Why All Dogs Go To Heaven

Allan Parton’s tour of duty in the Gulf War left him half dead. A father of two children, he had to literally start life all over again: learning to think, talk, read, write – all the things most people take for granted. Then a miracle happened. Endal came into his life. Every morning Endal would help the wheelchair-bound veteran out of bed, open the bathroom door, jumps up to open the light switch, lift the toilet seat, brings him his clothes and toiletries. Then he opens the kitchen cupboard, removes the cereal bowl, spoon, knife and fork and voila! Breakfast! There’s not a bone of contention about it, Endal is Allen’s best friend. And yes, he’s a dog – a highly trained 3-year old yellow Labrador. And he knows how to use an ATM too! Service dogs are specifically trained to help people in various ways: from leading the blind to assisting seizure victims. Reader’s Digest once featured uncanny canines warning their masters of incoming epileptic attacks. “The predominant explanation seems to be that of a canine’s sense of smell, estimated to be at least 300 times more sensitive than a human’s, is responsible,” reported Lynn Waldsmith in her April 2001 article. “These dogs are amazing!” gushed veterinarian Kim Kachanoff, whose mother, Merrily Weisbord, is the author of Dogs With Jobs. Among those are Mas and Star. Mas is a black Newfoundland owned and trained by Ferruccio Pilenga, who dives from helicopters into raging rivers to save swimmers. Once, Mas swam towards a boat hurtling towards the breakwaters, caught the lifeline by her teeth, and pulled the stranded sailors to safety. Meanwhile, Star is the first fire-investigator dog in Europe. This 4-year old black Labrador helps Clive Gregory to sniff out clues. Gregory, a fire inspector from West Midlands Fire Service in Birmingham England, says Star can trace the ten substances usually used to start fires: gasoline, kerosene, acetone, diesel, turpentine, cellulose, lighter fluid, white and/or mentholated spirits and barbecue fuel. “Star is more efficient than the latest high-tech equipment,” he says. Willingly losing your life to save lives is the unquestioned seal of heroism. Brad and Sherry Steiger, authors of Dog Miracles: Inspirational and Heroic True Stories, give tale after tale of selfless tail-waggers that teaches human what they ought to be: A Jack Russell terrier named Scooter shielded Patrick Trotter from a dozen venomous rattlesnakes. A Hungarian bird dog named Blitzen wrestled with a mountain lion to save an 8-yearld girl. A Shih Tzu-spitz mix named Tippie woke up Charles Atwood while his house was burning. As soon as Atwood was out, Tippie rushed back to save her new-born puppies – but never returned. “Tippie gave her life to save me,” cried Atwood. “All I could do was watch the trailer burn and cry my eyes out.” On the lighter side, Dr. Bernard Wasserman, a veterinarian from Brooklyn N.Y., tells of a mangy mutt that was about to be put to sleep but was adopted by a woman whose husband eventually became the U.S. Ambassador to England. Then one day, who else would come to dinner but the Queen and Her Majesty petted the pooch. This and other shaggy tales came from the horse’s mouth – Dr.Wasserman in his book The Dog Who Met The Queen And Other Stories. And lastly, a Lassie-like tale from Drew Barrymore. The Charlie’s Angels star was saved from a fire by a dog she saved from a pound. She had take home two strays whom she named Flossie and Templeton. In the early morning hours, a fire suddenly engulfed her house. She and her boyfriend Tom Green were roused by the Labrador-chow mix Flossie, Templeton and another dog, Highla Flopsy (where did she get these names?) and together, escaped from the blazing $3 million inferno. “Flossie barked and literally banged their bedroom door. She was really the main alert that there was a fire,” said Eddie Michaels, Drew’s spokesman. A dog is a man’s best friend. But unlike some humans, dogs are “brave, intelligent, loyal – and they save people’s lives,” in the words of Kachanoff. “They’re an inspiration to us all.” Photo and Allan Parton and Endal courtesy of the Daily Mail. This story originally appeared in Philippine Panorama Your comments and links are welcome

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