Is it just a coincidence, or have there been a few more than normal feel-good stories about dogs in the news these days?
Earlier this month we heard about Zeb. Then came a story from Annandale, VA where a dog was elected as president of the local Civic Association. Seems the good citizens there thought that Beatha Lea’s qualifications as “a relatively new resident, interested in neighborhood activities and the outdoors, and who had experience in Maine overseeing an estate of 26 acres” sounded perfect for the job. Turned out that Ms. Lea is a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier belonging to the current president, who was not able to run for a third term. The original story appeared in the Washingon Post.
This weekend came the story of a dog named Bear being found in the Tacoma area, after “wandering” away from his home in Woodland Park, Ca. near Sacramento. A resident turned Bear, a Paterdale Terrier, into the Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County without any collar or tags. Fortunately, Bear had a microchip and his owner was able to be contacted. After a 715 mile drive to the shelter, the two were happily reunited.
There was also the tale of Zack and Butch, two dogs that recently arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and are about to deploy to Iraq. They will be dispatched with a medical company charged with providing stress relief for deployed soldiers. The canines job is to draw out soldiers who normally would avoid a therapist or to just give someone a break from thinking about a long tour in the desert.
A recent study from the University of Virginia showed that teens in families with dogs are likely to get at least 15 minutes more moderate to vigorous exercise per week than teens without dogs. Hmmmm. Only 15 minutes more? Per week? How can this be, and is it even significant? Well. I suppose it’s a start and better than nothing. But if you were one of those dogs, wouldn’t you be looking for more than 15 minutes per week! The study is due to appear in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine in March.