Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Act Of Kindness

"A steamer ran aground off the coast of Newfoundland. The waters were rough and the ship was coming apart at the seams. Panic swept over the passengers and it seemed they would all drown. The people on the shore could only watch helplessly because the waters seemed too rough to even attempt a rescue.

"But one of the men on shore had a Newfoundland dog and he attached a line to the dog's neck. The great Newfoundland dove into the icy, turbulent waters and, following the directions of the man, swam to the ship. A lifeline was established and a conveyor device was sent along the line to the ship.

"One by one the ninety-two passengers aboard got into the conveyor and were pulled to safety. One time the conveyor reached shore with a mailbag inside. It contained a baby. The conveyor went out again and again, as the ship broke apart, until there was only one man left aboard. The rescuers were surprised when they pulled the conveyor in to find, not a man in it, but the Newfoundland dog. The last man had decided to take his chances on the crumbling ship and make sure the hero dog was saved. The conveyor went out one last time and all ninety-two passengers were saved. The dog was later awarded a medal of honor."

(Peaceful Kingdom
Random Acts of Kindness by Animals
by Stephanie LaLand)

This calls to mind a hearing in the off-leash litigation with the National Park Service. The attorneys (no need to mention any names) were arguing a motion over a statement taken by a Park Ranger. It was taking a long time and the judge was getting a bit ticked off. One of the defense attorneys make an off-the-cuff remark, "Your Honor, this really doesn't involve the issue at hand, but if this Ranger were drowning, my Newfie could save his life." There was silence in the courtroom, and everyone wondered whether the judge would berate the attorney for an attempt at humor. After a long pause, the Judge responded: "Not if he's on a leash."


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