Human contact with dolphins is limited. In recent years, the animal with whom most of us have had the greatest contact is the dog. One doesn’t have to be a “dog-lover” to recognize that these beings have provided enormous amounts of companionship, devotion and loyalty to people over the years.
Television shows like “Lassie” and “Rin Tin Tin” were not wholly contrived fantasies. They were dramatic representations of the loyalty, devotion, and intelligence of dogs. There are actually thousands of fully-documented and independently verified incidents that make the adventures of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin pale by comparison.
One day in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 1955, a man named Ken Wilson was trying to teach a horse to accept a saddle in his corral. Ken wasn’t at all concerned about his three-year-old son, Stevie, who he thought was playing at a neighbor’s. But what he didn’t know was that little Stevie had wandered off alone, fallen into a pond, and sunk to the bottom. The boy’s dog, Taffy, however, saw the disaster and immediately raced to the corral, barking uproariously, and demanding Mr Wilson’s attention. When the man ignored him, Taffy made a big show of charging into the pond, all the while continuing to bark at the top of his lungs. Then he raced back and nipped at the horse’s legs. Finally Mr. Wilson realized the dog was trying to tell him something, and dismounted. Immediately, Taffy bolted to the pond, barking for the bewildered man to follow him. When Wilson got to the pond, he saw his little son’s red jacket floating on the surface of the water. Finally realizing what had happened, he instantly dove headlong into the four-foot-deep water, found his unconscious son, and lifted him from the bottom. It was six hours before Stevie regained consciousness. But when he did, the first thing he saw was his little dog Taffy, sitting prayerfully beside his bed.
Taffy is not the only dog that has saved the lives of children. There are thousands of such cases, fully documented and verified.
One such child was two-year-old Randy Saleh, of Euless, Texas. Little Randy wandered away from home one day. When his parents noticed his absence and couldn’t find him anywhere, they called the police. But even a two-hour police search did not locate young Randy. The parents were becoming extremely alarmed, and when they noticed that the boy’s dog, a St. Bernard named Ringo, was also missing, they found themselves praying that the big dog was with their little son, and was somehow protecting him.
Meanwhile, a man named Harley Jones had to stop his car for a traffic jam on a highway about three quarters of a mile from Randy’s home. Getting out of his car, he asked other stopped motorists if they knew what was the problem. They told him the trouble was “caused by a mad dog in the road ahead.” Curious, Jones walked toward the head of the line of stopped cars to see for himself what was going on. What he saw was a St.Bernard, stationed resolutely in the center of the highway, barking wildly, and letting no car move by in either direction. Jones saw the dog was protecting a little boy who was merrily playing in the center of the heavily-traveled thoroughfare. The dog would stop any car that dared attempt to drive through the area, and then would immediately rush back to the little boy, and nudge him toward the side of the road. But the little fellow, thinking the whole thing was just a game, would return to the center of the highway.
Jones spoke soothingly to the St. Bernard, and managed to calm him down. But the dog would not let a single car move until little Randy was safely off the road.
I think you’d have a hard time convincing little Randy’s parents that animals are just mechanical contraptions.
Now, if you are like me, you may get a little choked up when you learn of these incidents. These are not just cases of dogs waking up their masters because they are panicking in the midst of a fire, and then later getting credit. These are not the work of machines without feeling, driven only by instincts and reflexes. They are demonstrations of courage and devotion and selfless love. They are intelligent and brave responses to emergencies.
Story is from “Diet for A New America”, an inspiring book by author John Robbins, promoting a cruelty free way of life for the physical, environmental, social and spiritual well being of Mother Earth and all of her children. Visit www.earthsave.org for more on the work of John Robbins