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    CELEBRATING HEROES – The Four-Legged Kind!

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CELEBRATING HEROES – The Four-Legged Kind!

In these uncertain times, we all owe a debt of gratitude to our courageous first responders during this COVID-19 pandemic – each one of them is a hero.  This month we would like to salute the four-legged heroes who also work tirelessly to aid humanity worldwide.

Dogs (as many of us are aware) have a keen sense of smell far beyond what we mere humans can boast.  Their numerous heroic efforts to aid people stretch beyond their keen olfactory (sense of smell) capabilities. Dogs also can isolate a scent, and perhaps more importantly, ignore a multitude of other odors to pinpoint dangerous chemicals and toxins which adversely affect all living things.

Law enforcement and the military have employed dogs for many years as both trackers and in search and rescue operations.  Beyond sniffing out illegal drugs and explosives, dogs participate in global conservation efforts.  These canines are trained to locate dangerous plants and animals, thus safeguarding numerous locales. Dogs are also engaged in discovering and collecting scientific data about specific animal habitats, providing researchers with additional information regarding particular species.  They furthermore aid in uncovering the smuggling of wildlife, which protects both the animals and their environments.

Traditionally, Dalmatians are associated with being the mascot dogs of fire stations.  However, firefighters utilize various breeds of dogs to help them in numerous applications within their job.  These include search and rescue, as well as arson.  Not many people may realize that there is only about an 11% conviction rate for those who commit arson. However, when firehouses choose to utilize dogs specially trained to sniff out the cause of arson, that convict rate rises to 40%.

We would be remiss not to mention the many helpful hounds who provide both emotional and bodily support to those who have PTSD, various disabilities, prolonged hospitalization, and those in care facilities. These interactions offer both physical and psychological comfort to hurting humans when they need it the most.

So, we salute all the dogs in this world who are making it a better place for everyone – this includes the ones sitting next to us on the couch who have provided both love and compassion at a time in history where we need it the most.