Good News Roundup - Friday 29th January

29 JANUARY 2021

As we look to brighter times ahead, it’s the time of the week where we share our round-up of positive things happening at Battersea, as well as heartwarming dog and cat stories from the UK and beyond. We know that animals can be a great source of comfort so we hope it adds a bit of cheer to your day.

Hero Staffie saves drowning boy

Max the hero dog

Credit: 7 News

Max, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Australia has lived up to the breed’s nickname of “nanny dog” after saving the life of a young boy who was “just seconds'' from drowning. The Staffie ran into the river in Port Noarlung, South Australia and was able to drag the boy back to shore using the life jacket he had been kitted out with by his owner.

The boy, whose identity is unknown, had been swept out to the deepest part of the river and was being dragged towards large rocks when Max’s owner Rob Osborn spotted him from the riverbank and sent his faithful hound to the rescue, just in the nick of time. Mr Osborn shouted for the boy to call Max’s name to guide him towards him, and then instructed him to hold on to Max’s life jacket so that he could help him back to safety. Max and the young boy escaped unharmed, and Mr Osborn says that his beloved Staffie is undoubtedly a hero, even if he doesn’t know it.

It's a dog's life for Major and Champ

Joe Biden's rescue dog Major on the White House Lawn

Credit: Adam Schultz / White House

The first pictures of President Joe Biden’s dogs Major and Champ investigating their new home were released this week, and it seems the pair wasted no time in leaving their mark on the South lawn! After making the trip from the Biden family’s home in Delaware the pair are said to be settling in brilliantly and making their presence felt as the first animals to grace the premises in over four years, reviving a long-held tradition of presidential pets.

You can teach an old dog new tricks

Whiskey, one of the talented dogs in the study

Credit: Claudia Fugazza

All owners think their dogs are the best, smartest, most brilliant of their kind, and now a new study suggests that some of them may be correct. Researchers in Hungary say they’ve found that some dogs are able to quickly learn the names of entirely new objects, through play. Dr Claudia Fugazza, one of the authors of the study said the talent for word learning appears to be specific to a few “gifted” canines: while two dogs in the study picked up names for new items rapidly, 20 other dogs tested by the team didn’t show any word-learning abilities at all. Previous studies have suggested certain dogs can learn what objects are called over time, but this pattern of recognition with new items has shifted researchers’ thinking. A border collie called Rico reportedly managed to learn the names of more than 200 items, while Chaser, also a border collie, learned the names of more than 1,000 different objects. However many items your dog can learn though, one thing we know for certain is that they’re all good dogs, regardless.

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