and pet them, and this week we have another one where people can play tug of war with tigers. Although the chances of beating a 450-pound Bengal tiger at tug of war are slim to none, there’s no shortage of human volunteers willing to test their muscles against the magnificent feline. The interactive zoo exhibit is called “Tiger Tug” and requires confident participants to grab on a thick rope, while the tiger facing them on the other side of two metal fences bites the other end. I’m not if the Bengal felines ever lost a game, but the humans seem to love it anyway.

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The Dog Cafe – South Korea’s Answer to Japan’s Popular Cat Cafes

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There’s a place in South Korea where you can relax by bonding with about twenty dogs of different breeds and sizes, all vying for human attention. It’s called the Dog Cafe and it’s awesome!

If you haven’t yet heard about Japan’s famous cat cafes, they’re venues where stressed businessmen go to relax by surrounding themselves with dozens of purring felines. Cats are very popular in the Land of the Rising Sun, but the concept has been adopted by other Asian countries and recently, even Austria. But animal lovers in the South Korean city of Busan decided to take a different approach and opened a dog cafe, where visitors can surround themselves with furry canines who love human attention. According to Jürgen and Mike, from for91Days.com, Busan is a busy place, with tiny apartments where owning a dog can be considered a luxury, so a place like the Dog Cafe was just what the city needed.

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Welcome to PigVille, China’s First Village for Pigs

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In an attempt to make their pigs more comfortable, the people of Zhangpu Village, in China, have built a residential complex for them, made up of 600 small concrete houses.

Most pigs spend all their lives locked up in pens, just waiting to be slaughtered, but the lucky swine of Zhangpu are living the good life in their very own village. At first, the idea of moving the animals from their industrial complex didn’t appeal to the locals, primarily because of the $1,230 price tag of each needed villa, but critics were put to rest once everyone noticed how happy the pigs were and how fast they started growing. The pig’s happiness was actually the main goal of PigVille (not its official name), as it is believed relaxed animals have a more delicious meat.

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UNBELIEVABLE: Stray Dog Runs 1,700 Km across China after Befriending Cross-Country Cyclists

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After a cyclist gave her food during a cross-country race through China, Xiao Sa, a little stray dog with a really big heart, followed the cyclists 1,100 miles across very rough terrain.

The incredible journey of Xiao Sa began on the streets of Yajiang, Sichuan province. Zhang Heng, a 22-year-old student from Hubei, was on a graduation cycling trip to Lhasa, when he saw the small dog lying tired on the street. He and his friends stopped to feed her, and the pooch started following them. At first, they thought she was just doing it for fun and would give up when she got tired, but the dog stuck with them day and night, and the guys felt she really wanted to go with them, so they decided to take her along to the end.

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Unofficial Animal Registrar Performs Expensive Pet Weddings

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Ann Clark calls herself an “animal registrar“, which is just a fancy way of saying she performs weddings for pampered pets. You might think that’s a silly job, but she’s making up to £20,000 ($31,600) per event.

Why should pets miss out on the unforgettable moments of getting married? That’s probably what Ann told herself, when she decided to become a pet wedding registrar, four years ago. She had heard of a man performing animal weddings in Liverpool, and thought it was a great idea. Like most children, she used to pretend her pets were getting married, only unlike most, she never grew out of it. She started advertising her wedding services on a website, and suddenly people were contacting her about pet weddings. It was a dream come true for the 55-year-old from Desborough, England.

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Woman Postpones Wedding to Pay for Pet Lizard’s Chemotherapy

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Lizards creep me out big-time. That’s why it’s a little hard for me to understand what 25-year-old Lizzie Griffiths, a lizard-loving school teacher from London did for her little dragon. She loves her pet lizard George so much that she wakes up at 5.30 am every day to snuggle with him for a while. She’s even postponed her wedding to be able to afford his treatment.

Lizzie and George first met at a rescue center a year ago. One look at the bearded dragon lizard, and she was in love with the way he burrowed into her neck. She took him home and cared for him, even nursing him back to health from a chest infection. Soon, the scaly creature developed a tumor on his face that wouldn’t go away after two surgeries. Fearing the loss of her favorite pet, Lizzie decided to empty her entire savings on George’s treatment. Chemotherapy for animals is a pioneering treatment and she spent over £3,000 on it at the Animal Health Trust in Suffolk. The chemo was apparently successful.

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Chinese Hachiko Waits Outside for His Master from 9 to 5

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A while back, we did this story on OC about a dog that wouldn’t leave his master’s grave. So I wasn’t exactly surprised when I heard about Wang Cai, but the faithful dog certainly deserves a mention. After all, he has waited for his master outside a local bank, from 9 am to 5 pm, every single day for the past 4 years.

Wang Cai was a homeless dog found wandering on the streets of Chongqing, China, four years ago, when a kind soul decided to adopt him. Ever since, he has been accompanying his new owner to work every morning and waited outside patiently for the next 8 hours, only to return home in the evening. According to the dog’s master, the behavior perplexed him at first, since he didn’t really train Wang Cai to do anything of the sort. The owner suspects that the dog might be waiting for his previous master, but he has no issues with the strange behavior.

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New York Woman Makes a Living Catching Other People’s Cats

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If you’ve ever dreamed of living in New York, here’s one more reason for you to move there – Jordana Serebrenik. The name of her business explains it all. She is the founder, owner and sole worker of Catch Your Cat, which pretty much sums up what she does. This 45-year-old resident of Murray Hill will come to your home, catch your cat and will do with it anything you want her to.

Let’s face it. Although cats are very adorable creatures, they are fierce when it comes to personal space. Even a hint of threat to their independence and some of them they will even snarl at their own masters. So imagine trying to get a pet cat into a carrier to go to the vet. It could be quite a daunting task. More so, for the elderly or the physically impaired. That’s where Jordana and Catch Your Cat step in. For about $80, she will make sure the cat is in the box in no time at all.

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Man Chooses Pet Buffalo as Best Man at Vow Renewal Ceremony

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People who renew their wedding vows will generally go to any lengths to get everything right the second time around. So this man from Quinlan, Texas, thought things through and realized that no one could make a better best man than Wildthing, his pet buffalo. A 2008 picture of the ceremony shows Ronald Bridges and his wife Sherron posing along with the towering Wildthing. You’d think the picture was morphed if you didn’t know it really happened.

The Bridges run a ranching business in Texas, and Ronald is actually pretty experienced in working with farm animals. So when Wildthing was born in 2005, Ronald decided to tame and raise him as a part of the family. When the buffalo responded beautifully to domestication, the Bridges kind of went overboard. They actually gave him a room of his own in the house where he could eat, sleep and come and go as he pleased. The only time he’s not allowed inside is when they have guests over, as American Bison can actually be pretty temperamental and dangerous around people.

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TV Channel for Canines Proves Television Is Going to the Dogs

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Television in San Diego is going to the dogs. No, really. They have a new 24-hour channel that’s just meant to keep dogs company when the owners are out of the house. DOGTV was launched on Time Warner and Cox digital cable systems last week.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to feel lonely when their masters leave the house, and some even wreck things out of anxiety. According to Gilad Neumann, CEO of DOGTV, there are several other behavioral issues that dogs develop due to loneliness. He says dogs experience stress too, and leaving the TV on for them could provide some comfort. So what kind of programs do dogs like to watch? Obviously, ones with other dogs. There are programs of dogs playing with balls, meant to stimulate pets, and dogs sleeping, meant to relax them.

Since the concept is still very new, it’s difficult to say if pets will really be interested in the channel or not. While Neumann says that it is intended to create a soothing and relaxing environment for dogs, professor of animal behavior Dr. Katherine Houpt thinks that the channel is not likely to be successful. She says that cats may be interested in TV, while dogs prefer the sound. Dogs don’t even want to be entertained and like to sleep when alone, according to Dr. Houpt.

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Russian Tattoo Artist Has His Pet Cat Tattooed

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Timur, a 24-year-old tattoo artist from Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan, caused a lot of controversy after he posted photos and a video of him tattooing his pet cat, a hairless Sphynx, on the Internet.

Apparently, Timur wanted his beloved cat, Coco, to have a similar tattoo as the one he had done on his chest. So he just put the hairless feline to sleep for an hour and unleashed his artistic talent on her little chest. Proud of his crazy idea, he videotaped the whole process and took some photos of the finished artwork and posted them on his VKontakte (Russian Facebook) profile. As you can imagine, animal rights activists weren’t very impressed with his achievement, and began accusing Timur of animal cruelty. Although the young artist tattooed Coco under the supervision of a veterinarian, animal lovers claim the Sphynx was still abused for no reason because every time a cat is put under she loses about a year of her life, and because the healing process for the tattoo is very painful. Also, if any paint got into her blood she could get very sick, and even die.

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