Aboard Noah's Blog

News, information, and chatter about collectible items with animal themes, as well as some facts, figures and fun related to pets and wildlife.

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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Cat called 911 to help ill owner, police say

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Police aren't sure how else to explain it. But when an officer walked into an apartment Thursday night to answer a 911 call, an orange-and-tan striped cat was lying by a telephone on the living room floor. The cat's owner, Gary Rosheisen, was on the ground near his bed having fallen out of his wheelchair.

Rosheisen said his cat, Tommy, must have hit the right buttons to call 911.

"I know it sounds kind of weird," Officer Patrick Daugherty said, unsuccessfully searching for some other explanation.

Rosheisen said he couldn't get up because of pain from osteoporosis and ministrokes that disrupt his balance. He also wasn't wearing his medical-alert necklace and couldn't reach a cord above his pillow that alerts paramedics that he needs help.

Daugherty said police received a 911 call from Rosheisen's apartment, but there was no one on the phone. Police called back to make sure everything was OK, and when no one answered, they decided to check things out.

That's when Daugherty found Tommy next to the phone.

Rosheisen got the cat three years ago to help lower his blood pressure. He tried to train him to call 911, unsure if the training ever stuck.

The phone in the living room is always on the floor, and there are 12 small buttons — including a speed dial for 911 right above the button for the speaker phone.

"He's my hero," Rosheisen said.

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Friday, December 30, 2005

New treatment center helps pets get back on their paws

Matt Villano, Special to The Chronicle, San Francisco

Friday, December 30, 2005

It's cat hour in a tiny room in a facility near Caltrain in Menlo Park, which means a fat and furry feline named Rachel is on the treadmill again.

Rachel, like many obese humans, is under doctor's orders to lose weight, and she needs to spend a total of one hour burning kitty calories to do it. This, however, is no ordinary treadmill; it is in an enclosed structure filled with 2 inches of fresh water to provide extra resistance, and we all know how much cats hate water.

Welcome to life at Scout's House, a new animal physical rehabilitation therapy center kitty-corner to Kepler's bookstore on Santa Cruz Avenue. The center, launched in May by Lisa Stahr, quickly has established itself as one of the most popular and respected places for owners to bring their dogs and cats after the animals experience a major trauma.

"Whatever doctors can do for humans through physical therapy, we can do for animals here," says Stahr, whose background is in copywriting for area high-tech firms. "Our goal is to make the whole process of getting back to health a little easier."

Scout's House most commonly helps pets get back on their feet after a major surgery. The facility also treats animals who have suffered from accidents, strokes or other brain-damaging incidents, as well as elderly animals feeling the ravages of time. In rare instances, the center even helps cats like Rachel shed some pounds, or dogs who are just plain lazy and won't do much but just lie around.

Veterinarians oversee all of these treatments. When Stahr launched the center, she partnered with Dr. Janet Lowery, a vet at the Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital next door. She also inked a deal with Dr. Janet Dunn, a veterinarian who specializes in acupuncture. One of these doctors participates in every introductory exam, and is on site at all times -- a state requirement for facilities of this kind.

In addition to these experts, Scout's House also employs a handful of nurses, and Krista Johnson, a certified physical therapist for humans who is working toward certification in animal husbandry. Johnson, a calming woman who drives over "the hill'' every day from El Grenada (San Mateo County), says the keys to her work are treats.

"You can't really tell animals to do what you want," she quips. "Cookies here do wonders."

Standard treatment begins with stretching, massage or electro-stimulation, eventually followed by more strenuous work such as the treadmill. For pets with trouble balancing or bum limbs, the facility has "wobble-boards" and small weights to strengthen leg muscles. For animals with open wounds, there's laser therapy, which helps the cuts heal quicker.

During a recent cat hour, Johnson hunched over a giant, peanut-shaped ball and stretched out the brittle limbs of Comiskey, an orange tabby who has been paralyzed since kittenhood. Every now and again, the cat unleashed a meow of disgust at being poked and prodded, but offered little other protest.

Owner Amanda Materne, who sits in on every session, watched proudly, and helped Johnson secure the animal. Materne says she's not sure if her cat will ever walk again, but says that physical rehabilitation therapy definitely has made a huge difference in the animal's comfort level.

"Coming here definitely has given him better range of motion," says Materne, who lives in San Carlos. "From my perspective, it's pretty amazing to see."

Sessions like Comiskey's cost $100 per hour, and cost slightly less when bought in blocks of 10. The center also offers 30-minute sessions for $50. Before an animal can come for regular training sessions, the pet must undergo a 90-minute initial exam that costs $150.

These prices are comparable to other Bay Area animal physical rehabilitation therapy centers for animals. Some of these facilities include Dr. Sam's in Marin, Healing Touch in San Jose, and the Canine Rehabilitation Center in Walnut Creek. Sole Companion, which was a popular center in Oakland for years, shut down earlier this year.

Before it closed, Sole Companion was instrumental in the creation of Scout's House. In 2002, Stahr's dog, Scout, contracted distemper and could barely walk. Stahr found rehabilitation therapy there. The treatment worked wonders, but Scout died of kidney failure in 2004. Today, Stahr says Scout's House is a testament to her.

"Physical rehabilitation therapy prolonged Scout's life," she says. "If we can do the same for other pets, we've done our job."

Scout's House is at 506 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. (650) 328-1430; www.scoutshouse.com.

E-mail comments to penfriday@sfchronicle.com.

Cat and owner reunited after three years

Victoria E. Freile
Staff writer

(December 30, 2005) — When Mike Smith's cat skittered out the back door of his Rochester home more than three years ago, Smith was distraught.

For months, Smith, 45, of Rochester, posted ads and asked neighbors if they'd seen his missing Maine coon. Ted didn't return.

Smith later moved to a new house in Rochester, but said he never gave up hope.

And last month, Smith and Ted were reunited in the parking lot at Stoneridge Plaza in Greece.

"I knew it was him without a question in my mind," Smith said. "He was battered and dirty. But one look at his face and I knew."

The two celebrated their first Christmas together in more than three years. Smith admitted that he planned to spoil his feline friend this holiday season.

"What a blessed reunion," said his friend Ann Cottone, 69, of Greece, who's well known in Greece for rescuing and assisting stray cats. "It's unbelievable."

In mid-November, a woman brought Cottone a friendly, but skinny, black stray that had been trying to jump into stopped cars along Lake Avenue.

Cottone remembered that her friend lost his black cat several years earlier but didn't make a connection because she thought the stray was a pregnant female. After consulting a veterinarian, Cottone knew the cat was male.

She phoned Smith and he asked her to call the cat by name. She did. Ted looked up and mewed, she said. "I knew it was my cat," Smith said.

Ted, who was 32 pounds when he disappeared in August 2002, now weighs about 7 pounds, Smith said.

Ted has barely left his side, Smith said. He sits on Smith's lap as he works on the computer and each night sleeps next to Smith, at the head of his bed.

Often, Ted pulls his signature move — he sits on Smith's lap, puts his paws around his neck and licks and nuzzles Smith's chin.

"After three years on the street, I never would've believed that someone could be reunited with a pet," he said. "I tell him every day never to leave again."

Find Gifts for Cat Lovers

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Pets taking on baby names


Rover and Smokey are out, Jack and Max are in. Pet owners are increasingly choosing children's names for their precious pooches and pussycats.

"It's funny but the top pet names are starting to match the top baby names. They're the children of the 21st century," said Amy Lyden, managing director of Bow Wow Meow – a Sydney-based pet name tag company.

Bella – the top female dog name and second favourite cat name – was also the No. 8 baby girl name, Lyden said.

"I think it just shows the importance that we place on our pets, how they're part of the family."

Hayley and Steve Marsh, from Edgeware, in Christchurch, colluded to call their family pet Dave. It's actually Me Mate Dave, but they shorten it – like you do for a mate.

Dave is their well-loved cat who was bought as a kitten when the couple were living in Sydney.

"He ended up costing more to ship home than it cost the three of us, but he's part of the family and we couldn't have left him."

Hayley Marsh comes from a line of people who gave their pets human names.

"Mum and dad had two boxer dogs, one called Sydney, which we named our second daughter, and another called Charlie. We also had a cat called Colin," she said.

"We mainly did it for a laugh but Dave's definitely not catlike and he wouldn't suit a pathetic pussy kind of name. He's just one of the family, Dave's big and ginger – like my dad. He's called Dave too."

Owner of Auckland-based online business Pets on the Net, Kim Buchanan, said she had noticed a trend towards more old-fashioned names but the foodie society was also stamping its mark.

"We've had George, Olive, Cooper, Floyd, Alfie, Harry, Molly and Heidi. They like movie characters' names too. When Lord of the Rings was happening we had a few Bilbos and Gandalfs.

"It might be more of an Auckland thing but we see a lot of foodie names – Mocha, Fudge, Cappuccino, Bollinger – it's the cafe society taking effect."

Farview boarding kennels owner Stewart Anderson said his Rangiora business was filled with dogs whose names fitted the breed.

"All the standard breeds, like labradors, are called plain old names like Jack or Max but the trendy breeds, schnauzers and pure bred dogs – the owners put some effort into naming them."

Yesterday his kennels were home to Duncan, Ned and Fred, but also Chloe, Bella and Chelsea.

`Escape artist' dog reunited with owner

Akron man claims pooch that fled shelter after being pulled from lake
By Carol BiliczkyBeacon Journal staff writer

After a series of missteps, Tubbs - aka "Aquaman" - was reunited with his owner on Wednesday.

Clyde Yingling Sr., 57, of Fultz Road in Akron, picked up the 100-pound-plus St. Bernard-mix dog at the Humane Society of Greater Akron. It was the second time in two days that the happy wanderer had been captured and delivered there.

"I'm thrilled to death he found his owner," said Sarah Aitkin, director of animal operations for the shelter in Boston Township. "The dog was climbing on the guy's face and licking his face."

Tubbs' misadventures apparently began on Friday, when he escaped from his fenced Akron home. By Monday, he was floundering in the icy waters of Summit Lake. Eight divers from the Akron Fire Department spent an hour inching a sled some 350 feet across the ice to rescue him.


The shivering dog was taken to the Boston Heights Veterinary Hospital, then on Tuesday to the Humane Society, where - left alone in a lobby just 15 minutes after his arrival - he pushed open the door and escaped.

Four hours later, workers at Northampton Crankshaft Service saw him walking down Northampton Road and notified Cuyahoga Falls authorities.

A Cuyahoga Falls worker picked up the dog, then stopped and left the enclosed pickup truck briefly. When he returned, the worker found the dog outside the pickup truck.

"That dog's a freaking escape artist," said the Falls worker, who asked not to be named. "I don't know how he got out."

He took Tubbs to the Summit County dog pound in Akron to spend the night. By Wednesday morning, a good Samaritan had alerted the Humane Society that the dog was in the pound and a staffer drove out to retrieve him.

Yingling, who'd heard news reports about the hapless 4-year-old, tracked him to the Humane Society. After reimbursing the shelter for two vaccinations and medical care, he took Tubbs home.

That apparently was a good thing. While Yingling couldn't be reached for comment, he had the seizure medicine that the epileptic dog needs and agreed to have him treated for the heartworm that the Humane Society had uncovered.

"Not all stories end this happily," Aitkin said.

Carol Biliczky can be reached at 330-996-3729 or cbiliczky@thebeaconjournal.com

Dog stays by man's side after gully plunge

A man stuck on a mountain overnight after falling down a gully has told how his faithful dog did not leave his side.

Jonathon Harrington was walking on Cadair Idris, in Snowdonia, on Christmas Day when he fell down the 30ft gully.

A search was launched but rescuers did not find Mr Harrington for more than 20 hours, and he spent Christmas night in agony.

His only company was Prince, a 15-year-old sheepdog, who cuddled up to his owner and guarded him.

Mr Harrington, of Brecon, Wales, said: "Prince wasn't injured but he was very cold.

"He was beside me when the rescuers arrived and he growled at them - he was obviously trying to protect me."

The experienced climber suffered head and spinal injuries which could stop him walking.

Mr Harrington was treated in Bangor Hospital and was due to be transferred to a spinal injuries unit in Oswestry, Shropshire.

He added: "I am here because of my own stupidity. I set off up the mountain too late in the day and didn't give myself enough time to get down in daylight. I lost the path and as it got dark I realised I had left my torch in the car."

He thanked his rescuers and warned other walkers to plan trips carefully.

This article: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=2468842005

Monday, December 26, 2005

Mouth-to-snout resuscitation saves dog's Christmas Day

By: Zev Singer and Laura Payton, The Ottawa Citizen

It isn't every day a firefighter is called upon to give mouth-to-snout resuscitation, but when saving lives is your job, you do what you have to do.

Yesterday, while most people were preparing for a family Christmas dinner, firefighter John McGovern and his lieutenant, Ian MacKinnon, were on duty. They and their crew were called to Ramsey Crescent, near Pinecrest and the Queensway.

Their pumper was the second to get there, at about 4:30 p.m. It was a fire in the living room.

It soon became clear there were no people in the house. The family was away. But moments later the firefighters realized there was a life to try to save.

One of the firefighters already at the scene, Don Church, had been inside the house, conducting a search. When he emerged, he carried in his arms a large dog, a German shepherd-Labrador cross. He'd found it in the basement, chained up, showing no signs of life.

When he got it outside, he gave the dog to Mr. McGovern and Lieut. MacKinnon.

"It was VSA, basically, that dog," Mr. McGovern said, using the acronym for "vital signs absent."

It wasn't a human being, and without a doubt, over the world and even in the city of Ottawa, there were bigger emergencies at that moment.

But it was life, the life of a poor animal that had nowhere to run when the smoke filled the house, and they were going to do their best to save it.

Mr. McGovern put it down in the snow and pumped on its chest, while Lieut. MacKinnon cupped his hands over the dogs mouth and blew in air.

A dog has a heart and lungs, just the same as a person, and CPR is effective, they said.

"Works the same way," Lieut. MacKinnon said.

After a few moments, the dog began to breathe a bit and Mr. McGovern asked his lieutenant if he could get the oxygen cylinders used for people. Since there were no human patients needing them, Lieut. MacKinnon said yes.

Mr. McGovern put the tube into the dog's mouth and held the mouth closed.

Then he petted the dog, trying to encourage it, and spoke.

"I heard some kids saying his name was Rocco. So I just said 'Come on, Rocco. Come back, come to, everything's going to be OK.'"

Mr. McGovern put his jacket over the dog. He put his gloves under its head. He got a blanket.

"I guess we were with that dog for 20 minutes, 25 minutes," he said. It was groggy, but it revived. "It did that in my arms," said Mr. McGovern, who has four dogs of his own at home.

Neighbour Justin Shaver, 13, was there and tried to help to comfort the dog after the firefighters revived it. "He just kept looking at me, licking my fingers, and then my hand smelled like smoke," he said.

The dog is staying at the Humane Society overnight and will be reunited with its owners when they return to Ottawa.

Damage is estimated at $60,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The owners could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Church said he was very happy the story turned out as it did.

"It was a happy ending for a change," he said.

Lieut. MacKinnon, who said he grew up on a farm and has performed mouth-to-mouth on animals in danger before this, said it did make him feel good to be part of the team effort that saved the dog, especially on Christmas. But ultimately, he said, it's regular business.

"We're firefighters and that's what we do," he said.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Wounded Iraq vet can keep dog, House says


It took an act of Congress, but a wounded Iraq veteran will get to keep the bomb-detecting dog she served with in the war.

Tech Sgt. Jamie Dana, 26, assigned to Peterson Air Force Base, has been recuperating in Black Forest after being released from the hospital.

Lawmakers had to decide whether she could keep her canine partner, Rex, as a pet, retiring him in his prime from military service, or send him back to active duty with another handler.

The House on Thursday approved a provision in the defense appropriations bill that will allow Dana to adopt Rex, said Chris Tucker, a spokesman for Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., one of several lawmakers who pushed for the adoption.

Without Congress intervening, federal law stated the Air Force could not allow Dana to take the combat dog home until he is too old to be useful, usually when a dog is 10 or older. Rex, a German shepherd, is 5.

“Our country owes Jamie a whole lot more than the right to adopt a dog that has, in her time of recovery, brought nothing but comfort and joy to her life,” Peterson said in a written statement.

The provision allows the military to waive the standard adoption rules in cases like Dana’s.

Dana, who declined a request for an interview Thursday, has served in the Air Force since 1998 and volunteered for a six-month tour in Iraq, where she and Rex helped at checkpoints and searched buildings.

She was injured in June, about four weeks after arriving, when a roadside bomb detonated under her Humvee in Baghdad.

The three others in the Humvee and Rex had minor wounds, but Dana’s wounds were so severe her family initially was told she might not survive.

Her first concern after the explosion was the welfare of her dog, whom she was told had been killed. After waking from a drug-induced coma three weeks later at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., she learned Rex was alive.

“He jumped up and licked me and got tangled in my IV lines,” she told The Gazette earlier this month.

Dana, who now walks with a cane, returned from leave Dec. 1 for desk duty with the 21st Security Forces Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base. She has said she wants to become a veterinarian and train Rex in search and rescue.



Friday, December 23, 2005

Dog Food ALERT

12/22/2005 6:00 PM

The veterinary school at Cornell University is getting more calls about dogs suffering from liver problems. They're all suspected to be linked to a bad batch of Diamond pet food.

At least six local dogs have died from liver failure. Several more have been taken to Cornell for treatment.

Diamond has posted an alert on its website about something called aflatoxin, which was found in several varieties of diamond pet food.

If you're concerned about your pet, click on the links below. We have links to Cornell's Veterinary School and the Diamond Pet Food site.

Related Links:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Swiss Animal Protection is to campaign for legal representation for animals

Switzerland's largest animal-welfare group has launched a new popular initiative to seek legal representation for animals.

Declaring itself "far from satisfied" with the new law on animal protection adopted last week by parliament, Swiss Animal Protection (SAP) said it had decided to withdraw its original initiative to focus on this one key demand.

SAP's Heinz Lienhard told a news conference in Bern that the new law was a step forward but that important changes that could have improved the lives of millions of animals in Switzerland had not been incorporated.

The introduction of legal representation for animals was one of the main planks of the SAP campaign, which was omitted from the new legislation.

The organisation now has to collect 100,000 signatures to force a nationwide vote on the issue. The collection of signatures for the initiative "against the abuse of animals and for their better legal protection" should begin next April and finish at the latest in autumn 2007.

The aim is to anchor the position of an animal protection lawyer in the constitution.

According to SAP, the animals' lawyer would only intervene where there are failures in the investigation of possible animal mistreatment or where certain legal questions are raised.

Some animal protection lawyers already operate at the cantonal level and several cantons are discussing the introduction of such a role.

Legal provisions

The new law includes measures to protect the dignity and well-being of animals. People who abandon animals, fail to respect their dignity or abuse them will face prosecution.

As regards transporting animals, the law limits the duration of the journey to six hours from the loading point. It also forbids the importation of cat and dog skins and related products.

The castration of piglets without anaesthetic will be banned from 2009, if no alternative more humane method is developed in the meantime.

Ritual slaughtering remains illegal. But the import of halal and kosher meat to respond to the needs of the Muslim and Jewish communities will still be allowed.

Dog is a Hero for Alerting Family About Fire


A 15-YEAR-OLD dog was hailed a hero today after saving a woman and her pregnant daughter from a fire.

Rocky, a terrier, alerted Natalie Wilson, 19, to the danger by frantically scratching at her bedroom door.

Miss Wilson, who is six months pregnant, was woken up by the pooch and discovered her home in Huyton, Merseyside, was on fire.

She was then able to wake her mother Kathy Williams, 41, who was asleep in another room before calling for help.

A spokeswoman for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said the two women and their dog were rescued unharmed from an upstairs bedroom window at around 1.30 this morning.

Praising Rocky she added: “It seems he was a real hero.”

An investigation has now been launched into the cause of the fire, which is being treated as suspicious.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Parrot Club Helps Parrot Owners To Teach Their Parrots To Talk

A website providing interaction for parrot owners of all species has just been released. This website, Elite Parrots Club, provides articles about teaching parrots to talk and every aspect of living with our feathered friends. A forum, chat rooms, training videos and much more is included in this fun, interactive website.

This parrot club includes real-time interaction with a parrot expert, Nora Caterino of Columbus, Mississippi, USA. Ms. Caterino brings over 20 years experience with parrots to provide accurate, informative answers to the many questions posted by members of this affordable subscription resource. Not only is advice from Ms. Caterino available, but parrot owners can share their own experiences and advice to help one another resolve common problems they may encounter.

This unique website features resources used by parrot owners world-wide as well as reviews of products used in the care of our feathered friends and the latest news regarding the parrot world. Stories of parrot antics, pictures of member's parrots, interviews with parrot owners, real-time chat sessions with Ms. Caterino and conference calls bring a sense of community to the global parrot community. Members range from countries such as South Africa, Ireland and North American, including Canada and the United States.

Features of the website include:

• Videos featuring parrot talking techniques
• Articles on training, parrot behavior, health
• Information about household safety and first aid
• The latest information about healthy diets for pet birds
• Transcripts of interviews with parrot owners all over the globe
• An area to chat with Ms. Caterino and other parrot owners
• Breeding, hand-feeding and weaning advice
• Product reviews
• A photo gallery where owners can share photos of their pets
• Forums on various parrot topics, including "Ask the Bird Lady" where Ms. Caterino responds to questions and concerns of the parrot owners who are members of the website

Among the many benefits to parrot enthusiasts are:

• Real-time advice from knowledge parrot owners and the in-house expert, Ms. Caterino
• Interaction with parrot owners world-wide
• A sense of global community
• Help for the novice parrot owner covering all aspects of parrot care
• A 24-hour, 7-day per week resource to the best, most accurate information anywhere
• A single source for news regarding subjects of concern such as Avian Flu and many other topics

During the years Ms. Caterino lived in Central Florida, she maintained an outdoor aviary and bred parrots for the pet market. Today, she lives with three small parrots. She has been published in parrot magazines and has written three ebooks for parrot enthusiasts.

To learn how to become a member of this website, visit eliteparrotsclub.com Members access the website via members.eliteparrotsclub.com. For further information, contact Ms. Caterino at noracaterino@yahoo.com.

Find parrot-themed gifts

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Abandoned Kittens and Cat Saved

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- An observant New Yorker reported an abandoned suitcase on a city street to police and as a result officers saved a cat and her kittens.

The closed piece of luggage contained a gray Russian Blue mix and her three kittens about 6 weeks old, reported the New York Daily News Saturday.

"They were a little lethargic," said Melissa Manders, coordinator for New Hope, a program that houses animals with health issues or other special needs. "But they weren't hurt."

Animal Care & Control officials in Brooklyn said the felines would be held for 72 hours and if no one steps forward the cats would be put up for adoption -- after the mother cat nurses her babies for another two weeks.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Police Dog in Ohio Sued for Illegal Search of Business

© Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

ATHENS, Ohio - If the defendant loses this lawsuit, he might have to fork over some dog biscuits.

An Athens, Ohio, a police dog is one of the parties named in a suit filed by a convicted drug dealer.

Wayne Green claimed his furniture business was illegally searched by the dog and others in 2003.

The Athens County sheriff’s department dog, Andi, helped searchers find 50 pounds of marijuana. Green was convicted of possession and trafficking, and faces sentencing next month.

"Everybody’s laughing about it," Sheriff Vern Castle said of the suit. "I don’t know what he’s thinking, suing the dog. Everybody’s making jokes about it, like maybe we should send him a box of dog biscuits and see if he’ll take that as a settlement," he said, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

But the prosecutor who served Andi with the complaint made sure to get his paw print.

"I just thought I’d be safe, and show that he was served," said Athens County Prosecutor C. David Warren.

Warren told the Columbus Dispatch that the stress may be getting to the dog.

"He seems lethargic," the prosecutor said. "He may be suffering psychological problems from this. We may have to file a counterclaim."

Firefighter saves dog with "mouth-to-snout" resuscitation

© Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

SALEM, Mass. --A firefighter stretched the bounds of duty by administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to save a dog caught in a fire.

Pixie, a 12-pound terrier crossbreed, was not breathing Tuesday when firefighters pulled her from a Salem home filled with smoke and flames.

Pixie was "seizing," with her back arched and mouth wide open. Firefighter Richard LeBlanc put his mouth on the dog's mouth in attempt to breath for the dog and revive it. After another firefighter gave Pixie oxygen, the dog was taken to a local veterinary clinic for emergency treatment.

The dog, owned by Phil and Kathy Kindler, survived.

"She looks good, and she's breathing comfortably," veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Bradt told The Salem News.

No one was injured in the fire, which officials believe may have been started by faulty wiring.

Capt. Alan Dionne said the firefighters' work demonstrates an important ethical guideline in the profession.

"Save lives first and property second," he said. "It's always life first. And that means every life."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Operation "Just Say Merry Christmas"

Activists' 'Merry Christmas' bracelets sell nationally
12/8/2005, 2:37 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

MADIERA, Ohio (AP) — A couple has struck a national nerve by offering bracelets that urge: "Just say 'Merry Christmas.'"

"It has been so incredible. We've been bowled over by the response," Jennifer Giroux said Thursday. She and her husband, Dan Giroux, operate a small store in this Cincinnati suburb called The Catholic Shop, and sell the green-and-red rubber bracelets there and via the Internet.

They began "Operation Just Say Merry Christmas" as a reaction to use of the phrase "happy holidays" instead, which she calls "political correctness run amok."

Coverage on national cable TV networks has helped send demand soaring.

They've sold nearly all of their first 15,000 bracelets in a little more than two weeks, and say they have preorders for 10,000 of a shipment of 25,000 due in Monday.

The couple's nine children, along with nieces and nephews, are helping keep up with the orders, and they've also hired a woman to help, Giroux said.

The bracelets sell for $2 each plus shipping, with discounts available for churches and other groups with large orders. They've gotten orders from 43 states and Canada, she said.

"There's a national frustration," Giroux said. "Christians have kind of felt empowered to take back Christmas for Christ."

Across the country, activists have complained this year about public trees being called "holiday trees" and stores that use "holiday" instead of Christmas in advertising and store signs.

Cincinnati attorney Scott Greenwood, of the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, commented: "The only effort out there is by fundamentalist Christians who are creating boycotts and pressuring private retailers."


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dog Stays By Woman's Side Until She is Rescued

Heather Williams
December 9,2005

There is a modern day Lassie for you today in Athens, Tennessee.

Her name is Dixie, and she stayed by her master's side until help came.

Mrs. Nelly Sue McKeehan is 84-years old. She was driving home from the grocery store on Tuesday and stopped at her mail box. When she got back in the car, she accidently put it in reverse. Mrs. McKeehan did a u-turn back-wards into a deep ravine by her house.

Somehow, she ended up outside the car, and Dixie was right there with her.
"she'd lick me in the face, but she'd get up and i'd tell her to go hunt some help. she'd go around and around, then she'd come back," Mrs.McKeehan says.
Her dog, Dixie, stayed by her side through it all keeping her warm. Mrs. McKeehan lied in the ravine for two hours before her someone found her.

Mrs McKeehan says, "I done a lot of praying for somebody to come and find me. and the mailman came and i kept screaming and screaming and there was cars going by back and forth and nobody ever heard me."

Her mailman found her and called for help. Medical crews came to get her out, and they took her to the hospital with bumps and bruises.

Mrs. McKeehan's son, Rogers says it time for her to stop driving. "Oh yeah, i'm thankful everything's ok. she was worried about the car. I said you can buy a car everyday. Can't buy mama's."

Mrs. McKeehan adds, "I don't ever want to go through anything like that again. And I know I had an angel watching over me."

Mrs. McKeehan's family is staying with her right now while she heals.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Canine Laugh Calms Other Pooches


Researchers at the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service in Washington state say sometimes a bark is just a bark — but a long, loud panting sound has real meaning.

They say the long, loud pant is the sound of a dog laughing, and it has a direct impact on the behavior of other dogs.

"What we found is that it had a calming or soothing effect on the dogs," said Patricia Simonet, an animal behaviorist in Spokane who has studied everything from hamster culture to elephant self-recognition. "Now, we actually really weren't expecting that."

Nancy Hill, director of Spokane County Animal Protection, admits she was skeptical at first that this noise would affect the other dogs.

"I thought: Laughing dogs?" Hill said. "A sound that we're gonna isolate and play in the shelter? I was a real skeptic … until we played the recording here at the shelter."

When they played the sound of a dog panting over the loudspeaker, the gaggle of dogs at the shelter kept right on barking. But when they played the dog version of laughing, all 15 barking dogs went quiet within about a minute.

"It was a night-and-day difference," Hill said. "It was absolutely phenomenal."

Officials say it works every time, and researchers across the country are taking note.

"The laughing sound that they make is something that was not even considered a vocalization until this study was done," Simonet said.

Those who study dog behavior have varying opinions about exactly what Patricia Simonet's "dog laughing" sound really is. What they do agree on, however, is that to other dogs, it is at least a sound worth keeping quiet to listen to.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Barking Dog Saves Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

WASHINGTON -- D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Alan Etter said a barking dog woke up a man and woman overnight, possibly saving them carbon monoxide poisoning.

Etter said a car had been left running in a garage of a home in the 4800 block of Glenbrook Road, Northwest, near American University.

And a poodle named "Reilly" wouldn't stop barking and the problem was discovered when the residents went to find out why.

Firefighters were called around 3:20 a.m. and the man and woman were taken to a hospital. Etter said they should be OK.

Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless and reportedly kills hundreds of people each year.

Choose from 120 Poodle Gifts

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Stowaway cat flies business class back home

PARIS - It has been a long road trip for a Wisconsin cat that wound up across the Atlantic.

But after two months away, Emily is heading home today in style. She’s taking a Continental Airlines flight from Paris to Newark, New Jersey. From there she’ll fly to Milwaukee and will be picked up by her family.

The wayward tabby from Wisconsin who disappeared two months ago and wound up traveling across the Atlantic to France boarded a Continental Airlines flight Thursday — in business class.

Travel conditions leaving Europe promised to be a bit more comfortable for Emily, who arrived as a stowaway in a cargo container after straying from home in Appleton, Wis.

“I don’t think she’ll drink champagne but I think she will be happy to rest,” said Continental spokesman Philippe Fleury, at Charles de Gaulle airport to see Emily off. The airline offered to fly the cat home from Paris after her tale spread around the world and she cleared a one-month quarantine.

“This was such a marvelous story, that we wanted to add something to it,” Fleury told AP Television News. A full-fare ticket for Emily’s seat would normally cost about $6,000 and the airline provided a company escort for the cat.

Emily vanished from her home in late September. She apparently wandered into a nearby paper company’s distribution center and crawled into a container of paper bales.

The container went by truck to Chicago and by ship to Belgium before the cat was found Oct. 24 at Raflatac, a laminating company in Nancy, France. Emily, who turned 1 year old that very day, was thin and thirsty but still alive.

Workers at Raflatac used her tags to phone her veterinarian in Wisconsin, and the vet called her owners.

Emily faced one last packed day of travel before her homecoming. She was due to arrive in Newark, N.J., later Thursday, board a connecting flight to Chicago, and then be driven home to Wisconsin, Fleury said.

Emily’s escort, Newark-based Continental employee George Chiladze, said he was thrilled to be taking Emily back across the Atlantic.

“I will make somebody really happy to deliver this poor traveler back home,” he said.

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