Animal Friends

Mexico: Just another place to get a dog

Raise your hipster cred by getting a pup from south of the border

Dear Hipster: Why does it seem all the hipsters go to Mexico to get their dogs? Not to sound too Trump-y, but what’s wrong with our local dogs? — Ed Till recently, a run-of-the-puppy-mill mongrel ...

Seahorse dreams: San Diego Bay's most elusive creature

Wake-up call to the Navy’s nighttime dredging operation.

She rose from afternoon slumbers with something pinching her tail. Three feet below the surface of San Diego Bay her equine head, crowned with a five-point coronet, poked through a blanket of eel grass. Alarm ...

Small and wild animal friends

Tarantulas, pelicans on Coronado Islands, least terns, lizards, weasels, squirrels, worms, rats, and the Quino butterfly in Marron Valley

A 180-million-year-old Friend It was sheer proximity that charmed me. His claws were as thin as embroidery floss unraveled, and he had a wisp of grass on his head, which gave him an agreeably foolish ...

Large mammals in captivity

Early look at Wild Animal Park, troubled elephants come to the zoo, China’s panda hunter and pandas end up in San Diego, the morality of SeaWorld’s dolphins

The Tale of an Elephant The worst of Jouett’s problems were yet to come. Media representatives wanted to be present when Cindy arrived in mid-December. The elephant trainer and keepers wanted no one there. They ...

Did Ocean Beach coyote do it?

The mystery of the headless raccoon

Raccoons are everywhere in Ocean Beach, so much so, that on any given night, you can find at least several scavenging in the neighborhood, turning over garbage cans and hanging from the trees. I’ve even ...

Large animals in the wild

Beaked and gray whales, dilemma of local mountain lions, wild horses in Coyote Creek, coyotes thrive in San Diego canyons

Mystery of the Beaked Whales By the time they arrived the tide had gone out and the animal lay dead on the sand. “There was a guy from the Navy already there. He was asking ...

Birds on the brain, in the sky, and, thirdly, up close

Where to see your fine-feathered friends

My ten-year-old has birds on the brain ever since she got a pet parakeet, and she’s eager to see some that don’t live in cages. Natalie at Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar ...

Unusual pets

A tribute to our loyal companions

If I Had a Sledgehammer for a Nose, What Havoc Would I Wreak? I bought a pig because I wasn't ready for children. I wanted something small and helpless but something that wouldn't require college ...

The food chain, from termites to cattle

On this planet, we eat each other

And on This Farm They Had Some Fish It can get wet out there in the desert, especially when you're raising tons of fish. Like most people involved in aquaculture, Engler’s interest in the biological ...

Animal friends, domesticated

Love Bites Sam and I drive back to the dog room in El Cajon. By now, Sam has racked up a total bill (vets, food, clothes, general destruction, trainer, vaccination shots, equipment) in excess of ...

Poodles Aren't Dogs

Don't try to paint a poodle's toenails

"Once someone wanted her dog green for St. Patrick’s Day, and I did it. We used to get a lot of people who asked for toenail painting, but lately the styles have changed away from that."

You Might Not Think a Cat Could Hog a Whole Bed

San Diegans on what pets do for us

Recently Missy had to pry the lizard's mouth open with a butter knife after he clamped down on Ruben's hand. While his teeth are small, the creature was able to break skin and draw blood.

The Dog’s Cute, But the Owner Needs Work

Canine star quality

Turn the knob, open the screen door… Wham! A roiling ball of shelties hurtles against it and slams it shut. Yipyipyipyipyipyip! Jumpjumpjump. Yip. Yip. Jumpjumpjump. Yip! “Scat, Jazz, Riff. Hey, guys. Quiet down.” Yip. Yurp. ...

Comedian in the Mist

Author David Sedaris visits San Diego primates.

Sedaris was smoking a Kool near the entrance to the La Jolla Marriott when I explained that the zoo was probably touchy because the feds had recently nailed the zoo's reptile curator for dealing snakes on the side.

Ascension to Pigeon Heaven

We join the club of fanciers

I had no love for pigeons. I had unhappy associations from childhood, and I shared the popular perception of them as rats with wings. On the Great Chain of Being, birds are rather low; they ...

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