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1. As part of research experiments on animal comprehension and communication, Washoe, a chimpanzee, was taught sign language. She would often give researchers a cold shoulder when they weren’t paying enough attention to her. One day, when a caretaker named Kat signed her apologies to Washoe for neglecting her, she also signed “My baby died.” Washoe stared intently at Kat for a few moments then signed “Cry,” then she touched the caretaker’s cheek with her finger and drew a path down here face where a tear would flow – a very human characteristic since chimps do not shed tears. Washoe herself had lost two of her own children from a heart defect and a staph infection.

2. Many people own dogs as security measures for protection. Kasha Weston is sure glad she had her Labrador, Rocky, to do just that. In March of 2014, a five-months pregnant Kasha and her boyfriend heard a loud banging on their front door in Gravesend, England. Immediately, Rocky, a Rottweiler, began barking, and the couple put him in the bathroom. Seconds later, four men burst through the door and yelled “Where’s the money?” One grabbed Kasha by the arm and dragged her into the living room with a knife to her throat. She begged them to leave and told them she was pregnant, but they continued with their assault. But suddenly, Rocky bolted through the bathroom door and bared his teeth at the intruders. They were terrified and began running out the front door. Rocky chased them and managed to corner one of them long enough for police to arrive. Over the next few days, Rocky didn’t leave Kasha’s side.

3. In mid-2013, 39-year-old Elaine Hilton, of England, had reached full term in her pregnancy and was preparing for the big any-day-now event when her two cats began crying madly, making very high-pitched whines that she had never heard before. So along with the cats crying and a general uncomfortable, dizzy feeling, Elaine called the fire brigade. When the firefighters arrived, they took readings from inside the house that showed very high levels of carbon monoxide, which was later found to be caused by soot blocking an air vent. Her two cats, Tinker and Bell, quite possibly saved Elaine’s life and that of her baby, born healthy a short time afterwards.

4. Alhanna Butler’s friends had often told her she should just get rid of her dog. Good thing she ignored them. When Alhanna was 20 weeks pregnant, she felt very sick with an extreme backache, moreso than normal pregnancies bring about. And her dog, Keola, would stay by her side and whine until Alhanna finally decided that maybe that was a signal for her to go to the hospital. As soon as she arrived there, she fainted in a hallway. She was rushed to treatment and doctors quickly found that she had a double kidney infection, which they said was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. It was so bad, the doctors said, that if she had put off treatment any longer, she, as well as her baby, would have died. Alhanna owes a great deal of credit to Keola for urging her to go to the hospital.

5. How devoted are your pets to you? Panda, a two-year-old cat owned by Liel did not leave her side practically the entire time she was pregnant. And now with son Sean born, the cat rarely moves from his side. Says Liel: “She jumps on the bed near him, smells him, sits next to him. You can clearly see she loved him from the beginning!”

6. While Noel Osborne was doing his normal, daily farm work, he accidentally fell into a pile of manure and shattered his hip. He could barely move and he was stranded in about the worst possible way. No one could hear his cries for help. But during this time, and over the next five painful days, his goat Mandy huddled by his side and kept him warm during cold and stormy nights. And, she even let Noel milk her for sustenance throughout the time he was immobile.

7.As we all know, animals are not allowed into hospitals, much less, maternity wards… for obvious reasons. But Barney, a Labrador, is not your typical dog. He’s a therapy dog that can have a calming presence and was allowed to visit certain parts of St. Michael’s Hospital in Bristol, England. In early 2013, Barney’s owner, who was preparing to give birth, requested her dog’s presence at the event. Though it was quite unorthodox, Barney was granted special inclusion and witnessed the birth of his owner’s baby, giving her his typical calming presence.

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