We all like to think we'd do anything for our beloved calicos, goldendoodles, and cockatoos (okay, maybe not the cockatoos). But when the kitty litter hits the fan, there are probably only a very few pet owners who would really come through in the clutch for their furry, scaly, and feathered friends. Think about it, would you honestly...
Sure, Canadians are more flying reindeer than human, but they love their pets just as much as anyone. There would be nothing strange about a Canuck pulling their favorite malamute from the grip of a perilous maple pit or putting themselves between their tabby and a randy moose. But a frickin' cougar? You won't find many people who will risk the wrath of that kind of beast just to save a puppy, but don't count out Will Gibb of Red Deer, Alberta. He did it to save two fluffy pooches from becoming puma scat.
Thankfully, Canadian youth are trained in the marmot fighting pits at an early age.
Of course, just to keep the story from sounding too cool, he did it at his local Tim Horton's. While ordering a maple bacon iced frap or whatever, Gibb noticed "something" wrapped around his dog, Sasha, in the parking lot. The fact that the "something" was a cougar didn't seem to register or matter much. "I wasn't really analyzing it too much at the time," he recalled. "All that was going through my mind is that I had to protect my dog. It was just very instinctual. My dogs are like my children."
And so, like a mother protecting her babies from a giant cougar, Gibb reflexively protected his baby from a giant cougar by pummeling it until it disengaged and fled into the nearby woods. Phew. Tragedy averted. But no! The cougar was merely retreating tactically, and emerged once again to attack his other dog, Mongo. Gibb faced off with the beast again, and a combination of arm flailing and hollering once again drove the feline back. It was at this stage that Gibb upgraded his arsenal to include "the closest, biggest stick that I could find" before running "back into the trees to go fight the cougar."
His efforts were rewarded with a dog that recovered after a brief visit to a veterinarian and paid for with deep claw lacerations (from which he also recovered, so really, no big). A member of the local constabulary later remarked, "I wouldn't recommend everybody wrassle with a cougar, but in this case it worked for the best."
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Australia is rife with outrageously hazardous and hideous fauna (and flora too, if we're being honest), so it's easy to forget that some of the cuter beasts that call the island continent home can also get churlish from time to time. And if you hope to survive more than 10 minutes outside your home, hotel room, or secret bunker, you have to be able to deal with it. No, we're not talking about fighting off the advances of a koala that's trying to heavy pet you into a bad case of chlamydia. The area's most hoppity residents can also get a little boppity too, in a very Mike Tyson type of way.
When a dog named Max found himself a victim of marsupial malice, his owner, a zookeeper named Grieg Tonkins who was out pig hunting, sallied forth and engaged the rambunctious 'roo in some good old fashioned fisticuffs. His quick thinking and quicker jabs caused the kangaroo to release the chokehold it had placed on Max, while a continued barrage of the sweet science chose to disengage and bound off to the safety of the brush.
There were actually some vocally outraged roo enthusiasts who believed Tonkins should have been fired from his job at a zoo because he chose to wallop the kangaroo rather than ... negotiate? His employer made it quite clear, however, that Tonkins would not be facing any adverse consequences for what he judged as an appropriate (if cartoonishly violent) decision. He also made sure to mention that they were not advocating that people go out looking for herbivores to uppercut.
It should also be noted that things could very easily have gone in the kangaroo's favor, should it have chosen to stay and do battle with the flannel-shirted aggressor, because the shameful fact is that kangaroos don't fight fair. Instead of standing up and trading blows like proper gentlemen, they often rear back, balance on their tails and kick with enough claw-infused forced to disembowel their opponent. We're not sure if this means the peace-and-love hippies have gotten to the wild kangaroo population, but we're not sure we want to see what else they've learned.
Here in the United States, it's often customary for Presidents and candidates for the job to adopt some fluffy little friend for their family. It humanizes them, in a way. After all, if a dog likes you, you can't be all that bad a person, right? This is not the case in Turkmenistan, whose president is a guy by the name of Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. His predecessor was an assassination target, just, all the time, so Berdymukhamedov is understandably a little paranoid. He's so scared of being taken out that during motorcade rides, he ensures that his drivers refuse to stop for any reason at all -- as if a hitman is gonna get so annoyed by something as simple as a moving target that they just give up. This means that if a stray animal, even a puppy or kitty, crosses his car's path, his men have orders to kill it.
With all of this in mind, imagine the size of balls on an unnamed Turkmenistani man who was walking his dog one day in 2011 when, unbeknownst to him, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's motorcade was driving around. The guy didn't see the president, but you can bet your ass the president saw him -- and his pupper. Berdymukhamedov must have been feeling generous that day, because instead of just killing everyone in sight on the spot, he simply sent the police to take him to jail. You know the number one thing jails in Turkmenistan are known for? Torture and miscellaneous human rights violations. Pretty stiff penalty for the crime of canine possession but arguably preferable to immediate execution.
And that was the alternative ... just not his own. The police gave the man a choice: He could spend 15 days in jail, or he could go home and they would shoot his dog. Apparently sensing a movie theater full of people behind an invisible camera who would never forgive him otherwise, he chose jail. In fact, he used his one phone call (which is a real thing in countries where the president just goes around shooting puppies) to ask relatives to pick up the dog. In the end, he only had to serve seven days for "disturbing the peace," an ironic charge if there ever was one.
In 2017, Mohammad Bakhtar was just a nineteen-year-old Iranian soldier. One day, he was just manning his post (as soldiers do) when he saw a stray dog trapped in the barbed wire surrounding the adjacent minefield. Bakhtar didn't know this tramp from Lady, but it didn't matter. He couldn't bear to see a dog, any dog, in such pain, so he tried to free him ... and stepped on a mine in the process.
The dog ran away unscathed, but fate wasn't as kind to Bakhtar. The mine tore off his right leg, and legs are pretty famously single-use. Once it's gone, that's pretty much that.
You could say Bakhtar had seen better days, but while he was in the hospital, his story was going around social media in Iran and eventually the national media. Ordinary people and elected officials alike visited Bakhtar at the hospital, thousands of people stood outside with banners as if he was a rockstar, and when he returned to his hometown, crowds were waiting for him with flowers. One dude traveled more than 190 miles in the winter through the snow on his bike just to meet Bakhtar. And somewhere, perhaps in a warm home in Tehran, a dog remains eternally grateful.
E. Reid Ross has a book called BIZARRE WORLD that's on store shelves as we speak, or you could just order it now from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a scathing/glowing review. Mike Bedard has a corgi for whom he would go full John Wick. You can see photos of her by following Mike on Twitter.
For more, check out The Bizarre Unspoken Truth About Pet Ownership - Honest Ads:
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