Nassau, Bahamas Woman Opened Her Home to Nearly 100 Rescue Dogs Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Rachel Kirby/iStock via Getty Images
Rachel Kirby/iStock via Getty Images

Hurricane Dorian left the Bahamas earlier this week and is currently creeping up the East Coast, but the island nation is still reeling from the damage. The Category 5 storm killed at least seven people and injured 21 others. But at least one piece of good news has come out of the Bahamas: Chella Phillips, a Nassau resident who runs a local animal refuge, was able to save nearly 100 dogs by taking them into her home, The Washington Post reports.

Phillips shared photos of her house-turned-emergency-animal shelter to Facebook on Sunday, September 1. Of the 97 dogs she took in, 79 of them were barricaded in her bedroom. "It has been insane since last night, poop and piss non-stop but at least they are respecting my bed and nobody has dared to jump in," she wrote in the post.

To keep the scared animals as comfortable as possible, she blasted the air conditioner and broadcast music and cartoons around the house. The sick and most frightened dogs were kept in donated crates.

Dorian hit the Bahamas on the fourth anniversary of the opening of Phillips's animal refuge. The Voiceless Dogs, based in Nassau, cares for stray and abandoned dogs in the community by feeding them, vaccinating them, and offering them shelter. The organization has provided care to roughly 1000 dogs since its inception.

After dealing with flooding and power outages, Phillips and all 97 rescued dogs made it through the storm unscathed. But their hardships aren't over: The Bahamas has only just begun the long recovery process, and caring for the islands' homeless dog population will be harder than ever. The Voiceless Dogs is raising money to pay for dog food, new dog houses, medical care, and transportation fees for U.S. adoptions. To support the cause, you can make a donation to the organization's FundRazr page or donate directly to pawtcake.refuge.inc@gmail.com through PayPal.

[h/t The Washington Post]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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The Reason Your Dog Stares at You

Dogs stare for a number of different reasons.
Dogs stare for a number of different reasons.
sankai/iStock via Getty Images

Sooner or later, every dog owner will find their pet expressing an innate curiosity over even the most mundane of actions. Watching television? The dog will observe you closely. Folding laundry? The dog will stare at you like you’re a Magic Eye poster.

You can tell the dog it’s rude, but they’ll continue doing it. So why do dogs stare at us?

It often has little to do with what we’re doing and is more about what we might do. Dogs are big on visual cues. They know a walk is preceded by you picking up their leash; dinnertime might involve going to the pantry; a car ride means grabbing the keys. If they get a treat by obeying a command, then they know you’re probably going to start pointing at them and want to make sure they don’t miss it. In keeping an eye on you, a dog is looking for hints that you’re going to do something they want.

Dogs may also use staring as a method to train their owner. Most people are more likely to slip a dog something off their dinner plate if the dog is looking up at them wistfully. If that behavior is rewarded, then the dog knows giving you a pleading look may result in some pork chops landing at their feet.

But not all dogs stare out of greed. For dogs, just like humans, making eye contact releases oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone.” It’s a bonding experience for humans and their animal companions.

Of course, staring can have other connotations, particularly if it’s not a dog you know very well. An unblinking, focused stare with a rigid body posture can mean the dog is feeling territorial or might be considering taking a bite out of you. It’s best to back away. It’s also not advisable to hold a dog still and stare at them, as this might be considered an act of aggression.

The next time you catch your dog eyeing you, it’s likely they’re hoping for a walk, a treat, or just want to bond. Absent other methods of communication, staring is an effective way for getting their humans to behave.

[h/t American Kennel Club]