Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of dog with DVD covers © Tom Senatori

Enjoy the top 10 animal movies of all time according to Animal Planet.
© Tom Senatori

December 2010

Creature Comforts

Films with fur

Natasha Kassulke

We love petting them, walking them and, yes, watching them. Pets on the silver screen often translate to box office gold.

Horicon Marsh hosts "Movies at the Marsh," family friendly films 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. almost every other Saturday. Admission is free. Upcoming films include The Fox and the Hound on January 1, Iron Will on January 15, Balto on February 5, Charlie the Lonesome Cougar on February 19, Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa on March 5 and Wild America on March 19. Call (920) 387-7877 for more information.

Can't make it to Horicon? Rent a movie and stay in to enjoy popcorn with your pet. According to Animal Planet, here are the top 10 animal movies of all time:

10 Dr. Dolittle (1998 remake). Eddie Murphy plays a doctor who can talk to animals and they talk back!
9 That Darn Cat! (1965).This film stars a mischievous Siamese whose new collar makes her the prime informant in a kidnapping. An FBI agent on the case happens to be allergic to cats.
8 Free Willy (1993). A 12-year-old street kid. A three-ton Orca whale. An amazing friendship. This movie inspired a letter writing campaign to free the real Willy (Keiko) from captivity.
7 Eight Below (2006). This film is based on a true account of an Antarctic expedition when a devoted dog-sled guide was forced to leave behind his team. The dogs fended for themselves for nearly six months.
6 The Jungle Book (1994). In this live-action version of Rudyard Kipling's classic, Mowgli is raised by wolves after his parents are killed by a tiger. It's packed with vine-swinging fun with friends.
5 The Yearling (1946). Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, this is the story of a Florida family struggling after the Civil War. Times are tough but 11-year-old Jody comes to love an orphaned fawn, Flag. But as the deer grows, a heartbreaking choice becomes inevitable.
4 Fly Away Home (1996). A teen girl's dad teaches her to fly an ultralight in order to guide a flock of orphaned geese south for the winter. The movie is based on a true story and raised awareness of wetland preservation. Film profits helped fund migratory bird projects.
3 Babe (1995). The star of this show is a young pig named Babe who defies the odds by learning to be an award-winning sheep dog. The talents of about 500 trained animal actors were blended with stunning animatronics.
2 The Black Stallion (1979). This classic tells the story of Alec, a boy who survives a shipwreck and befriends an Arabian stallion on a deserted island. When they return home, the duo finds success as a jockey and racehorse, coached by a washed-up trainer.
1 Old Yeller (1957). A simple story of a poor family on the Texas frontier in the 1860s. The heart of the story is the love affair between Travis, the oldest son, and his beloved yellow dog. Sweet, yet, heart-wrenching.

While the geese are away...

Horicon Marsh continues to play! Master garden designer Shannon Barniskis discusses "Creating a Bird Friendly Garden" at 7 p.m. on January 5. Learn about what plants will attract birds. Learn how to incorporate the basic needs of birds (shelter, food, space and water) into your yard. Barniskis' presentation will be held in the auditorium of the Horicon Marsh International Education Center located on Hwy. 28 between Horicon and Mayville. For more information contact Liz Herzmann at (920)387-7893 or Liz Herzmann.

Insure for pets and peace of mind

Can you afford a $1,000 veterinary bill? Often pet owners are not aware of the costs associated with veterinary care until their pet has an illness or suffers an injury. Fortunately, reasonably priced pet insurance is available. This is especially good news since so many treatments once confined just to humans are now available to pets.

It is now possible, for example, for veterinarians to do hip replacement surgery or cancer surgery. Advances in veterinary medicine mean that pets can live longer, more rewarding lives. But these advances come at a price and less than one percent of America's pet owners have pet insurance. Like human medical insurance insurers, pet insurance companies charge premiums and there are deductibles for different policies. There might also be exclusions for older animals, pre-existing conditions and breed-related problems.

Key pet insurance issues to consider:

  • Age – Insurance premium costs may rise as pets grow older.
  • Coverage levels – Pet health insurers offer basic policies and upgrades. More expensive policies also cover annual checkups and vaccinations.
  • What's covered? Basic pet insurance policies generally cover treatment for accidents, injuries and illnesses. Some cover partial medication costs and lab work as well. Some may include spaying and neutering along with dental care.

To learn more, ask your veterinarian about options and advice. You can also compare policy provisions and costs on-line.

Natasha Kassulke is creative products manager for Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.