MSNBC provided the next two stories, and aside from being cute, they will warm your heart. Rev. Tom Eggebeen took over the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles and wanted to build a younger parishioner base. So he decided to do something priests and pastors have long been reluctant to do - embrace four-legged community members. Eggebeen now holds a weekly 30-minute doggie service - humans more than welcome - with canine prayers and doggie treats as offerings. While this does go against traditional church teaching, which says animals do not have redeemable souls, Rev. Eggebeen has acknowledged the love shared between pet and owner should be recognized by church leaders.
The following link leads to a video interview with the dog handler for the Broadway production of "101 Dalmatians." While most of the doggie "stars" of the show are cardboard cut-outs, fifteen former shelter dogs take center stage in the production. Rescued from all around the country, the dogs have been trained to perform simple tasks and follow cues. They now travel around the US in a tour bus better kitted out than some musicians'. The show is responsible, warning theatergoers that Dalmatians are not for everyone or as trained as those on stage.
Another well-trained dog is getting a hero's welcome this week. Sabi, an Australian bomb-sniffing dog, returned to her unit after spending the last 14 months lost in Afghanistan. The black Labrador disappeared during a firefight between Australian-Afghan troops and militants in Uruzgan Province. Sabi turned up on an isolated patrol base elswhere in the province, found by a U.S. soldier. She appears in good condition, so military officials speculate someone has been looking after her.
(Photo courtesy of Yahoo! News)