DogTime’s top 10 dog news stories of 2013

Which news stories got the most traffic on DogTime.com in 2013? Here are the top 10 eyeball-getters in ascending order:

10. “Lion dog” gives confused onlookers a scare: A Labradoodle whose fur was cut to resemble a lion gave the people of Norfolk, Va., quite a scare when he appeared in public, as concerned onlookers called the police and animal control with claims of an escaped zoo big cat. Turns out the dog owner’s daughter went to Old Dominion University, and had the animal’s fur cut to match her school’s lion mascot.

9. Dog saves baby from abusive babysitter: Parents put a lot of trust in caregivers. Yet a couple in South Carolina were suspicious when their dog growled at babysitter Alexis Khan, and even stood between the woman and their 7-month-old toddler each time she arrived. The father’s suspicions were confirmed, thanks to a hidden tape recorder, which captured the Khan’s profanity-laced verbal abuse directed at the child when he was left in her care.

8. Vodka treatment saves poisoned puppy: A Staffordshire Terrier suffering from antifreeze poisoning was at death’s door. But thanks to a quick-thinking vet who realized pure alcohol would neutralize the deadly toxins, the pooch received an IV vodka drip that flushed out the animal’s system, saving her life. So, how much alcohol flowed through the dog? For humans, it was the equivalent of seven or eight shots of vodka every four hours.

7. Man finds lost dog after 10 years: As part of a divorce settlement, a woman was given a couple’s Basset Hound. Yet after the split, she surrendered the pooch to the Humane Society of Greater Nashua in New Hampshire. Ten years later, the woman’s ex-husband was looking to adopt a dog, and came across a description of a Basset Hound that was similar to his beloved Ginger, who he said good-bye to a decade ago…

6. What you should know about the canine circovirus: In June 2012, the first reports surfaced about a phantom virus that afflicted dogs, and although these canines had flu-like symptoms, they weren’t getting better with the usual treatment. The virus appeared again in late summer and fall this year, with several dogs in the Midwest suffering from the same affliction, and those animals who didn’t get immediate treatment passed away.

5. Camera captures SUV towing dog in crate behind vehicle: A picture speaks a thousand words, and the main image for this piece set readers’ blood to boil. During a drive along I-95 in Georgia, a couple snapped a photo of a dog in a carrier that was mounted on the rear exterior of an SUV. What was most shocking was what didn’t happen to the driver of the dog-towing vehicle when he was eventually pulled over by police.

4. Dog treks 10 miles to reunite with owner: Some dogs travel long distances to be with their loved ones, but a Collie mix in England showed real determination by walking 10 miles and enduring getting hit by a car in order to reunite with his owner. The pooch is believed to have been struck on the M5 motorway, where cars travel at speeds of up to 70 mph, but he made a full recovery.

3. Game of Thrones actress adopts her “direwolf”: Animal lovers will never forget the second episode, “The Kingsroad,” from the first season of Game of Thrones, where a direwolf, Lady, was executed by the doomed Eddard for some seemingly innocuous slight. The real-life pooch, a Northern Inuit named Zunni, had no place to go when her role was finished, but series actress Sophie Turner stepped up and adopted the animal, giving her a real-life happy ending.

2. Walmart employee who reported dog left in truck loses her job: People are fired from jobs for all kinds of reasons, but doing the right thing shouldn’t be one of them. After Walmart employee Carla Cheney called police to report a dog who was left in a truck parked in the company’s lot on a hot day, she was terminated for being rude to a customer. Walmart claimed her dismissal had nothing to do with her reporting a dog in distress.

1. Beloved Kentucky hiking dog passes away: The Indian Fort Mountain in Kentucky features popular hiking trails that attract hundreds of tourists each year. An additional attraction was Tillie, a Border Collie mix, who would frequently accompanied humans on their travels. When news of the dog’s passing hit, a flood of people recalled their fond memories of walking with the pooch.

For more of our year in review, please see:
The best dog pictures of 2013
The top 10 most popular dogs of 2013

Miss what happened last year? Take a look at DogTime’s top 10 dog news stories in 2012.

What about cats? Take a look at CatTime’s top 10 cat news stories in 2013.