A few recent stories of animal-directed altruism have had me smiling. There’s this report about a firefighter in California who used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bring a dog back to life. I’m sort of stuck just trying to figure out the anatomy of that, given the wide disparity between the shapes and sizes of their respective oral cavities. Nevertheless, this combination of quick thinking and a little inter-species first aid led to the successful revival of a beloved pet – one who otherwise would surely have succumbed to the smoke from a house fire.
Feathered creatures deserve our love too, which is why a group of residents in a Boston retirement home have been busily supplying the chicken coop next door with tiny hand-knitted sweaters. (Endless games of Parcheesi can get tedious, after all, and idle hands are the devil’s playthings.) Apparently this particular breed of chicken isn’t used to cold weather. The chickens are now proudly strutting around in their knitwear – dare we say, getting a little cocky.
If you think that’s weird, I mean special, this isn’t the first time a group of do-gooders has made outfits for birds. In past years, knitters have supplied an Australian charity with handmade penguin sweaters to protect the birds from oil spills. (The sweaters keep them toasty warm while preventing them from ingesting oil as they groom themselves.)
So many different ways to be kind to animals. Wacky? Perhaps. Wonderful? For sure.