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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, April 14 2002

Canine heroes

Pat and I enjoy reading about and listening to stories about dogs and their heroic actions. As you might guess, we spend time watching the Animal Planet network, especially when dogs are featured. Usually, the features are about dogs in other states and far-off cities. However, just this past week, we heard of a dog in Patton that performed a very heroic deed. The dog, a 6-month-old Jack Russell terrier named Fritz, saved the life of his fellow house pet Brandy, a 17-year-old Chihuahua crippled from age.

The owners of the dogs went on a shopping trip to Indiana and left a pot on a hot burner. By the time the couple returned, three hours later, the house was filled with smoke. When they opened the front door, Fritz was lying on the floor just inside the door but Brandy was not there. That is, Brandy was not visible. Fritz was lying on Brandy to protect her from the smoke and heat. As soon as Fritz saw the door open and smelled the fresh air, he grabbed Brandy by the neck and pulled her out of the house.

The couple took the dogs to the Ebensburg Animal Hospital to have them checked. Neither had any lung damage from the smoke. Certainly, the fact that both dogs were small breeds and close to the floor had a lot to do with their survival. Nevertheless, Fritz's instinct to get Brandy close to a potential source of good air and his willingness to put himself between the danger and Brandy says a lot for his canine character. In his own small way, he is a canine hero.

The story of another canine hero came to my attention this week in a newsletter I receive from Guiding-Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, NY. Salty, a well-trained guide dog, led his master down from the 71st floor of the first Twin Tower struck on September 11, 2001. Amidst the confusion, noise, and strong smell of jet fuel, Salty kept his cool and never veered from his job. As a result, he and his master escaped the doomed building and ran to safety before it collapsed. Guiding-Eyes for the Blind awarded Salty a hero citation for being a canine hero.

Smile starters

Smiling is infectious, You catch it like the flu.
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner, and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized, I'd passed it to him.
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth.
A single smile just like mine, could travel the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic, quick, and get the world infected!

Sent by Mike Harrison

Harder to pray than fight

The Catholic writer Henri Nouwen, who was a priest...went to [Mother Teresa] once and poured out his problems—he wasn't appreciated, he was misunderstood, higher-ups weren't helping him in his good work. "You wouldn't be having these problems if you prayed more," she said. And that's all she said. At first, Nouwen felt resentful—he had expected encouragement, sympathy, solidarity. Instead, he got a blunt statement that he knew, in a moment, was true. He really wouldn't be having these problems if he prayed more. So he went home and prayed. And the problems became manageable, and life did not end.

Peggy Noonan
Writing in the Wall Street Journal

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