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Take Perfect Dog Selfies With This Genius Smartphone Attachment

No matter how hard we try to explain the concept, most pets just don’t get the art of selfies. For every good pet selfie, there's a gallery of failed attempts featuring turned heads, blinking eyes, and general disinterest. One crafty dog owner has developed a smartphone attachment that makes photos with your best friend a much smoother process, and it’s called the Pooch Selfie.

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We’ve seen selfie machines that double as food dispensers to reward dogs for being photogenic, but the Pooch Selfie is not nearly as complex. The invention is literally a plastic holder and a squeaker tennis ball that goes onto a smartphone or tablet to hold your dog’s attention long enough for you to get a shot. You can, of course, also use the rear-facing camera to take a photo of just your dog—which isn't by definition a selfie, but “Pet Picture Taking Distraction Device” is not nearly as catchy. As a member of the Clever Dog Products team explains in the Kickstarter video, the holder was designed not to obstruct either the front-facing or the rear-facing camera, so really this simple tool is a two-fer.

At the time of this post, nearly 900 backers have pledged a total of $21,500 to make the Pooch Selfie a reality, three times what the company needed. There is still time to make a pledge of $13 in exchange for one of the attachments, or you can just risk not having an Instagram-famous pet.

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Animals
Meet Piper: The Border Collie Making a Michigan Airport Safer for Travelers
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Birds may look harmless on solid ground, but in the sky they pose a big threat to any aircraft crossing their path. The Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, uses a low-tech approach to the problem: a border collie named Piper.

Great Big Story profiled Piper and his handler, airport operations supervisor Brian Edwards, in a recent video. Piper’s job as the airport’s wildlife control canine is chasing away large birds that could strike incoming and outgoing planes, potentially causing anything from dents to engine failure. In Michigan, this usually means large waterfowl like ducks and geese, but it can also include crows, gulls, and snowy owls.

After he’s deployed from a moving car, Piper heads for the birds, scattering them away from the tarmac and teaching them to associate the area with predators. Piper is just doing what most border collies would do in the presence of a flock of birds, only in this case he gets to wear stylish protective goggles while following his instincts.

You can watch the full story below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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Goodbye Fido, Hello Finn: The Most Popular Dog Names of 2017
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What’s in a name? If you’re a dog, a clue into your pet parents’ favorite movies, television shows, and musicians, apparently. Rover.com, the country’s largest online network of dog walkers and pet sitters, has just revealed the most popular dog names of the year. While the majority of those names follow (human) baby-naming trends—11 of the top 20 names are also among the top 100 baby names—pop culture also plays a big part in the moniker pet parents bestow upon their four-legged furballs. How else would one explain the increasing popularity of names like Barb and Eleven, or Khaleesi, Arya, and Sansa?

There was an uptick in ‘90s nostalgia this year, too; Nirvana saw a 171 percent increase in popularity while Daria grew by 104 percent. Star Wars-inspired names have been a thing for 40 years now, but saw a 70 percent increase in 2017, with Finn being the most popular name from a galaxy far, far away.

So just how unique is your dog’s handle? Well, if his or her name is Max or Bella, not very. Read on to find out more, or visit Rover.com to discover the 100 most popular pooch names of 2017.

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