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Archive for November 13th, 2008

Liam Lynch, let’s do lunch

I’m in Los Angeles — day three, now — hoping to meet some people and pin down some interviews for my book on pet cloning.

One of them, whose unlisted phone number I don’t have, is Liam Lynch, creator of the video above, which is about his cloned cat, Finnegan Forcefield.

I exchanged emails with Lynch a couple of months ago, and he seemed game for an interview. But my latest emails to him haven’t been answered, meaning either he changed his mind or he’s wrapped up in a project.

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Dogs and politics, mixing some more

If you are among those wondering about the news media’s preoccupation with the Obama’s dog choice — amid all the other serious problems our country is facing — join the club.

Also count among its members one Julianne Hancock, a member of the Utah Air National Guard who has served a tour of duty in Iraq. When she got back, she got a dog from a shelter, a mutt named Izzy.  

A steady job, though, was not so easy to find. After losing her civilian job in the commercial lending industry earlier this year, she was having trouble finding new work. She couldn’t afford healthcare. With few other options, she signed up for another tour of duty. She leaves in January.

“I heard Mr. Obama tell Malia and Sasha that they earned their puppy on election night,” Hancock wrote in an open letter to Obama posted on The Daily Kos. “Izzy will be looking for a family. Any interest?”

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A Montana memorial to Vietnam War dogs

An American Legion honor guard in Fort Benton, Montana commemorated a little-known group of soldiers on Veterans Day — about 4,000 scout dogs, most of which were abandoned after protecting soldiers in Vietnam.

“In memory of the over 4,000 U.S. military working dogs that served in the Vietnam War,”  the Military Working Dogs Memorial, unveiled Tuesday, reads. “When the war was over, these dogs were left behind in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.”

The memorial came out of the collaboration of Adjutant Ron Saville, a former dog handler, and George F. Conklin, commander of American Legion Post 26, according to the Great Falls Tribune

The dogs first in Vietnam served as sentries to guard American and South Vietnamese installations, but also served as scouts, guard dogs, trackers, messengers, and munitions and drug detectors. They also sniffed out mines, trip wires, booby traps or tunnels.

Dogs and their handlers are estimated to have saved more than 10,000 lives in Vietnam, including his own, Conklin said. He choked back tears as he read a citation in honor of the military dog, Echo, that saved his life.
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