On a day when the news is dominated by stories full of anguish and violence, it didn’t feel right to place any kind of importance on celebrity news. The fact that Kim Kardashian is finally divorced should not be news.
So to offer a bit of distraction I offer you the benevolent grandfather of TV, David Attenborough, who can be guaranteed to lift even the lowest of spirits with his soothing voice and interesting stories. See below for a clip from ‘Africa’, his new series, in which he makes friends with a blind baby rhino.
As much as I love to learn about animals and the natural world, I normally I hate to watch nature programming. I cannot stand to see things dying, even if it is nature’s way. I still haven’t recovered from Attenborough’s recent series in the polar regions, ‘Frozen Planet’, those bloody orca always ruined everything with their murderous ways!
Anyway enjoy this lovely clip, completely absent of whales.
It’s not secret that I spend a good portion of my free time on YouTube, whether it’s catching up with the latest watercooler moments or rewatching my favourite episodes of ‘Supersizers Go…’ (seriously, watch the 80’s one), so it seems appropriate to share my new favourite: How Animals Eat Their Food.
WARNING: Do not try to act this out to your friends in a crowded pub, it may lead to chaos and soggy socks. Trust me.
Apparently there’s a clubby type tune called ‘Sail’ by a group called AWOLNATION floating around, the people at The PetCollective were singing it in their office and some bright spark replaced the titular word with that of a small shell-dwelling creature. Hilarity ensues.
I watched the original, and it just didn’t seem as good without the snail.
Today is not about me, it’s about Eldad Hagar. I don’t know much about him, other than he is some sort of magical dog whisperer who saves the lives of stray dogs around LA.
One of his many videos popped up in my ‘Recommended’ column on YouTube, and three hours later I was still on his channel. The format for every video is as follows:
He has been told about a stray dog somewhere in LA
He goes to said location armed with cheeseburgers and his magic flowery lead
He finds the dog, who generally looks at Eldad like he’s some sort of snack
Five minutes later, Eldad is cuddling and playing with his new best friend
I don’t get it, but I can’t stop watching it.
There have been times when the dog has been less aggressive and more terrified when Eldad turns up, and those are the times when you realise quite how amazing this man is. He doesn’t like to use force, he simply speaks calmly and uses his body language to let the dog know that he is not going to leave. Then within a few minutes it’s like they were always friends.
The most beautiful and tragic element of his videos is the readiness with which the dogs will trust a person whom they’ve just met. It demonstrates their ability to forgive and forget, but shows us what could happen if the person in whom an animal places his trust is not the kind to be armed with cheeseburgers and an innate sense of kindness. The after effects of abuse are clear to see in each video, where most of the dogs have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. One of the more heartbreaking examples is an Alsatian called Ben, whose owners moved away and left him behind, yet still he waits by the back gate to be let in. Thanks to Eldad and his team, he’s now with a family who deserve him.
It’s probably for the best that I don’t live in LA, as after watching these videos I would by now be referred to as the ‘crazy dog lady’
This week I am breaking with tradition and talking about someone else’s travels rather than my own. I StumbledUpon this video of beagles experiencing grass and sunshine for the first time, after living in a Spanish research lab for their entire lives up to that point. They are obviously nervous and scared by their new LA surroundings, but it is painfully clear that they crave affection and contact with both humans and each other – another reminder of why it is beyond reason to imprison them in a lab cage.