Carl Icahn, the hostile takeover master who was the original corporate raider, is often quoted as saying, "In this business, if you want a friend, get a dog!" The rest of us already knew that dog was man's best friend, and with good reason. Dogs as pets date back at least as far as the days of Pompeii, where the remains of a dog stretched out next to a little boy were recovered from the rubble at Pompeii.
We all know that dogs are cute, warm, and cuddly, requiring little more than food, water, shelter and affection to return unwavering devotion. Dogs have earned their rightful place as a family member. In fact, what family portrait is complete without the family canine?
Dogs earned their place of prominence years ago among their blind and deaf owners and in local, state, federal and international law enforcement. Hint: be sure to rid your coat pockets of doggie biscuits the next time you travel, unless you want to be attacked by a drug and bomb-sniffing dog.
A quick glance through the amazing true stories ripped from the headlines below demonstrates that dogs may never fall from their pedestal as man's best friend! While it's true that we must do for dogs what they cannot do for themselves, have a look at the things that dogs have done for us that we could not or did not want to do for ourselves.
Dogs CAN smell cancer
On September 24, 2004, the Associated Press reported that the first scientific experiment to prove what has long been suspected—that dogs can smell cancer—was successful. A dog's sense of smell is far superior to that of a human's: 10,000 to 100,000 times better. The results of the study appeared in the British Medical Journal. The study proved that dogs could indeed smell cancer. What remains to be determined is whether dogs can effectively communicate the presence of cancer. What's most promising is that dogs may well be able to detect the presence of cancer before high-tech medical testing.
Dogs help seniors live longer
In 1999, a study reported in the Journal of American Geriatrics concluded what many have known intuitively and anecdotally for a long time: seniors with pets live longer and fuller lives both physically and mentally. Once again, science proves common sense. Dogs require walking. Active seniors with pets have lower blood pressure, visit their doctors less frequently, require hospitalization less frequently and when they are hospitalized, the duration is shorter. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes have moved almost en masse to allowing visiting pets or housing a resident pet for their residents. The Delta Pet Partner certifies pets to visit nursing homes and hospice facilities. If you have an elderly parent, consider giving the gift of life, a companion dog.
Hostage miniature dog escapes and eludes captors
In 1992, a teeny tiny 11-year-old Pomeranian was reportedly stolen from its home in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The following January, a father/daughter team in Corpus Christie, Texas, saw a van chasing the little dog. The driver abandoned the van and began chasing the dog on foot, but could never catch the dog. Finally, the dog's captor fled the scene, abandoning the dog, an animal perhaps 1/20th the size of its captor. The daughter chased the dog, and the dog willingly jumped in her arms. Since the dog wore tags, the father/daughter team returned the dog to its owners.
What's next? Courier dogs?
Actually, that's old news! In 2001, it was reported that a then five-year-old golden retriever named J.C. delivered its owners' prescriptions from the pharmacy. The pharmacy was located in the same strip mall as the owners' shop in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, and J.C. always accompanied the owners to the pharmacy. The dog began carrying the prescriptions back from these outings. J.C.'s not just any old dog. It was reported that he took instruction well, and when instructed, he ran down to the pharmacy and returned with prescriptions in tow.
Since the beginning of their relationship with humans, dogs have fended for their owners, rescuing them from all sorts of perilous situations. Won't you consider rescuing a dog from the loneliness of life without an owner?