Category Archives: special dogs and awards

Arson dog joins the Boston Fire Department

The Boston Fire Department has a new recruit – it’s Keegan, an arson dog.

Click on the lick below to watch Keegan demonstrating his skill with Lieutenant Tom Murray…

Arson dog demo

Just another example of how dogs can be trained to work for our benefit!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Arthur chose them…and a new life in Sweden

The Swedish members of Team Peak Performance started out as a team of four in a 430-mile adventure race through the Amazon.  By the time they finished the race in Ecuador, they had added a 5th member, a canine named Arthur.

Arthur’s story, including his subsequent relocation to Sweden, has captured the world’s attention.  This is a classic case of a dog choosing its adoptive owner.

It started when Captain Mikael Lindnord threw a stray dog a meatball at a rest break.  A 24-mile rainforest hike, one leg of the race, was about to begin and the stray kept pace with the team.  When the team entered its kayaks for a water part of the race, the stray (now named Arthur) jumped in to swim and stay with them.

“The organisers advised us not to bring Arthur, as it could be unsafe on the water,” explained Mr Lindnord.

“But when we set off in the kayaks, he started swimming after us. It was too heart-breaking and we felt we couldn’t leave him, so we picked him up.  We could hear the people cheer on the shore as we set off.”

Mikael and Arthur during the race Photo: Krister Göransson/Peak Performance

Mikael and Arthur during the race Photo by: Krister Göransson/Peak Performance

Mikael has now adopted Arthur and brought him back to Sweden to become a member of the family.

Arthur and his new family at the airport

Arthur and his new family at the airport

Recognizing that Arthur’s story has touched many who want to help other strays, the team has set up the Arthur Foundation to receive donations.

You can follow Arthur’s progress on the Team’s Facebook page.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pelorus Jack – remembering World War I

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and commemorations are being held across the Globe.

It’s a fitting time to remember the animals that served during the conflict.

Pelorus Jack, a Bulldog, was the mascot of the HMS New Zealand.  In fact, there were two Pelorus Jacks because the first mascot was killed and subsequently replaced.

A model of Pelorus Jack with his collar and leads (photo courtesy of NZ History)

A model of Pelorus Jack with his collars and leads (photo courtesy of NZ History)

The first dog was a gift to the ship from a New Zealander living in England. He was named after the famous dolphin that accompanied ships traveling in the outer Marlborough Sounds between 1888 and 1912.  He was killed when he fell down the forward funnel of the ship and was officially ‘discharged dead’ from the Navy on 24 April 1916.

In his will he had requested that his successor be a ‘bull pup of honest parentage, clean habits, and moral tendencies’.

The second Pelorus Jack, also a bulldog,  was terrified of the noise of the ship’s guns.  He achieved the rank of leading sea dog before his final discharge in October 1919.   On his return to New Zealand, he was gifted to the City of Auckland along with his silver collar, a brass studded collar and leading reins.

The Auckland War Memorial Museum holds these items in its collection, along with the collar of Caesar the Anzac Dog.  Read my blog about Caesar here.  Another Pelorus Jack collar is kept in the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum in Devonport.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Source:  New Zealand History

The dog mayor of San Francisco

On Tuesday (18 November 2014), Frida the Chihuahua was sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco for the day.

Frida, after her swearing in ceremony (photo by NBC News)

Frida, after her swearing in ceremony (photo by NBC News)

Frida earned the honor because her owner had the winning bid of $5,000 at an auction to benefit the Department of Animal Care and Control, which runs the city’s animal shelter.

“We applaud Mayor Frida’s ability to rise above her humble start as a single mom in an animal shelter to Mayor for the Day,” said Miriam Saez, acting director of the Animal Care and Control Department.

Frida

At the end of the day on Tuesday, Frida’s retirement package included a dog bed, toys and a gift basket.

Go Frida!

The hero dog of Ashland (MA)

The Boston Globe has reported on a newly-recognized hero dog:  Dax.  Dax is the first recipient of a state heroism award.  In July 2013, Dax saved his handler from a suspect armed with a shotgun.

Dax’s medal came with a special backing to protect him from its sharp edges when he wears it.

Good dog!

Ashland Police Officer Christopher E. Alberini along with his partner Dax were awarded the Medal Of Valor. Governor Patrick gave Dax a pat on the head.  Photo by:  David L Ryan/Globe Staff

Ashland Police Officer Christopher E. Alberini along with his partner Dax were awarded the Medal Of Valor. Governor Patrick gave Dax a pat on the head. Photo by: David L Ryan/Globe Staff

 

Border collies patrol at airports

In today’s Christchurch Press, comes news that Christchurch Airport has employed its first Border Collie, Jet, to scare away geese and other birds from the runway areas.

14-week old Jet, Christchurch Airport's newest employee, will undergo training to get her used to the noisy runways at the airport (Photo by The Press)

14-week old Jet, Christchurch Airport’s newest employee, will undergo training to get her used to the noisy runways at the airport (Photo by The Press)

Bird strike is a major hazard for modern aviation.  Bird strike was the cause of the engine failure on US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009, for example.  That plane landed safely in New York’s Hudson River in what was called the “Miracle on the Hudson.”  Bird strike can also cause damage to aircraft windscreens and fuselages, not just engines.

Jet’s arrival in Christchurch is a first for New Zealand but Border Collies have been patrolling airports in other countries for many years.

Birds view the dogs as natural predators and so, where they may become accustomed to other scare tactics like sirens, the birds will always be wary of being chased by a dog.

Airports that use Border Collie patrols include Southwest Florida International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, New Bedford Regional Airport (Massachusetts), Dover Air Force Base (US Air Force), Ramat David Air Force Base (Israel), Cold Lake Air Force Base (Canada), and Augusta Regional Airport (Georgia).

A Border Collie at the Southwest International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla. By Marc Beaudin, The (Ft. Myers, Fla.) News-Press

A Border Collie at the Southwest International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla.
By Marc Beaudin, The (Ft. Myers, Fla.) News-Press

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The 13,000 euro rescue operation

Skipper the Jack Russell Photo by Steffen Pletl

Skipper the Jack Russell Photo by Steffen Pletl

Skipper is a special Jack Russell.  After getting incredibly stuck in a badger sett, a complex network of tunnels underground, his owner had to call emergency services to dig him out.

After almost 7 hours of work, they managed to free Skipper.  During this time, they excavated 50 square metres of earth….all because he broke free from his leash when a friend was walking him in November 2012.  He followed his nose and, because he was dragging his leash, he became tangled.

His owner challenged the 13,000 euro bill she received; it’s been discounted to 10,000 in a settlement to end a court dispute.

How much would you spend to rescue your precious pooch?

Source:  The Times