MONDAY 04-22-2013

Apr 22, 2013 -- 12:25pm

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6:15 Richard Weitz, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Political-Military Analysis and expert in international security and counter-terrorism talks about the Boston Marathon attack and the Chechen roots of the suspects.

7:10 DONALD CRITCHLOW,  co-author of  Takeover: How the Left’s Quest for Social Justice Corrupted Liberalism.  Explains the sharp break in the history of liberalism that began in the 1960s and has gotten more extreme in the decades since. Only by understanding that break-- and the radicalism that accompanied it -- can we fully understand our current political situation.

7:35 Kevin Starrett, Oregon Firearms Federation - The gun bills passed out of the senate last week...and what's next.

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers "Visiting Past and Present", and today the really interesting history of "Dogs for the Deaf".


Dogs for the Deaf

By Dennis Powers

Roy Kabat worked with exotic and domestic animals in Hollywood for movies and television. He trained the animals, for example, in “Dr. Doolittle,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” Elsa the lioness in “Born Free,” and the cougar for the Mercury automobile commercials. He also produced syndicated children's TV shows as “Chucko the Clown” and “Circus.” In 1971, Roy retired from the entertainment industry.

After moving to the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon, the American Humane Association (“AHA”) in Denver contacted him to help it out. A Minnesota deaf woman had had a dog that had trained itself to let her know what was happening around her. As she lost more and more hearing, the dog alerted her to more and more events. After her dog died, the woman realized how much she depended on the dog for help and needed someone to train a new one. The AHA wanted Roy's advice. After spending two weeks in Denver, Roy returned to Oregon and started “Dogs for the Deaf.”

Beginning initially outside Jacksonville, Roy began training 20 or more dogs of all sizes and types at a time, most saved from nearby Humane Societies, saying, “They're the dogs that otherwise might be put to sleep.” He trained “Hearing Dogs at Home” to alert an owner to important household sounds: buzzing fire and smoke alarms, ringing telephones, oven timers, alarm clocks, doorbell/door knocks, and name calls (sometimes even a baby’s cry). Once placed with their deaf partner, the dogs learned to respond to other sounds--a microwave, tea kettle that boiled dry, or washer/dryer--and take their hearing-impaired owner to the problem. For a “Hearing Dog in Public,” additional training was given for specific sounds such as a siren or honking horn, and to react so that the dog’s deaf partner was aware of the danger.

Dogs in training initially are given food when they react properly to the noise of an alarm clock or telephone. But over the four to six months of training, they gradually are weaned from food to a kind word or pat on the head. By the 1980s, his nonprofit organization with the help of volunteers was delivering 50 dogs a year free to deaf people throughout the United States. The operation grew from this base. Roy died in 1986 at age 65, but his daughter, Robin Dickson, succeeded him and is the current CEO/President.

In 1989, the facilities moved to its current 40-acre site at the base of lower Table Rock (10175 Wheeler Road) in Central Point. Placing thousands of dogs over time free of charge to the hearing-impaired, the investment in just one is approximately $25,000. This includes the dog’s selection, initial veterinary care, training, placement, and follow ups for the life of the team. Dogs are also trained to watch out for autistic children, as well. “Career Change Dogs”--happy and healthy but not suited as a program dog--are adopted out as regular pets to area homes. Our region can be justifiably proud of his accomplishments.  

Sources: See “Dogs for the Deaf” at History (Including Images). See also, “Animal Trainer Roy Kabat Dies,” Los Angeles Times, November 7, 1986, at More on Roy Kabat.

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