Tag: San Diego

Another life-saving dog!

There’s no end to how dogs protect us!

Last Tuesday, I published a guest post that had been sent to me by my sister, Eleanor, who lives in Johannesburg in South Africa.

Then a day later I read on the Care2 site about a therapy dog that alerted a group of schoolchildren to potentially very unsafe drinking water.  I must share that with you as well.


Therapy Dog Helps Alert School District to Lead in Water

A therapy dog belonging to a San Diego elementary school teacher proved to be a potential lifesaver – but not for what you might think.

When the teacher filled his bowl with water from the classroom sink on Jan. 26, the dog refused to drink it. The teacher took a good look at the water in his bowl and noticed a sheen on its surface. Concerned, she notified school officials.

After testing samples from around Emerson-Bandini Elementary and the San Diego Co-Operative Charter School 2, which share a campus, results showed the water was contaminated with lead, exceeding the allowable level in the state of California.

School officials contacted the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, which supplies the water. Because that therapy dog that refused to drink it, the city is now testing the water at each of the school district’s 187 campuses.

The tests, however, won’t begin until April 4, San Diego Unified Chief Operations Officer Drew Rowlands announced last week. In the meantime, students are getting bottled drinking water.

A notice sent to the schools’ staff and parents said the water is safe for handwashing. Since cafeteria meals aren’t prepared on campus, they’re not affected by the contaminants in the water, according to the notice.

The testing of the water, which is expected to be completed by the end of the school year in June, will take place early in the morning, before school starts. At each campus, up to five samples will be taken from water fountains and cafeterias where food is prepared. The test results will be posted online.

If excessive lead is discovered, the contamination source will be determined and school district staff will take “appropriate action on a case-by-case basis,” said San Diego Unified Chief Operations Officer Drew Rowlands. Those appropriate actions could include replacing plumbing fixtures and making repairs.

Making Drinking Water Safe for Schoolchildren

Coincidentally, just one month before the therapy dog refused to drink the San Diego school’s water, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water launched a program that requires water providers to test for lead in the drinking water at all K-12 schools in California.

“Recent events in the United States have shown that lead in drinking water remains an ongoing public health concern, particularly for children,” the SWRCB stated on its website.

How does lead end up in school water fountains? Although lead rarely occurs naturally in California’s drinking water sources, it can contaminate water that flows through old plumbing fixtures or the solder connecting them. It’s less likely that the water came from a contaminated source, as was the case in Flint, Mich.

Children younger than six are especially susceptible to the effects of lead poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about half a million children between the ages of one and five have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the level at which the CDC recommends the initiation of public health actions – although no “safe” blood lead level in children has been identified.

A problem with lead poisoning is that there are no obvious symptoms. By the time children show the signs, such as weight loss, irritability and lack of appetite, dangerous amounts of lead may have accumulated in their bodies.

This is a compelling reason for more states to follow California’s lead and require water to be tested in schools. Thanks to a teacher’s therapy dog, students at two San Diego schools got a jump start on having safer water available.

Photo credit: Irisdepiris


 There is no end to the way that dogs love us, protect us and make us better persons!

Our incredible dogs.

Dog lost at sea is found – five weeks later!

This story has been widely reported and for good reason. The source of my post is here.


Dog presumed lost at sea shows up 5 weeks later, wagging her tail

Mary Jo DiLonardo March 17, 2016
Luna likely survived on dead fish and mice, as well as fresh water that was shipped in for Navy employees. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
Luna likely survived on dead fish and mice, as well as fresh water that was shipped in for Navy employees. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

When Nick Haworth’s dog, Luna, fell off his fishing boat a couple miles off the shore of San Clemente Island in the Pacific Ocean, he thought there was a good chance she’d swim for land.

“Nick was pretty certain she would make for shore because she was a very strong swimmer,” says Sandy DeMunnik, public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy’s Naval Base Coronado, which includes the island. “He asked if he could have permission to come ashore to get her.”

San Clemente Island is a weapons training facility where they work with bombs and offshore bombardment, so they had to shut off one of the artillery ranges to look for the 1 1/2-year-old German shepherd/Husky mix. The staff helped Haworth search for her to no avail. He stayed in the area for two more days and couldn’t find her.

“After about a week, it was presumed she had never even made it to shore because they hadn’t seen a sign of her,” says DeMunnik. “They presumed she was lost at sea.”

Fast forward five weeks to March 15 when Navy staff arrived on the island for work.

“She was sitting on the side of the road just wagging her tail,” says DeMunnik. The staff members knew immediately that this was the dog they had been searching for. They opened their door, whistled and Luna jumped right in the truck.

After more than a month of being gone, Luna takes a well-deserved nap. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
After more than a month of being gone, Luna takes a well-deserved nap. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)

They immediately called Haworth and let him know the happy news. Luna was examined by the island’s wildlife biologist, who said she likely wasn’t seen for five weeks because her tan-and-black coloring let her blend in with the island’s landscape. Miraculously, except for having lost a little weight, she was OK.

“Amazingly for being lost for five weeks in a very dangerous and treacherous environment, she was fine,” says DeMunnik. “During that time, there was bombardment training, weapons training … there was a lot of very loud, very dangerous training going on, and we had some very severe El Nino storms.”

Those storms probably helped keep the dog alive because fresh water was brought to the island by barge for the staff during the storm. They determined that Luna had survived by eating dead fish and rodents.

Because her owner, a commercial fisherman and student at San Diego State University, was away on a fishing trip, he sent his best friend, Conner Lamb, to meet Luna’s plane. When the plane doors opened, she leapt into Lamb’s arms and he fought back tears. On her first night home, he made her a steak for dinner.

The commanding officer of the base sent Luna home with a keepsake of her time spent on the island: her own set of military dog tags. They are engraved with her name, the dates she was missing, and “Keep the faith.”

Luna is greeting by paparazzi — but it's clear that's she's had enough media coverage for the day. (Photo: U.S. Navy - Naval Base Coronado)
Luna is greeting by paparazzi — but it’s clear that’s she’s had enough media coverage for the day. (Photo: U.S. Navy – Naval Base Coronado)


Two more pictures to reinforce this wonderful story.

The first from US News:

Luna was found Tuesday on San Clemente Island, a Navy-owned training base 70 miles off San Diego.
Luna was found Tuesday on San Clemente Island, a Navy-owned training base 70 miles off San Diego.

And the second from Eye Witness News on abc:

Nick Hawarth and Lucky Luna.
Nick Haworth and Lucky Luna.

Well done everyone!


Playing in the sand!

Now this is what I call making sand-castles!

Apologies to the person that sent me the link to: PHOTOS OF WORLD-CLASS SAND SCULPTORS AT WORK!  Their name has slipped my mind.

The event was the 2014 US Sand Sculpting Challenge and 3D Art Exposition held recently in San Diego, California.

In any case, I wasn’t going to reblog the whole article because it’s much, much better if you go and read about the talented artists directly. Artists who produced this:


and this:


not overlooking this:


or this:


No, you absolutely have to drop into this place and read about these most talented artists.

Now how far is it to the nearest beach? …..

Must start practising …. wonder how long it would take me to build this: