Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Dogs, cat honoured at awards ceremony

hree dogs and one cat were inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame for feats of bravery and determination that saved lives. "They do not enhance lives. These animals we have seen this morning, they save our lives," master of ceremonies William Thomas, the author of eight books including "The Dog Rules Damn Near Everything," said at the awards ceremony. "It's truly amazing the bond between us and them." Echo, a shepherd-collie mix from Manitoulin Island, proved herself a life saver last July during a canoe trip on Lake Huron. Tish Smith knew her dog was a good swimmer, so she thought Echo would make a good companion on what was to be her solo canoe trip across the lake. Towards the end of the trip, Smith tried to get a life jacket on Echo because a storm was coming. The dog refused the jacket so Smith wore both. Smith said Echo's calm eyes helped her throughout the ordeal until she passed out. Echo circled around Smith until a rescue team spotted them. The two survived the frigid temperatures for 12 hours before they were rescued. They were found within swimming distance of the shore, meaning that Echo fought against her instincts to swim ashore. Instead, she stayed with Smith.

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