Canine heroes of 9/11 set example for new generation
"Red, a 12-year-old Labrador who is retired as an active search dog, is rewarded by her handler and owner Heather Roche of Bay Area Recovery Canines after a training exercise in Pumphrey, Maryland, August 18, 2011. Not long after American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Red was at work. She was 18 months old and only recently certified as a rescue dog, a rookie among more veteran canines. For weeks, Red navigated the hazards of the rubble piles amid the clatter and chaos following 9/11. Pictures taken August 18, 2011. "
ANNAPOLIS, Md (Reuters) - "While there were hundreds of human heroes in the days following the September 11 attacks, there were four-legged heroes too -- the dogs who searched for survivors and bodies in the rubble of buildings and planes.
A decade later, the 9/11 dogs still alive are long retired, but there's a new generation coming up behind them.
Red, a 12 year-old Labrador who searched the rubble of the Pentagon with her handler, is among those retired as an active search dog. Her legs are not as spry as they once were but in her temperament Red still appears to have that same devotion to the search.
Not long after American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, Red was at work. She was 18 months old and only recently certified as a rescue dog, a rookie among more veteran canines.
Red searched the debris pile with an energy that surprised even her handler, Heather Roche.
"I never thought she would be a successful search dog and actually at six months old I found a pet home for her and had found another dog. I thought ... her personality is not what is needed for a working dog," Roche told Reuters TV.
"And then, no matter what I asked her to do -- whether it was climbing up things, going somewhere (as) I stayed far away, ladders, you name it -- she did it every single time and she did it perfectly," Roche said.
For weeks, Red navigated the hazards of the rubble piles amid the clatter and chaos following 9/11. After Red discovered dozens of bodies, Roche was sure that, among the rescue dogs working the pile, hers was one of the greats, though the dogs generally were impressive.
"They worked so hard and it was so hot and we were on a daytime shift, so it melted all of us. Just the work basically -- 12 hour shifts out in the sun." By the time we were done every day, they slept hard ... but they were willing the next morning. They were rejuvenated and pulling on the leash to go back to work," Roche said.
Ten years on, Roche, who keeps Red with her in Annapolis, Maryland, is still deep in the tight community of canine search and rescue. She and other handlers train their dogs in a simulated disaster environment such as one in suburban Washington with an obstacle course of a fabricated rubble site made of concrete blocks and wooden pallets.
Roche says the experience of 9/11 has demonstrated the importance of training dogs in these hazardous environments.
In her retirement, Red still tags along on some search missions. She wants to work, even if her body has lost a step or two in these past 10 years.
And, just as the human first responders continue to suffer ailments attributed to their work at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the handlers of estimated 300 canine search and rescue teams know the dogs who worked in the days and weeks following September 11, 2001 also gave up a part of themselves.
"With her, you know she's earned the right to do anything she wants," Roche said."
"They say a dog is man’s best friend, but it turns out the sentiment is mutual. Watch the joy overflow from this happy pup upon seeing his owner return from Afghanistan … and then go and give your own furry family members a hug!"
"She is pregnant; he had just saved her from a fire in her house, rescuing her by carrying her out of the house into her front yard, while he continued to fight the fire.
When he finally got done putting the fire out, he sat down to catch his breath and rest.
A photographer from the Charlotte , North Carolina newspaper, noticed her in the distance looking at the fireman.
He saw her walking straight toward the fireman and wondered what she was going to do.
As he raised his camera, she came up to the tired man who had saved her life and the lives of her babies and kissed him just as the photographer snapped this photograph."
And people say animals are dumb!
Relationship Checking Account
"One of the most important lessons I ever learned about dog training is the one I'm about to share with
you. I learned it about eight years ago while attending a seminar.
I can't remember who said it, but it has stayed with me for a long time.
It has helped me many, many times when I have taught dog owners how to apply it.
When I first started training dogs I learned from some very harsh trainers. I was taught to punish any behavior I didn't like. I was taught to use force to teach dogs obedience.
Many of the dogs that were trained this way would eventually show signs of aggression, or the dog would just start to shut down. You could see changes in their behavior.
All of this was very depressing to me. Until...
I learned about the Relationship Checking Account. You see, your dog is a product of his or her environment. If a dog is brought up in an angry, aggressive household - there is a very good chance that the dog will become aggressive.
Think of it this way. Every time you do something negative to your dog (yell, scruff, shake, smack, leash correction, etc.), you are making a withdrawal from your Relationship Checking Account.
Every time you do something positive (pet, play, treat, feed, etc.), you are making a deposit.
Here's the important point. You have to make more deposits than withdrawals in your Relationship Checking Account.
If you have more withdrawals than deposits, the relationship with your dog will bounce faster than a hot check!
Think of the relationships you have with your friends or relatives. Have you ever avoided a phone call from someone you know because all they will do is nag or complain. Have you ever told someone you were 'too busy' because you knew that going somewhere with them would be dreadful.
We have relationship checking accounts with everyone we know.
If a relationship is filled with deposits we will spend and enjoy our time with those people.
If the relationship is filled with withdrawals, we will lie, procrastinate, and avoid spending time with those people.
Your dog is stuck with you. We will all have to make withdrawals at some time. It happens in any relationship, but we want to make sure that we have made enough deposits so the Relationship Checking Account won't bounce." By Eric Letendre.
Lessons We Can Learn From Dogs
Bob Schieffer Says Humans Would Be Better Off If We Let Dogs Be Our Teachers
- Perhaps there would be less road rage if people did this. (AP/Robin Loznak, Great Falls Trib.)
- Play CBS Video Video Lessons From Man's Best Friend In his weekly commentary Bob Schieffer notes that humans would be better off if we allow our dogs to be our teachers.
Always run to greet loved ones when they come home.
Never pass the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
Recognize the ecstasy of fresh air and wind in your face.
Take naps. (I do that!)
Stretch before rising.
Run, romp and play daily.
Thrive on attention (I do that) and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, lie on your back in the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and find the shade.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Enjoy long walks.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want is buried, dig deep until you find it.
And, when someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
We'd be better off, better people . . . if we acted more like dogs. "
Unavoidable Accidents: Would Your Pet Survive?
"One of our partners, Christina Selter, founder of Bark Buckle UP, reported the following information that tells some real life stories of pet travelers. Bark Buckle UP is a pet travel safety advocacy organization and Selter works with police, fire and hospital first responders to advise them on rescue techniques for pets. She also travels the around country to speak to pet owners about the dangers of traveling with unsecured pets.
As quoted by a representative from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “wearing a seat belt costs you nothing but to not wear one certainly will.”
“National safety statistics indicate the number of pets traveling in vehicles continues to grow — and so do the number of pet fatalities. I’ll bet dog bones to dollars that 99.9 percent of pets travel improperly restrained.” — Christina Selter
Read article at: http://blog.rv.net/2009/06/unavoidable-accidents-would-your-pet-survive/
Buckle Up Your Pet.
“Pet owners need to realize that it is just as important to buckle their pet up as it is to buckle themselves up when the get into a car,” says Selter. “We all know that wearing a seat belt saves human lives. Well, it saves pet lives, as well. It costs nothing to strap yourself into your seatbelt, but the cost of not wearing a seat belt can cost you your life. The same applies to your dog or cat.”
Carriers should be seat-belted in, too.
Crash tests show that a car traveling at 35 mph with an unrestrained 60-pound dog causes an impact of 2,700 pounds in a crash.
That’s equivalent to an elephant crashing into a car seat, windshield or worse — a passenger. Chances are an animal cannot survive such an impact.
A further difficulty is that an unrestrained pet can impede the progress of first responders. Every second counts in getting to those injured in a car crash. If the crash scene is complicated by a dog that guards it owner, has been injured, or worse yet, has escaped from the car and is frantically running loose, a secondary accident in which the dog runs into oncoming traffic can occur, causing additional injuries or even death.
National safety statistics indicate the number of pets traveling in vehicles continues to grow — and so do the number of pet fatalities. “I’ll bet dog bones to dollars that 99.9 percent of pets travel unrestrained,” says Christina Selter, Bark Buckle UP’s founder.
“Our mission is to make first responders — that is, police, firefighters and EMTs — aware of the fact that a pet may be a passenger in a car involved in a crash, and that they need to look out for, and care for, that animal if indeed it has been injured or has gone missing."
More at: http://blog.rv.net/2009/04/safe-pet-travel/
"AAA notes that unrestrained pets cause more
than 30,000 accidents annually."
What Your Dog Means When He Barks
Just as with growling, dogs use different barks for different occasions:__________________
If your dog shows excitement when he encounters other people or dogs, his body is relaxed and he's wagging his tail, the barking he does at those times is his way of being neighborly.
If your dog barks at what seems like everything – every movement or every noise he's not expecting – he's distress barking. His body is probably held stiffly during this activity and he may jump forward a bit with each bark.
Your pup considers your home, yard, car, his walk route and other places he spends a lot of time, his territory. If your dog barks continuously when a person or another animal approaches his domain, he's communicating that a stranger is invading his turf.
Look at Me Barking.
Some dogs bark simply for attention – from you or another animal. Your dog might also bark in the hopes of getting food, a treat or some playtime. The more you reward the behavior by giving him what seeks, the more likely he'll be to continue to bark for attention.
If your dog answers when he hears other dogs barking, it's a social thing. He hears the barking of nearby dogs, or even dogs at some distance, and he responds in kind. This type of social barking is often heard at animal shelters and boarding facilities.
If your dog barks repetitively, perhaps while performing a repetitive movement like running back and forth along the fence in your yard, he's demonstrating a bit of an obsession. You might want to try to find a better outlet for his energy – like a walk or a game of fetch.
Let Me Outta Here Barking.
If your dog is behind your fence and another dog passes by within view, your pup might bark excessively to signal his frustration that he can't greet his buddy out there on the sidewalk. This type of barking is usually seen in dogs that are confined or tied up to restrict their movement.
More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/06/09/fascinating-insight-into-your-dogs-many-ways-to-communicate.aspx
Ask all ANIMAL LOVERS to pass this on.
With all the problems with Irene, Floods, and Wildfires, there are a lot more animals in need.
The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site DAILY - EVERY DAY. http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/
It is the only way they can meet their quota of getting free food to be donated every day to abused and neglected animals.
Just go to their site and click on the purple box 'FUND FOOD FOR ANIMALS' for FREE.
Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily
visits to donate food to abandoned and neglected animals in exchange for advertising.
Adopt or Foster
Irene, Floods and Wildfires mean more animals have been picked up, so the shelters and rescues are overflowing.
With more animals in the shelters think about adopting one:
"One of the best things about adopting a rescued pet is the knowledge you are saving a deserving dog or cat from languishing in a shelter or being put to death."
Or even fostering one.
The early morning news was full of the 9/11 memorial services, which were very interesting.
It had been arranged that I would pick Roni up to help with the upholstering at 9.30.AM. She wasn't ready, even though she had called to confirm. When she got here, she eventually started on more of the prep for the cushions. But every time I walked into another room to carry on with my part of it, she would start saying something in her low voice, and I would have to go back into the sewing area. I kept on saying to her, "I am not in there, I can't hear you", but she would keep on mumbling about some inconsequential matter. Most of the time she was on an eating or smoking break.
Ray was also here, and I was trying to help him too. He washed and vacuumed the Puddle Jumper, it was way overdue. There were items that I needed to remove from it, and put them where they belonged. Then he vacuumed the van, and we fixed the little crack on the vent visor. I was rushing around doing different things, and helping Ray fix the sticking back door.
Roni was supposed to be pressing the fabric so it could be fitted to the cushions, but she was standing on the front porch watching us. I had had enough, and took her home.
The fire is still burning in Magnolia. UPDATE. September 11, 2011.
"The roadways and evacuated areas in Montgomery County remain closed. Bull dozers are being used to create fire breaks and many areas are showing signs of progress. Any increase in wind velocity greatly enhances the possibilities of fire flare-ups and hampers extinguishing measures. Afternoon fire containment and/or expansion will affect the time frame to open evacuated areas.
Utility companies are being allowed access to these areas to begin assessments to restore those services."
Help Arrives For the Hundreds of Exhausted Firefighters:
"Commercial Donations come into Magnolia Operations Center all day. Lowes in Tomball has been sending pallets of water. McDonalds on FM 1488 and FM 2978 brought in over 500 burgers Saturday evening. Wal-mart has dropped some items. Chick-Filet has brought meals in.
A steady stream of HEB trucks arrived on the scene. Several trucks loaded with food, another tank truck loaded with potable water. Then came an impressive cook trailer able to handle almost 1500 meals an hour. A bunk house trailer for the workers who traveled with the trucks as they arrived from the last disaster they were set up at, the Bastrop fire.
The cook trailer was set up within minutes, A huge barbeque pit was set next to it and the other trucks started the unloading process of several trailers filled with food, water, and sports drinks.
Firefighters assembled inside for a full meal as they came off the line, bag meals were also available.
In the middle of all the work was Scott McClelland, President of HEB Houston and Central Market. Scott told us the mobile kitchen was first brought online during Allison in 2001 at which time it fed the entire Texas Medical center when it lost power. The kitchen has made many disaster scenes since. McClelland wasn’t in a suit and tie, but in his red shirt like all the others, pitching in and working side by side with the other HEB Employees. "
More at: http://montgomerycountypolicereporter.com/?p=32255
After it left the Bastrop fire, HEB set up their mobile kitchen for the Magnolia firefighters:
One more fatality:
"The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Petty Officer Brian K. Lundy, 25, of Austin, Texas, died while conducting a dismounted patrol in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Sept. 9. Lundy was assigned as a hospital corpsman to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. From: http://montgomerycountypolicereporter.com/?p=32259
In the afternoon, while I was doing other things, I half-watched and listened to TLC and History Channels.
They had more great shows about 9/11, and the events of that terrible day.