If You Want a Friend, Get a Dog!

Written by M J Plaster

Carl Icahn,repparttar 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 asrepparttar 125828 days of Pompeii, whererepparttar 125829 remains of a dog stretched out next to a little boy were recovered fromrepparttar 125830 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 withoutrepparttar 125831 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 biscuitsrepparttar 125832 next time you travel, unless you want to be attacked by a drug and bomb-sniffing dog.

A quick glance throughrepparttar 125833 amazing true stories ripped fromrepparttar 125834 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 atrepparttar 125835 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,repparttar 125836 Associated Press reported thatrepparttar 125837 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 ofrepparttar 125838 study appeared inrepparttar 125839 British Medical Journal. The study proved that dogs could indeed smell cancer. What remains to be determined is whether dogs can effectively communicaterepparttar 125840 presence of cancer. What's most promising is that dogs may well be able to detectrepparttar 125841 presence of cancer before high-tech medical testing.

Dogs help seniors live longer

In 1999, a study reported inrepparttar 125842 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,repparttar 125843 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 givingrepparttar 125844 gift of life, a companion dog.

The Lochranza Story

Written by Ron Hevener

THE MAKING OF A NOVEL … or … "How I Wrote The Blue Ribbon"

Ron Hevener

Changing your life is easy. All you have to do is write a novel. Of course, you have to live a little before you've got anything interesting to say. Which means, you could end up with a house full of heartache and lots of gray hair byrepparttar time you've got enough to tell a story. In my case, it took 443 pages and every one of them felt like a year.

"The Blue Ribbon" isn't a novel that happened overnight. Much of it was lived byrepparttar 125826 characters before anyone knew a novel was being hatched. If I remember right, an imaginative dress designer andrepparttar 125827 richest girl in town getting to know each other wasn'trepparttar 125828 start ofrepparttar 125829 story at all. The story behindrepparttar 125830 making ofrepparttar 125831 paperback novel that's creating such a buzz right now goes way back to a hot afternoon on July 8, 1945. That's when a plump, dark-haired young bookkeeper named Jackie Kauffman got off a bus and walked along a dirt road to a farm house in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and got herself a Collie puppy. Me? Forget about me. I wasn't even born yet. Jackie and I wouldn't meet for another twenty years and that's getting ahead of our story.

Jacqueline M. Kauffman grew up in a big Victorian house onrepparttar 125832 edge of a town called Manheim. There were two Kauffman girls: A glamorous one who looked like a movie star and a plain one who would spend her life working at a dull job in a big company and never marry. The plain one was Jackie, later to becomerepparttar 125833 wealthy Esmeralda in "The Blue Ribbon."

She was quite a romantic, this unmarried woman. Her rambling house was filled with paperback novels and there were lists of sensual names forrepparttar 125834 many puppies she registered overrepparttar 125835 years. The name "Lochranza" was selected from such a novel. She said it wasrepparttar 125836 name of a retreat forrepparttar 125837 Scottish monarchy.

The Kauffman girls didn't have a father at home and I know Jackie grew up missing her Dad. But, Mother, a bitter, scowling woman, had chased him off and never liked men much after that. She ruined a love affair for Jackie by sendingrepparttar 125838 police afterrepparttar 125839 man and catching them. If I tell you Jackie was in her Thirties atrepparttar 125840 time, it might give you an idea ofrepparttar 125841 power exerted by Mother Kauffman. Maybe that's why Jackie's heart went out to Collies: They're always cheerful. Maybe that's why she took off for dog shows almost every weekend: To get away.

Lochranza Kennels was a perfectly maintained enterprise advertising in allrepparttar 125842 right magazines and winning top honors when it was my turn to look for a puppy. I rememberrepparttar 125843 clean, beautiful dogs;repparttar 125844 flowers everywhere;repparttar 125845 carefully mowed lawn andrepparttar 125846 freshly painted house. I remember Mother Kauffman, much likerepparttar 125847 character Dorothy Jacobus inrepparttar 125848 story none of us knew I would one day write, busying herself as she sweptrepparttar 125849 porch - listening to every word.

Buying my first purebred puppy that day, I didn't know I was meetingrepparttar 125850 one who would take me intorepparttar 125851 world of purebred animals where I would "make my name." I didn't know I would be trusted to handlerepparttar 125852 Lochranza Collies inrepparttar 125853 show ring for Jackie, help to developrepparttar 125854 bloodline and that, one day, Lochranza Collies would be known throughoutrepparttar 125855 world. I just knew I had found a friend.

Jackie liked to read to me. She read every one ofrepparttar 125856 Albert Payson Terhune books to me as I brushed and fedrepparttar 125857 dogs. And she liked to cook good, old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch pot pie. Oh, I miss that! Mmmm!

Asrepparttar 125858 years went by, she would call me torepparttar 125859 kennel every time a new Collie magazine arrived. These were my lessons. And she was tough! We would sit at her kitchen table and go through those magazines page by page, studying every picture and reading every article.

"What do you think about this dog?" she'd ask.

"I like him," I'd say.

"What! Can't you see how long he is inrepparttar 125860 hock? You'd better take another look!" she'd scold, real stern. And then she'd laugh.

I think she liked me.

Asrepparttar 125861 years went by, I married and moved away. I had daughters of my own and lost touch with Jackie. One day, on an impulse, I thought I must go to a dog show again. It was Mother's Day and I remember seeing a familiar woman walking acrossrepparttar 125862 field. Beside her was a Sable Collie with a huge coat; obviously her treasure. "Jackie! Jackie!"

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