March 22, 2017: We’ve scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it’s all right here.

Sgt. Nick met his namesake service puppy in training at his 100th birthday celebration.

Veteran Meets Namesake Puppy

Before a celebration for his 100th birthday, World War II veteran Norval Nichols asked that in lieu of gifts, his friends and family should donate to Patriot PAWS, a Texas-based non-profit that trains service dogs for veterans. Nichols, who goes by Sgt. Nick, is partially blind. Although he doesn’t have a service dog himself, he wanted to give another veteran the opportunity to have one. At his celebration, Patriot PAWS had a sweet surprise for the caring vet. He met the adorable yellow Labrador Retriever puppy who’s benefiting from his generosity, and who has a special name: Sgt. Nick. So far, the veteran has raised $5,835 toward his $34,000 goal through a GoFundMe page. — Read it at NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

Shelter Dog Saves 3-Year-Old Girl

Peanut, a recently adopted shelter dog, is being hailed as a hero for finding a 3-year-old girl shivering near a cold river in Michigan last week. Peanut’s owners couldn’t figure out why the dog “started going crazy at our house. She was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping,” the unidentified woman who’s Peanut’s new owner said. Her husband let the dog outside, and she “went barreling into the field behind our house at full speed,” the owner said. Her husband followed Peanut, and was shocked to find a little girl “barely hanging on for her life.” The man wrapped her in a sweatshirt, brought her inside and called 911. Sheriff’s deputies found the girl’s home, and she’s now in the custody of Child Protective Services due to the conditions they discovered. “This formerly abused dog has now saved the life of a little girl,” the shelter wrote on Facebook. — Read it at MLive.com

Baby Hippo Fiona Hit Big Milestone

Fiona, a hippo born six weeks early at the Cincinnati Zoo, tipped the scales at 101 pounds on Tuesday. “This significant milestone puts her closer to becoming a real hippo! She has a great appetite and is now consuming hay and grain in addition to formula,” the zoo wrote in a Facebook post. The preemie hippo has gotten critical care and 24/7 attention since she was born in January, and she’s come a long way. She’s now enjoying play time in the pool, loves playing with the hose and has even been sleeping underwater, a unique ability of hippos. — Get Fiona updates from the Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook

Labrador Retriever

Lab Wins Top Breed for 26th Year

The American Kennel Club announced its list of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. on Tuesday — and the family friendly Labrador Retriever has retained its number 1 spot for the 26th consecutive year. “The Labrador Retriever has a strong hold on the top spot, and doesn’t show signs of giving it up anytime soon,” said AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo. “The Lab is such a versatile dog that it’s no wonder it makes a great companion for a variety of lifestyles. Keep your eye on the Rottweiler, though. It’s been quietly winning hearts over the past decade.” The Rottie moved into the 8th spot on the top 10 list for 2016. The list also includes the German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Beagle, French Bulldog, Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier and Boxer. — Read it from the AKC

17-Year-Old Blind Cat Reunited With Owner

Three and a half years after Larry disappeared from his Washington State home, the blind 17-year-old tabby cat has been returned to his loving owner. A Good Samaritan who found the cat wandering around his apartment complex in Oregon brought him to Multnomah County Animal Services, and a microchip helped them find his owner, Nancy. “Without a microchip, this now-blind senior cat living across state lines would never find his way back into his owner’s arms,” said the shelter in a story on its web site last week. “As it turns out for Larry, he will be able to spend his remaining years with the home he knew most of his life.” — Read it at People Pets

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