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Alex Baer: Time Out for the Wild Side of Life

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Dog driving carWe're looking in on some of those ubiquitous, Year-End summaries, letting them out of their cages and urging them to stretch their legs -- to take wing a bit early this December.  Call it a seasonal lark.

It's not that we're likely to forget these tales (we have memories like elephants).  There's just a good supply of animal tales squirreled-away in our cache:  Dogs and deer, whales and flies, ducks, cats, elephants, even a sort-of giraffe.

Take the case of Monty, the giant schnauzer.  He's in New Zealand, along with the people teaching him (and other dogs) to drive a car.  It's hard work, layering up levels of training and knitting together behaviors until the dogs are ready to slip behind the wheel.

The point is to show how smart these rescued dogs can be, in hopes of getting them adopted out a bit quicker.  That level of intensive training would have come in handy a while ago for the owner-guardian of one dog named Fenton, last seen sprinting after deer in a UK park.

There's a bit of video that popped up on You Tube (shot by the man's son) that's gotten more than 7 million views, making Fenton one of the best-known dogs in Great Britain.  The unexpected ruckus over the thing spawned parodies and a great deal of light-hearted attention.

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