Thumbs up, thumbs down: A dog saves lives, while a horse accident nearly takes one

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The following deserve either a thumbs up or thumbs down for the week:

THUMBS UP: The Perry family’s dog, Bocephus, ultimately sacrificed his life to ensure his owners made it to safety before a fire early Tuesday morning claimed their mobile home on Barnheisel Road. The family was asleep when the fire started, and Bocephus growled and barked to awake them and allow them to reach safety. The dog went back inside – the family believes to check and make sure the three small Perry boys were OK – and didn’t make it back outside.

In this case, the dog was a pit bull – bringing contrast to the usual, negative attention the breed garners when something bad happens, more so than not because of improper breeding and care. This dog, on the other hand, deserves credit for being a hero that saved its family from further tragedy.

THUMBS DOWN: Local farmers got some bad news recently from San Benito County Water District Manager Lance Johnson, who estimated that county farmers this year would receive about half the amount of imported San Felipe water they usually get because of dry conditions and other factors.

A threatened fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has already prompted concerns of a cutback, because the delta feeds the San Luis reservoir supply used for the San Felipe system, and the dry forecast only intensifies the problem. It may be another tough year for San Benito County farmers.

THUMBS UP: The San Benito High School District trustees appointed a former educator to join them on the board to replace Shelley Donati, who resigned in October, until the term expires in November 2008. Trustees had a solid group of candidates from which to choose, and it seems they picked a good one – with the proper background – to join the board. New Trustee Joe Gardner has experience teaching and also has served on San Benito’s School Site Council.

It gives him a foundation as he joins a board of trustees facing difficult challenges in the years to come, such as school expansion or the possibility of a second high school.

THUMBS DOWN: A 13-year-old girl was flown to a hospital with bleeding to the brain and, fortunately, survived after her horse got spooked and she fell to the ground.

The family of Sara Wittry, a seventh-grader at Rancho San Justo School, believes the horse got scared after someone threw an object – an apple or orange – toward the animal’s hind legs. While there’s no good reason to throw anything toward a horse, especially one carrying a person, the incident serves as a reminder to treat these animals with utmost care when they’re in public to avoid inflicting danger on their owners and other civilians.

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