Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekly Bird in the hand

My bird in the hand this week, (the things I am grateful for) is actually a dog!

Photo by Toronja Azul
Dogs are such lovely creatures. They invariable make you smile when you see one, especially if they are in a car with their head stuck out of the window and their ears blowing in the breeze!  They are loyal, funny, and show unconditional love.

And this week I heard of two dogs stories that caught my attention:
  • The first was written about in our local library newsletter.  The library has started a "reading to dogs" program. The idea is that children go to the library and read out aloud to the dogs.  Often kids will never read aloud at home and hate it when asked at school, but the dogs are affectionate and playful and non judgmental listeners.  Unlike humans, they don't notice mispronounced words or other reading mistakes and don't interrupt or correct.  Instead, they are soft and calm and help build confidence to new readers.  Doesn't that sound a wonderful way for kids to become more confident?

  • The second dog story was about Liam and Theo.  The SF Chronicle reported that they were a team searching for bombs in Afghanistan.  Liam was a British soldier and dog handler and Theo was a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel.  They had been working - and playing - together in Afghanistan for 6 months when Liam was killed in a firefight.  Theo, later that day, suffered a massive seizure and also died.  Many are saying he died of a broken heart. Liam's body and Theo's ashes were returned to England this week and saluted by a long line of military dog handlers, with their dogs at their sides.  There are some wonderful photos of Liam and Theo here both looking so happy.
So this week, I'm grateful for dogs and all they give us and teach us.


vilterietje said...

lovely stories! do you have a dog yourself? we have a dog and i'm sure he can understand everything i tell him, beceause when i'm home alone and he's awake, i can talk to him, gives us both the feeling of not being alone:)

Ruth said...

No we don't have a dog. However we are looking after a friend's dog in a couple of weeks as they are away. We took care of her when we were in Mexico so know her well. I'm sure it'll be fun to have her around. I'm glad your dog is there for you :=D