Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Dogs sniffing for your health

I hope you enjoy the latest videos on our amazing canines - those disguised as 'regular' dogs that actually save lives. Cancer and Bio-detection Dogs mission is "To improve the detection, recognition and diagnosis of human diseases and other medical conditions by the use of dogs and other animals trained in the recognition of relevant stimuli." A worthy mission indeed.

Barking Mad is on a mission too: "Creating a safe and pet-friendly society." Another worthy mission, I hope. It seems we need to appreciate the utilitarian aspect of something to give it deserving respect. As dogs become more "useful" to us, then we may become more pet-friendly in public spaces.

Did you know that both dogs in the photos are assistance animals with the same legal rights as dogs for the vision and hearing impaired? Yet, you can not register them such in NSW because the silly Dept. of Local Government doesn't recognise dogs trained by agencies or people other than the THREE they list! And yes, I have that in writing.

Pets are terrific company, man's best friend and all the rest in their own right, regardless if they help us live healthier, build our compassion or ease our anxiety. Yet, Australian cities have become SO dog-hostile. How local councils (Newcastle, Noosa as examples) can ban dogs from cafes is madness - and this is outdoor seating as well! It simply does not make economic sense. The pet industry is booming and now contributes more to our economy than fishing and forestry combined (the QUIZ answered).

You can read about Grace and her black lab Garbo here. Grace says everyone at her Tennessee, USA school loves the dog. Not so Australia! Remember when a Perth school refused to let a student take his specially trained dog to class? They used the lame excuse of 'concern' about how the dog will fit into a classroom environment and other students possible allergies. So, a child in a life-threatening seizure would fit better into a classroom environment than that child's' assistance animal? Thankfully for this family, another school with more common sense welcomed Corey and his scents dog Oscar.