Special Friends


Special Friends

If you read my photo-story book “42 Encounters with Dog Lovers” (if you didn’t, you can buy your book on amazon.com), you know that our labradoodle Max was born in Monterey, CA, where his breeder Melinda Leahy lives. Therefore, when we recently visited Carmel with Max, I wanted to meet his Mom. Unfortunately, she was not available, because she was staying with Melinda’s friend who was sick and had seizures. Right before a seizure, the dog would lay next to the woman’s head, informing relatives about a forthcoming problem. A similar dog’s behavior was reported in a The Wall Street Journal article, which appeared on Monday, September 6, 2019 titled, “Dogs That Can Read Warning Signs”. This dog’s behavior is not unique. According to some research, people and dogs have a special connection. There was another article in the San Francisco Chronicle, on Friday, June 7, 2019 titled, “Stressed? Your Dog May Feel It Too, Study Suggests.” Swedish researchers found out that owners are influencing their dogs, rather than the other way around. “New evidence continually emerging, showing that people and their dogs have incredibly close bonds that resemble the ones that parents share with their children.” But this does not explain dogs behavior when humans are in trouble. I was surprised to find “A Pet’s Heart” in “Costco Connection.” Just in case you missed it, I will share some of the stories with you. Diane Hoodhad recently adopted her dog, Teva. The dog started to pay extra attention to Hood’s left leg – even through her blue jeans. She thought it was just a freckle. Nevertheless, she went to a doctor to have it checked out. Teva’s sensitive nose had smelt squamous cell carcinoma, which was then safely removed. Dogs also help other dogs. Just like people, dogs need blood during surgery and other medical procedures. Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh, NC uses pit bull Einstein who, before retiring at the age of 12 saved 100 lives.

There is another service that connects people with dogs – military working dogs, or K-9. Developed during World War II, the program currently includes more than 2500 dogs serving in the military, and about 700 deployed overseas. I found a fascinating story in the Smithsonian Magazine in its January/February 2019 edition, “War Dog”. It was about the author Rebecca Frankel’s experience of bringing home retired seasoned veteran of combat in Afghanistan, a 10-year old Belgian Malinois named Dingo. “He was trained to propel his 87 pound body weight toward insurgents, locking his jaws around them. He’d served three tours in Afghanistan where he’d weathered grenade blasts and firefights. In 2011, he’d performed bomb-sniffing heroics that earned one of his handlers a Bronze Star. This dog saved thousands of lives”. The article not only talks about how this tough soldier was adopted to become Rebecca’s best friend, but you can also see his photos during his army service.

In the “Costco Connection” I also read a story about a cat named George. He protected two little girls from a rattlesnake, positioning himself in front of the snake until the girls’ grandmother was able to roll their stroller away.

I am sure you might have heard or experienced stories about our special four-legged friends. I would like to hear them and to share them with my readers.

P.S. The three dogs (including our Max) and a cat might not look as special, but for their owners they are. As far as our family is concerned, we have a special companion – Max. He became famous after appearing on the cover of my photo-story book “42 Encounters with Dog Lovers” which you can buy on Amazon.com.

Enjoy and Share with a Friend.

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