Man’s best friend helps out people, people ought remember to give back

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 19, 2015

Friday, The Vicksburg Post published a story on Leonce Young and his faithful companion, X-on, a German shepherd.

The canine joined the department in 2006, after completing explosive and cadaver search training in Russia. X-on’s son Thor, a drug dog, also works with the department.

Interestingly, all commands are given in a language other than the handler’s native tongue. In X-on’s case, he was trained to understand Dutch. The reason, X-on’s handler Young said, is because at a crime scene everyone is speaking the same language and using a command in a foreign language allows the dog to distinguish the handler’s command from other voices.

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According to an article from Huffington Post, dogs can learn and understand around 165 human words. These smart pups have the intelligence of a human between 2 and a half and 3 years of age. The average dog is about as smart as a two-year-old child.

Once the handler and the dog bond, he said, “That’s your dog forever. He’s going to sleep in that room with you, you go to the store he goes with you; when you’re in K-9 school, when you go eat, the dog goes too. That’s your partner until something happens to him or you retire.”

Dogs are known to be loyal to their owners. Protectors of the family, canines can alert families when someone arrives or physically protect if they feel one of their own is threatened.

These smart, loving and loyal animals have rightly deserved the title of man’s best friend, and we at The Vicksburg Post appreciate them for the help they provide to people, whether it’s in a military or law enforcement position or even as a service animal.

This Christmas season, while spreading the joy to friends, family and even strangers, let us not forget about some of the most vulnerable members of our society, those with four legs.

We encourage you, if considering adding a new member to your family, to visit the Vicksburg Warren Humane Society to check out some of the adorable furever friends who could soon be walking through your door and into your heart.