Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hayley the working dog

It's the slow time of year for the construction business in Mankato, Minnesota, but when your public relations representative is a Golden Retriever named Hayley; jobs for DeMars Construction in Mankato seem to come a little easier.
Hayley is able to climb up a ladder as well as any other on the team. "She's one of the guys, part of the crew," said owner Max DeMars. And like the crew, Hayley too can handle a two-by-four.
Since she was a pup, Hayley, now 10 years old, follows the crew wherever they go.
After hundreds of jobs over the years, she's got a pretty good handle on climbing up the ladder, even when nobody else is up on the roof.
One cold January day her solo trip nearly got her in some hot water.
The crew was working on an addition for the Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato when a neighbor spotted her on top of the building. The neighbor called police and a short time later an officer arrived. "The police officer came up and wanted to take her to the pound 'cause he thought it was just a stray dog," laughed DeMars. It took a bit of convincing, but Hayley showed the officer her trick and she was off the hook.
The construction dog has been back at it ever since, as she will likely help secure another gig with the kind of rooftop advertising she helped to bring this time around.

Homeless donate $14.64 for Haiti quake victims

Donations for Haiti have poured in to the American Red Cross of Central Maryland from a range of sources. Nothing, though, has stood out like the coins and crumpled dollar bills that spilled from one envelope.
That gift - $14.64 - came from the pockets of homeless people at a downtown Baltimore shelter.
"We were all weepy-eyed," recalled Red Cross volunteer coordinator Bobbie Jones, who was at the front desk when the donation arrived.
Public relations director Linnea Anderson got teary, too. "Just the thought of those people huddled together in a shelter and seeing a need beyond themselves is enough to give anybody chills," she said. "What a remarkable example of the human spirit."
The Red Cross chapter has raised over $400,000 for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, counting pledges, Anderson said. Many donations have been hand-delivered to its Northwest Baltimore office. Jones said one man took the subway from downtown to give a few dollars and said, "I felt like I had to help." Another man, moved by images of suffering Haitian children, handed $20 to Executive Director Frank Miller.
But the modest donation from the homeless shelter made an especially big impression. It was dropped off Jan. 19 by Tim Herty, a lay pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium. Herty collected the money two days earlier while holding a church service at the city's 350-bed Guilford Avenue shelter.
"Your heart swells," said Linda Boyer, executive director of Jobs, Housing & Recovery Inc., the nonprofit group that runs the shelter for the city. She said there was no way to interview the contributors because no one took down their names.
Herty expressed concern that he may have violated a policy against collecting money from shelter residents. But Boyer said, "I don't look at it as a violation. I think it was a wonderful, warm thing for the people in our shelter to do."
Boyer, who was not at the shelter for the donation, described it as a "totally spontaneous" outgrowth of a discussion Herty had with shelter residents about the earthquake. "He didn't go in thinking, 'Gee, how much money can I get for Haiti?' "
Diane Glauber, president of Baltimore Homeless Services, said she saw no problem with the donation. "If they volunteered on their own free will," she said, "I see no problem with it. It's a beautiful gesture."
Glauber shared the story with Mayor Sheila Dixon, who praised the donation in a statement.
"Their selfless sacrifice should be a lesson of encouragement to the rest of us to also give our money, time and energy to the relief efforts," Dixon said. "If those with so little to give do so, what is our excuse not to?"

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To play chicken with drivers on busy road
The well-fed black hen has taken up residence behind the electronic billboard at Glendale Community College for at least two months.
The chicken has dodged animal control officers several times by attempting risky flight maneuvers into traffic at Verdugo Road and Mountain Street.
The brazen bird was walking into the intersection, forcing cars to swerve around it.
Startled by traffic, the chicken quickly turned around and went back to the sidewalk.
Ricky Whitman, spokeswoman for the Pasadena Humane Society, which provides animal control services in Glendale, says the chicken is creating dangerous traffic conditions for drivers.
Whitman said the animal control shelter has received a bunch of calls from people concerned about the bird.
Animal control officials say without the extra food, the bird would become weak enough for them to catch it.
They say tranquilizers are out of the question because the chicken is so small.
Once the bird is captured, officials hope to find it a new home on a farm.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Chicken Crosses Road To Be on Live TV