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SERVICE ANIMALS

by Patricia L. Cook This Tidbits examines “man’s best friend” and other animals that go the extra mile serving humans. • Many service animals serve only one person in their service lives. A dog may be trained to help a blind or deaf person and stay with that person for about 10 years, usually until the dog dies or becomes incapable of serving because of health problems. • Service dogs trained for police work serve many people by protecting the public from criminals who may seek to harm others with bombs, drugs or other evil actions. • Dogs trained to serve in the military are extremely well trained and reliable members who serve alongside their comrades. Much of the work done by animals for the military is classified. It is known that the U.S. military has used pigeons, horses and chickens as well as dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions and other marine mammals and, of course, dogs. These animals have all served honorably to reduce risk to humans. • According to the U.S. Department of Defense, there about 3,000 dogs have worked as sentries, detecting bombs and land mines and performing search, rescue and recovery. Many of those animals have been on tour in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years. turn the page for more! WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

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March 28th 2012

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SERVICE ANIMALS (continued): • Military dogs are trained in San Antonio, Texas, at the Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base. German shepherds, Dutch shepherds and Belgian Malinois are the most common breeds used. The military purchases some of its dogs from breeders, but most are from its own breeding program. • When the Navy SEALs stormed Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound on May 2, 2011, four of the first feet on the ground were those of Cairo, a well-trained Belgian Malinois. When President Obama had a private meeting with the SEAL team, the only one of the super-secret team whose name was revealed was Cairo, the war dog. • The lighter, more compact Belgian Malinois breed is considered the best for operations undertaken by SEAL teams, such as tandem parachute jumping and rappelling. Dogs like Cairo are trained to detect and identify both hostile and/or hiding humans and explosives. The dogs are about twice as fast as their most physically fit SEAL companions.

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• Like other members of the SEALs, Cairo was equipped with super-strong, flexible body armor and high-tech equipment that included “doggles.” Doggles are specially designed dog goggles equipped with night-vision and infrared capability that allow dogs to see body heat even through concrete walls. • The hi-tech dog gear comes from a mom-andpop business in Winnipeg, Manitoba. K9 Storm, Inc., has a worldwide reputation for designing and manufacturing what is probably the best body armor available for military and police dogs. Working dogs in 15 countries use their K9 Storm body armor.

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• Some amazing information released from the Pentagon in October 2010 revealed that after six years and $19 billion spent in developing the ultimate bomb-detector technology, dogs are still the most accurate! Detection using the most advanced equipment, like drones and aerial detectors, yielded a 50-percent success rate. When a dog was involved, that rate rose 30 percent. Now that’s some serious sniffing! • Some other highly trained dogs that help keep our nation safe are the detector dogs trained to safeguard American agriculture. The National Detector Dog Training Center (NDDTC) in Newnan, Georgia, trains dogs and officers as teams to prevent pests and agricultural diseases from coming into the United States through airports, postal facilities, cargo warehouses, international borders and seaports.

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• One of the wonderful things about this program is that the NDDCT actually gets its dogs through animal shelters and animal rescues as well as through owner donations. It is important for dogs in this program to be comfortable and non-threatening when working around people in crowded places like airports. The NDDCT currently trains beagles and beagle mixes for airports and Labrador retrievers and Lab mixes for border patrol work and for warehouses and postal facilities.

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• Occasionally Jack Russell terriers are also used by the NDDCT, mainly to work in Guam finding brown tree snakes. (Ewww!) The snakes are “a dangerous threat to the ecology and economy of Guam.” Accidentally introduced to Guam in the 1940s or early 1950s, the snakes cause power outages and have eradicated most of Guam’s native forest birds. • The characteristics the NDDCT looks for in dogs that will serve in the “Agriculture Beagle Brigade” are age (1-3 years old); bold, curious and friendly personalities; and a love of food! If after some testing and training, a dog is not deemed appropriate for the work, it is put up for adoption.

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SERVICE ANIMALS (continued): • Other very important service animals are Assistance Dogs. There are three types: guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired, hearing dogs for the deaf and hard of hearing and service dogs for people with disabilities other than those related to vision or hearing. Guide dogs for the blind have been around and formally trained for over 70 years, while the other programs are newer. • A revised definition of “service animal” was recently passed in the United States, effective March 15, 2011: “Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.” This definition is part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It provides federal protection for service animals to accompany their person into public places. Service animals are not pets; they are working dogs. (Miniature horses are permitted under specific conditions.) • Service dogs are highly trained to meet the needs of the people they serve. Any breed can be used as a service dog. They are trained to standards established by dog trainers, animal behaviorists, people with disabilities and veterinarians. A service dog is an invaluable addition to the life of its person, helping them gain freedom and independence.

FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE WORLD:

THE STATUE OF LIBERTY One of the most enduring symbols of the United States and a treasured landmark in New York City is the Statue of Liberty. • “Lady Liberty,” as she is frequently called, was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship formed during the American Revolution. • The idea for a statue to be given to the United States was born at the home of Edouard de Laboulaye, near Versailles, France, in the summer of 1865. Laboulaye is considered the “Father of the Statue of Liberty.” Unfortunately, he died before its completion. • French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design the sculpture with the plan for it to be presented in 1876 to celebrate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence. Gustave Eiffel, France’s most respected engineer, who later designed the Eiffel Tower, was commissioned to help Bartholdi with the massive structure. • While the French were responsible for the Statue and for assembling it once it came to America, the pedestal was the responsibility of the Americans. Funding for both projects was difficult. Both countries allowed auctions, lotteries, entertainment events and more to be held to raise funds for the huge project. • When Joseph Pulitzer became the owner and editor of the New York World in 1883, he appealed to people all across the country to contribute funds and to not bring shame upon the nation by not providing for the generous gift from the French. His plea was heard; money poured in from people all across the country. • The Statue was completed in France in July 1884 and arrived in New York Harbor in June 1885. The pedestal construction was finished in April 1886. The Statue remained unassembled in crates for over a year waiting for the completion of the pedestal. The centennial gift was actually 10 years late! • The Statue was transported from France to the United States on the French frigate Isere. It was disassembled into 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates. Reportedly, rough seas almost brought a disastrous end to the Isere and its cargo. • It took four months to re-assemble the Statue on her pedestal. She was dedicated on October 28, 1886, in front of thousands of spectators. President Grover Cleveland proclaimed that “Liberty” would “magnify France beyond the seas.” Fireworks followed the dedication, and then New York City’s first “Ticker Tape” parade ensued. • The original torch was actually displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Today, it is located in the museum at Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island with the Statue. In 1984, it was replaced by a new, copper torch covered in 24k gold leaf that reflects sunlight in the day and is lit by 16 floodlights at night. • Much symbolism was built into the Statue. The crown has 25 windows symbolizing gemstones and heaven’s rays shining over the world. The seven rays on the crown represent the seven seas and continents. Chains and a broken shackle at the Statue’s feet represent freedom from oppression and servitude. Lady Liberty is holding a book that has July 4, 1776, inscribed on it, the date of American Independence.


Page 5

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STRANGE BUT TRUE by Samantha Weaver

● It was noted American science fiction author Philip K. Dick who made the following sage observation: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” ● The first chocolate factory in the United States was established even before the states were united. Back in 1765, two enterprising men named John Hanan and James Baker chose Dorchester, Mass., as the site for their factory, which they mechanized by using waterpower. ● If you’re like the average American, you eat 23 quarts of ice cream every year. ● You might be surprised to learn that the given name of iconic Apache leader Geronimo, Goyathlay, translates as “one who yawns.” And the very name Apache isn’t what the tribe originally called itself; it’s word from the Zuni Indian language, and it means “enemy.” ● In a scant 100 years, from 1500 to 1600, the population of the city of London quadrupled in size. ● Singer and songwriter Roger Miller, best known for his hit song “King of the Road,” had a passion for music early, even though his family was poor. When he was in grade school, he spent his weekends picking cotton so he could save up enough money to buy a guitar. After eighth grade he quit school and went to work herding cattle and riding in rodeos. ● Interestingly, the word “pudding” came into the English language from the German word “puddek,” which means “sausage.” ***

Would you like to sponsor the Hocus-Focus? Call Kevin, 270-2961 “NATIONAL” WORDS (continued):

• French: Chefs know what it means to “french” a food item. It’s a verb that means to cut into thin strips, like, well, french fries. (And yes, that’s how the finger-friendly potato dish took its name.) Green beans are another item commonly prepared in this manner. • Maltese: These tiny spaniels are easy to identify thanks to their long, silky coats. The American Kennel Club groups them with other “Toy Dogs” like Pugs and Yorkshire Terriers. Feline aficionados also use the term Maltese to describe cats that have a similarly silky, grayblue coat.

• Colombian: This term means different things to different people, depending on how you get your “jones.” Narcotics dealers may refer to their products as Colombian, although the actual source is often unknown. Luckily, the majority of us prefer a bit of legal Colombian, as in the coffee grown in the South American nation. The prevalence of coffee shops throughout America is proof enough of usthis just week’s can’t get along Arethat youmany enjoying issue of in the morning without a hot cup of Colombian. Tidbits? If so, please give a big

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• Arrondissements 1,4,5,6,7 and 8 border the Seine and contain many of the historical buildings that Paris is famous for. The Louvre Museum and Tuileries Gardens are found in number 1. • Numbers 2 and 3 do not border the river and are the smallest sections of Paris. They are known for the National Library and National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, respectively, as well as historical businesses, like the old stock exchange, and museums. • The 4th Arrondissement is the oldest and one of the busiest tourism sections in Paris where Notre-Dame Cathedral is located. • Notre-Dame Cathedral is actually built on an island, the Île de la Cité, in the river. The Pont Neuf bridge connects the island with the right and left banks. Originally made of wood, the bridge, with 12 arches, was rebuilt in 1607. It is the oldest bridge in Paris. • The cathedral was built over a span of 182 years, from 1163-1345. Notre-Dame has undergone two major restorations: in the 19th century after damage during the French Revolution and again from 1991-2001. • The city designers of Paris not only meant for the arrondissements to organize the layout of the city, but they also contain monuments that represent major landmarks on the landscape. Notre-Dame is the central point in Paris; the Eiffel Tower marks the west; the Bastille column, the east; Sacré Coeur (Sacred Heart Basilica), the north; and Montparnasse Tower marks the south. • Some of the famous landmarks in Paris provide the best spots to start touring the city and the best views. The square in front of Notre-Dame indicates the starting point for measuring all distances in France (not just Paris). From in front of Sacré Coeur, there is a view of the entire city of Paris. It is the highest point in the city after the Eiffel Tower. • Paris is an interesting city with much to offer, but it can be confusing if you don’t know about the strange arrondissement patterns. Of course, knowing a bit of the French language is also helpful!


March 28th 2012

Page 8

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