Some of the most popular stories on the Good News Network in 2012 involved animals. Whether the largest elephant or smallest dog, animals are often ready to reveal hearts of true compassion and they can easily evoke an equally compassionate response in us humans.
Enjoy these top stories of the year:
As nearly anyone who has adopted a pet from a shelter can attest, there’s something special about a rescued animal; it’s as if they can sense they’ve been given a second chance at life. But Juno, a Belgian Malinois (photo, above) who was adopted just days before she was to be euthanized, took on the role of rescuer to a dying boy in Tennessee whom experts believed was not suited for any service dog.
The conservationist known as The Elephant Whisperer died on March 7 on his South African reserve. Two herds of wild South African elephants evidently sensed the loss. They slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the home of the conservationist who had died suddenly — the man who saved their lives. They lingered on the reserve for two days in silent vigil.
In August, a Colorado couple hiking up a 14,000-foot mountain along rough terrain happened upon a German shepherd, dehydrated, hungry and alone and although they couldn’t coax the injured animal to walk with them, their posting on a hiking website galvanized volunteers from at least 5 social websites to hike back up with supplies to rescue the heavy dog and carry her to safety.
Dozens of dolphins suddenly stranded on a Brazilian beach in March were saved by locals — and tourists — who worked tirelessly to drag them back to the ocean. The stunning video was shot at Arraial do Cabo by Gerd Traue and posted on YouTube.
A beautiful photo of an arthritic 19-year-old dog being cradled in his owner’s arms during their nightly soothing ritual in the waters of Lake Superior, led to unsolicited donations from people who wanted to help pay for the dog’s care. Before the photo swept across the web, John Unger didn’t have money to pay extensive veterinary bills, so was considering euthanasia. Now, with some of the donations, he has started a foundation to help other low-income dog owners. (Photo by StonehousePhoto.com originally posted on Facebook)
A stray dog began running alongside cyclists on their 1000-mile journey across China after a rider gave him some food. He ran alongside them for 24 days in May, covering up to 37 miles a day. Remarkably, the dog was indefatigable throughout the rest of the adventure and climbed over 10 mountains along the route. (Story with video)