Service Golden Retriever Debbi sorely missed

Wagging was least of what a special dog did for woman
By Charlie Patton, The Times-Union

For most animal lovers, pets are like family members. For Mary Strano, her golden retriever Debbi was that and more: companion, helper, cheerleader, friend.

A trained service dog, Debbi was matched with Strano on Feb. 8, 2000, by the Assistance Dog Institute in Santa Rosa, Calif., where Strano was living at the time.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990, Strano had been steadily losing strength and muscle control. In 1997, she began using a wheelchair full time.

Debbi, who had just turned 2 when she was matched with Strano, was raised and trained to be not only a companion dog but an assistant for the disabled. For almost seven years, they were virtually inseparable. “She was my 24-hour-a-day dog,” Strano said.

Which is why Debbi’s unexpected death from a blood disorder in December has been so difficult for Strano.

There’s much more . . .

Golden Brandon all ready

maskg.jpg

Lunenburg pets get oxygen boost – Masks donated by NEADS club
By Lynne Klaft Correspondent

LUNENBURG— The Lunenburg Fire Department received a donation of pet oxygen masks yesterday from Worcester County NEADS Lions Club yesterday. The masks are to be used in the rescue of cats and dogs. “We’re trying to reach out to every community within Worcester County,” said Judith M. Karkane, a member of the Lions Club and a lifelong resident of Lunenburg.

There’s more . . . .

Our Explosive Detection Dogs

TSA Aims To Keep Airports Safe With Hybrid Dog
Jim Benemann Reporting

(CBS4) SAN ANTONIO “Seek…..Up…..Good Boy, Xzylo!” At Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, a thin golden dog named Xzylo makes quick work of the cargo area. With only a few commands from his handler, he finds a bomb buried in a bin of mail bags.

Even though this area looks like it could be part of any airport cargo area, it is, in fact, a training area for dogs like Xzylo.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security has looked for every possible way to make air travel and mass transit safer in this country. As a part of that effort, they have come up with four legged solutions like Xzylo.

There’s more with a very cool video news report . . .