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Don't let bonfire night be a fright.

I KNOW it's early to start warning about bonfire night, but it is such a nightmare for pets.

Now SSPCA bosses have launched a guide to keep animals safe for Guy Fawkes night on November 5.

And they also say they are concerned about the fireworks for the millennium celebrations.

So this is what they recommend:

Pets should be kept indoors after dark. Curtains should be closed and the radio or television left on to mask firework sounds. Rabbits and other animals in hutches should be moved into a garage.

Don't set off fireworks near livestock or horses in fields.

Check the base of the bonfire for signs of footprints and droppings - hedgehogs just love hibernating in these.

If you find an injured animal you should contact the SSPCA on 0131 3390111, or 01224 581236 (North East Scotland) or 01463 231191 (North West).

FOR me a visit to Edinburgh Castle is not complete without a look at the dogs' cemetery on a ledge on the castle battlement.

Here lie forever military dogs, all of whom have done their bit for king and country. They even have their own little headstones.

But it wasn't just dogs who helped in the war effort.

Reader Bob Kennedy from Oaklands Avenue, Irvine, remembers one racing pigeon called White Vision - who saved 11 men. He said: "During the last war, 29 pigeons were awarded the Dickens Medal - the animal Victoria Cross.

"White Vision was bred by the Fleming Brothers of Forgewood Road, Motherwell, and loaned to the National Pigeon Service of the British Army.

"On October 11, 1943, this pigeon saved 11 crewmen on a Catalina Flying Boat by returning to base in terrible conditions with details of where and when the plane ditched in the sea."

TRAINING animals can help save people's lives even today.

Andy and Alison Lothian, of Lenzie, Glasgow, are puppy walkers for the Guide Dogs for the Blind. They take in a puppy from the Guide Dog Service when it is just a few weeks old and begin to 'socialise' it to everyday sights, sounds, smells and experiences.

When the puppy is about a year old, it is returned to the Guide Dog Centre at Forfar, where serious training begins.

We are regularly phoned at the zoo by dog owners who don't know how to handle their dogs in certain situations.

The Lothians are experts and one story sticks in my mind.

A dog was terrified of the foot bridges over railway lines. The trainer overcame it by keeping the dog hungry for a day.

Then he lay biscuits up each step and across the bridge. The dog was so eager to get the biscuits, he forgot his fear.

Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks. IF you fancy a night that's Out of Africa, then you can't afford to miss hearing all about Dr Gladys Kalema - the African vet and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

You'll catch them on Tuesday at 7.30 pm in Glasgow Veterinary Hospital, Bearsden Road, Glasgow.

Tickets in advance from Ralph Garratt at 01294 823777.

THE Siamese Cat Society of Scotland's 26th Championship Show for Siamese, Balinese Orientals and household pets will be held this Saturday at the Brunton Halls, Musselburgh.

The very rare Bengal breed will also be on exhibition.

LAND O' BURNS Canine Club Open Show will be held at Ayr Racecourse, Whitletts Road, Ayr, on Saturday, November 27.

Entries to Mrs Johnston at 01563 850374 before Monday, November 1.SHOW NEWS
COPYRIGHT 1999 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:O'Grady, Richard
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 21, 1999
Words:581
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