Man attempts to trade fake weed for young boy's fish

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A Chatham-Kent, Ontario man allegedly attempted to buy a 12-year-old boy's fish with fake marijuana. When the boy smartly protested about the unfair deal, the man reportedly hit him in the head. And now, the man is facing an assault charge. From CBC:

The boy went to the man's house Saturday for a planned meeting where the boy was going to sell the man a fish. The man tried to pay for the fish with a bag of what he claimed to be weed, but the boy realized it was actually a bag of dried spices.

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99-year-old woman wakes to an exotic "honey bear" sleeping on her chest

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This is a kinkajou, or "honey bear," a mammal who usually calls the Central and South American rainforests its home. That's far from Miami, Florida, where one scared the hell out of a 99-year-old woman who woke up to find it sleeping on her chest. The animal ran off into the attic where her son-in-law was able to lure it into a cage. He brought it to the South Dade Avian & Exotic Animal Medical Center where veterinarian Don J. Harris identified it.

“I don’t know, I guess her first impression was it might be a cat, but when they both got a look at each other, they both freaked out," Harris said.

According to the Miami Herald, the kinkajou's owner has been found. Read the rest

The heaviest, sturdiest cat litter scoop

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Cool Tools reader Joe Stirt recommended this large cat litter scoop. I bought one, because the little plastic scoop I’d been using for a couple of years had gotten flimsy from use and would often buckle at the handle. This one is made from cast aluminum and will never bend. It easily shaves hardened clumps of litter from that litter box that would cause a plastic scoop to fold in half. It’s actually a beautiful looking tool, too. If Raymond Loewy designed a scoop, it would look like this (maybe the handle wouldn’t be covered with textured plastic). Cleaning cat litter is an unpleasant daily chore for me, but the DuraScoop makes it much less unpleasant. I’m surprised it is only $13. It’s easily worth three times the price. Read the rest

Dogs that have their tongue sticking out just a little

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A tumblog of greatness: “dogs that have their tongue sticking out just a little.”

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Review: A heated dog bed, for a senior pup whose old bones love warmth

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My dog is a 10-year-old whose history includes time in animal shelters, and in various homes. He has arthritis, a progressive condition that will cause him more pain as he grows older. Direct heat through my electric blanket or heating pad is clearly very comforting for him--if there's a heated throw of some kind around, he'll find it and snuggle up. But the best solution I've found for both of us is this gently heated dog bed, which warms up to your dog's body temperature when they sit down on it.

You don't have to worry about it heating up too hot, or about remembering to switch it on or off. When your pup needs it, they get warmth. When they step away, the device shifts to "off." I bought mine a few months ago, and it is the center of his world. The color is attractive, and works with the neutral tones in my modest, minimalist living space. Strongly recommended if you have a smaller, older dog, or a cat who likes extra body warmth.

From the manufacturer's specs:

• Heater uses only 6 watts and is MET Listed • Removable cushion and removable heater make washing a breeze • Thermostatically controlled to warm to your pet's normal body temperature when in use • 5-inch thick bedding keeps pet comfortable • Removable, machine washable cover for easy maintenance • Safe plush heated pillow insert for winter warmth • Available in 2 sizes and 2 colors; 1-year warranty

amazon: K&H Manufacturing Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper

[Editor's note: There are two sizes: a medium and a large. Read the rest

Curiosity scared the puppy

These are not the groceries you are looking for, pup. Read the rest

Ferrets enjoy dip in a peanut pool.

We should all be this happy on Christmas Day. Read the rest

Cat enjoys tearing up cardboard boxes, doesn't care how long it takes, nope

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“Elliot likes to tear up cardboard boxes.”

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Huskies howl at video of howling Siberian Husky

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Crank it up and freak out your dogs, people! Read the rest

Woman faces 10 years in prison for giving water to pigs on a scorching summer day

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Anita Krajnc, of Toronto, was charged with criminal mischief when she gave drinking water to pigs being transported to a slaughterhouse on a hot day.

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Exercise wheel for cats

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While looking for a new wheel for our hamster, my wife spotted this cat exercise wheel, which began life (where else) on Kickstarter and is now an object in the stream of commerce. Read the rest

Wolf puppies are hunting for mice in the meadow

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“Wolf puppies hunting for mice. Polar Park 2014.” Read the rest

This guy's poor dog really hates it when his owner blows raspberries

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Nathan Chung's dog really hates it when he “blows raspberries.”  Read the rest

Puppy wants bed back from cat

Passive resistance in a nutshell (or an occupied dogfort.) Read the rest

Guns don't kill people, dogs with guns kill people

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Following up on their highly successful data-driven charticle about toddlers shooting people to death in America, the Washington Post publishes a new infographic about all the people being shot to death by dogs.

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Have you always wanted a pet micropig? This Chinese genetics firm is making one for you

BGI showcases its micropigs at a summit in Shenzhen, China. [BGI]

BGI, the genomics institute in Shenzhen credited with a number of breakthroughs in genomic sequencing, is applying its expertise on making tiny pigs for pets. According to Nature.com the pigs will weigh about 15 kilograms when they mature.

At the [Shenzhen International Biotech Leaders Summit in China] the institute quoted a price tag of 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) for the micropigs, but that was just to "help us better evaluate the market”, says Yong Li, technical director of BGI’s animal-science platform. In future, customers will be offered pigs with different coat colours and patterns, which BGI says it can also set through gene editing.

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Want to clone your dog? That'll be $100,000

Ken (left) and Henry were created with DNA from  skin cell of another pet. [NPR]

A booming biotech business in South Korea has new customers in America, because everyone wants to clone their dog. Read the rest

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