L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
California and beyond

Category: Video Goodness

Video goodness: Dog rides a scooter

We were mesmerized the moment we first glimpsed Norman, a dog with a remarkable scooter-riding ability, in a post on Urlesque. At the time, we were unaware of his growing stardom -- he's appeared on "Good Morning America" and "Late Night with David Letterman" and is actively seeking film and TV work, according to his Facebook page.

Norman is a Briard, a very old French breed whose original purpose was herding and guarding flocks of sheep. Like many herding breeds, the Briard is typically very intelligent, but the American Kennel Club points out that it is "an independent thinker, so patience is necessary when training." (We can only imagine how much patience was required to teach Norman here how to ride a scooter!)

One of the earliest American fans of this French breed was Thomas Jefferson, who first encountered Briards while working in France.

Fun fact about Briards: Many breeders follow a tradition in which all puppies born in a given year have names beginning with a particular letter of the alphabet designated for that year. The years cycle through the alphabet (skipping some letters that aren't found at the beginning of many words, like Q), so if you meet a Briard whose name starts with B, you'll know it's a year younger than a Briard whose name starts with A.

Video goodness: Confused dog moos like a cow
Video goodness: Hey, that's no midfielder! Terrier crashes soccer game, tries to catch the ball

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: courteous1 via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Wallaby joey sucks its 'thumb'

We can't help but be delighted when a video like this one shows us just how similar humans and animals can be. YouTube user chrismorinbc captured this wallaby joey on video while traveling in Australia and points out that the baby is sucking its "thumb" just like a human baby might!

We're quite convinced there isn't a wallaby in the world that isn't adorable -- if you need any more evidence, check out Hannah, a red-necked wallaby joey peering out of her mother's pouch at Australia's Taronga Zoo, or Chai, a rescued agile wallaby joey caught on video taking her very first hops -- but we have to rank this little guy very high on our ever-expanding list of cute wallabies.

Your morning adorable: Parma wallaby joey drinks from a bottle at Cincinnati Zoo
Your morning adorable: Keepers raise wallaby joey in Tokyo zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: chrismorinbc via YouTube

Video goodness: Confused dog moos like a cow

When the news stories of the day are less than uplifting, we often find that it brightens our mood substantially to take a short funny-animal-video break.

We think we've found the perfect spirit-lifting video, in which a little dog seems to think he's a cow when surrounded by a mooing herd.

This pup's immersion in bovine culture seems to have an immediate effect on his vocalizations, rather like a trip to Canada can make an American start ending declaritive sentences like questions.

We dare you to watch this and not crack a smile. Go ahead and try!

Your morning adorable: Pembroke Welsh corgis play tetherball
Video goodness: Hey, that's no midfielder! Terrier crashes soccer game, tries to catch the ball

— Lindsay Barnett

Video: cycone via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Tamandua takes a drink

So what if your snout is specially designed to eat ants and other insects? That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a nice beverage, right?

That's the position of this tamandua -- a member of the anteater family -- who lives with YouTube user and devoted life-with-tamanduas video chronicler TamanduaGirl. (For the record, although the title of the video above says the tamandua is drinking wine, it is actually drinking juice, according to the owner's written description accompanying the video on YouTube.)

Tamanduas -- which are native to parts of Mexico, Central and South America -- survive primarily on a diet of insects in the wild. But TamanduaGirl supplements her pets' insect-heavy diets with raw ground beef, flax meal, beans, spinach, cottage cheese and shrimp.

If you, like us, find the idea of exotic pet ownership a little troubling, let us note that the cute fellow above was a rescue whose original owners had to find a new home for him due to illness. He was not a candidate for release into the wild.

Plus, in the wild there's no ready access to one of his favorite snacks: cheese.

Your morning adorable: Baby southern tamandua takes a ride on mom's back
Your morning adorable: Ticklish baby anteater masters the fine art of jazz hands, blows our minds

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: TamanduaGirl via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Enthusiastic bird Marnie celebrates his birthday with toys and waffles

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish one of our very favorite birds a happy belated birthday.

Marnie, a blue Indian ringneck bird with a deep and abiding love of stuffed animals, celebrated his fifth birthday on March 5.

We'd previously seen Marnie have a big reaction when he received a stuffed rabbit as a gift from his owner, YouTube user chesawoo, who has described the bird as "a natural charmer, a polite Casanova who is not shy to ask for what he wants...which is often a kiss!"

For his birthday (hatchday?), he got more plush toys and ate a celebratory meal of waffles. Not a bad way to spend one's birthday!

Indian ringnecks are one of several types of rose-ringed parakeet and are known among bird lovers for their impressive talking ability.

Video goodness: 'Dancing' hummingbird grooves to Al Green
Your morning adorable: Parrot holds her own spoon to eat peanut butter

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: chesawoo via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Young rabbit eats baby food

Want to make an astoundingly adorable video of your baby rabbit?

Here's a tip: Feed him baby food with a spoon.

That recipe for cuteness worked just fine for this little guy, a Holland lop who's a little more than 3 weeks old and already a big fan of banana-flavored baby food.

According to his owner, the baby-food feedings were intended to supplement his diet because of concerns that his mother wasn't producing enough milk for him. "He needed to put on some weight so he gets some [baby food] every day," she wrote on YouTube.

One more tip: If you're in a hurry, try skipping ahead to about the 1:30 mark -- you won't be sorry.

Your morning adorable: Rabbits twitch their noses while sitting in paper cups
Your morning adorable: Snacking rabbit tries to hold a baby carrot in his paws

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: cluelesschick24 via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Otter performs agility

When we think of the sport of agility, it's usually dogs, not otters, that leap (no pun intended) to mind.

But dogs don't have a total lock on agility skills; we've seen pigs, rabbits, chickens and even hamsters complete obstacle courses with remarkable proficiency. (Some cats even compete in the sport.)

But we've never before seen an agility otter.

This fellow has impressive abilities in the fields of weave pole-running and jumping -- not tasks we normally expect an otter to perform. And he looks pretty darn cute doing it; we can't imagine a more adorable agility performer, barring a giant panda taking up the sport.

Your morning adorable: Giant river otter pups at Zoo Miami
Your morning adorable: Baby otter plays with plush walrus, cat toy ... and another otter!

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video credit: KyushuWalkerCH via YouTube

Video goodness: Polydactyl cat gives the thumbs-up

What's not to love about a cat who can give you the thumbs-up?

The unusual skill of this cat, a polydactyl named Jimmy who hails from the U.K., is certainly entertaining and must be good for cheering up his owner after a bad day. How could you not smile upon seeing a cat making a thumbs-up gesture?

"He's probably the laziest cat in the world, but he's also super clever and has thumbs," owner tfg69 says of Jimmy, whose video, posted on YouTube just last month, has already been featured on Urlesque and racked up nearly 2 million views.

Polydactyl cats -- often associated with Ernest Hemingway and still in residence at the author's former home, now a museum in Key West, Fla. -- are common in parts of the East Coast of the U.S. as well as parts of England.

There are conflicting reports about which polydactyl cat should hold the world record for most toes, but the owner of a Hoboken, N.J., cat named Bandit says her pet has a staggering 29 toes.

Video goodness: Cat plays hide-and-seek in a paper bag
Video goodness: NIMBY cat opposes the construction of bottle-cap tower

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: tfg68 via YouTube

Video goodness: YouTube star Maru the cat models new hairstyles

In his latest video, YouTube star Maru -- a Scottish fold cat who hails from Japan and has a devoted following of cat lovers all over the world -- models a series of hairstyles you wouldn't normally see on a non-human animal.

YouTube user mugumogu used Maru's well-established love of boxes to create the hairstyle video, utilizing the same concept -- a head-sized hole cutout in a larger picture -- that has made for many fun family-vacation photos at roadside attractions.

All Maru has to do is stick his head into a picture of a hairstyle with a cat-head-sized cutout to demonstrate how he would look with a bob, a side part and several other styles. Though we're partial to Maru's appearance as it is, we have to admit he looks pretty darn cute with red, wavy hair!

Your morning adorable: YouTube star Maru the cat plays the tambourine with his tail
Video goodness: Scottish fold cat sits up straight to investigate a potential snack

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: mugumogu via YouTube

Animal friends: Annabelle the sheep and Boomer the dog play a rousing game of chase

We can't get enough of friendships between animals of different species, whether it's a dolphin and a dog, a deer and a cat or a puppy and a duckling. One of the sweetest examples of inter-species friendship we've seen yet is the one between a ewe named Annabelle and a dog named Boomer.

Despite the fact that she's an adult sheep, Annabelle is "still a lamb who thinks she's a dog," explains owner Suzanne McMinn, who writes a blog called Chickens in the Road about her experiences living among sheep, goats, cows, miniature donkeys, dogs and other animals on a farm in West Virginia.

Annabelle doesn't have many friends among her fellow sheep, but she loves both people and dogs. "You can't walk into the pasture without her bouncing right over to you, following you around," McMinn writes. "You might even call her obnoxious occasionally, like when she almost knocks you down -- except that she's so sweet and cute."

Cute she definitely is, especially when she's hopping around like mad, chasing Boomer around a pasture -- and Boomer seems to be having a great time too.

Your morning adorable: Dog and bird play ball
Your morning adorable: Piglet and dog play together

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: ChickensintheRoad via YouTube


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