The Howler

176 Hits

Clinic News

The volunteer vet, Andy Postles, will be off island for the next 2 weeks. Routine surgery will be scheduled for after his return on the 22nd April. The clinic will remain open over the next 2 weeks (Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm) and our wonderful vet nurses will do their best to support any veterinary needs your animals may have.

They are highly trained and able to vaccinate animals, anaesthetise or euthenase animals, stitch up wounds, and give advice on flea and worm treatment. They will also continue to man the after-hours phone, should any emergencies occur after the clinic has closed. Please phone the clinic on 22403 during office hours for any information you may need. The after-hours number is 7777277, if you have an animal emergency. 

 

What a Difference a Dog Can Make

Guide dogs

These dogs are trained to lead blind people around obstacles. Service animals help in other ways. They give a blind person more confidence, friendship and security. Companionship offered by a pet helps reduce anxiety, depression and loneliness. Service animals make it easier to get around, resulting in the person getting more exercise. People are more willing to go places and feel a sense of independence. In many cases service animals offer a life-changing experience. Owners of service animals share a special bond with their family and report that their animal is more a loyal friend than a working animal. However, it is important to remember that service animals are working animals and if you see one out and about, it should not be distracted while working.

When we think of the many ways dogs support people, they truly should be regarded as “man’s best friend.” The different roles that service dogs are trained for are many and varied. There are hearing dogs, guide dogs for the blind or visually impaired, mobility assistance dogs, medical response dogs, autism service dogs and seizure response dogs. Each dog will be assigned to a person in need and trained to help them with specific tasks, but will also be a great source of comfort to them, as described in the article below.

This is an excerpt from an article in the Los Angeles Times titled “Service Dogs are beyond Fetching”:-

One moment 15 year old Glen Gregos was a happy-go-lucky kid riding a motorcycle. The next he was the lucky-to-be-alive victim of a terrible accident, paralyzed from the chest down.

Now 54 and the resident of Woodland Hills, Gregos has built a rewarding life – college, marriage, a successful banking career, a daughter who just graduated from college.

Still, for decades after the accident, Gregos faced challenges every day from simple things most of us take for granted – going to the grocery store, going out the front door. And then 6 years ago, his life took another dramatic turn. He met Beulah – a.k.a. Miss Bo – a black Labrador retriever who has been at his side, 24/7, ever since – to open doors, carry bags, pull his wheelchair, pick up things he drops on the floor and cheer up any black moods he falls into.

“It’s hard to put into words everything these dogs do for you” he says. “It’s physical. It’s emotional. It’s all encompassing. You probably have to live it to understand it.”

If we think of the myriad of other ways in which dogs are trained to help people, we must acknowledge the great debt humans owe to dogs:-

• Customs “sniffer” dogs

• Police dogs

• Avalanche rescue dogs

• Bomb detection dogs

• Sheep dogs on farms

• Search and rescue dogs

• Prison dogs

Above are examples of highly trained and helpful support dogs in many different areas of life. Many of us have a dog or two in our lives that are not “specialised” in any particular way. However, they are our friends and they do give unconditional love to us, their friends. Unconditional love is something very rare and something very precious, a “pearl beyond price”!

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia