Sunday, February 02, 2003

Very special animals

Some time back I saw a book called "Very Special People". It had sections on such things as Chang and Eng (the original Siamese twins), the Elephant Man, and all sorts of other exceptions. Now tonight on Animal Planet I saw Amazing Animal Videos, which offered a succession of similar things from the animal kingdom.

First I saw videos of a two-legged dog and a two-legged cat. They had lost both legs on the same side, and they were amazingly spry. I'm not sure what would happen if they had lost both legs on the same end, or lost them on alternate sides.

Losing two legs is bad for dogs and cats alright, but birds? Yep, they had a bird that had had its feet mangled badly by another bird. A vet had to amputate its legs, and made some wire prosthetics for it.

Then there was a goose with an arrow through its head. A vet managed to remove the arrow successfully, let the goose recuperate, and released it.

There was more weirdness before it was over, mostly of the behavioral and genetic variety. A dog that couldn't tell cordless phones from puppies. A cat nursing some puppies. A bird attempting to nurse from a pit bull. A pig with two snouts and 3 eyes. A giraffe with a big offset in its neck. A five-legged lamb (three in front). A collection of six two-headed turtles and a two-headed rattlesnake named Double Trouble. A calf with two mouths, four eyes and 3 ears (it was delivered by C-section). Crocodiles conjoined at the hips. Falstaff the fish and his friend Chino the dog (sp?). A goat that rides a horse. And the show isn't over yet.

In a perverse way the "differently-abled" animals are all inspiring. So you think you have problems?

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