Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Tour d'America," June 18, 2011

Animal helpers

Forget seeing-eye dogs, or even seeing-eye Shetland ponies. When a blind horse named Sissy showed up at Michelle Feldstein's Idaho ranch for disadvantaged animals, it arrived with a squad of seeing-eye goats and sheep. Feldstein and her husband Al operate Deer Haven Ranch, a private rescue facility on 300 acres, which took in Sissy, a 15-year-old blind horse, after a similar facility in western Montana closed down this winter. Along with Sissy came 10 goats and sheep that surround the horse as she walks, leading her to food, water, and shelter and making sure she doesn't step into trouble. "They round her up at feeding time and then move aside to make sure she gets to the hay," Feldstein told the Reuters new service. "They show her where the water is and stand between her and the fence to let her know the fence is there."

Fish finders

Texans intent on getting up close and personal with catfish may not have to drive to Oklahoma or Louisiana any longer. That's because a group of East Texas state legislators have written and passed a bill that makes noodling legal in the Lone Star State. Currently, just 17 states allow noodling-a thrill sport in which fishermen wade into muddy waters and attempt to catch catfish by hand. Marty Jenkins of CatfishGrabbers.com said that a noodler looks for a hole in a river or lake bottom, sticks his hand in, and anticipates a bite. "You don't know if anything's in that hole at all, you run your hands down into that hole and all of a sudden a fish comes out and bites you, and you have to try to bring it out with your hand," Jenkins said. State Senator Bob Deuell of the East Texas town of Greenville spearheaded the bill to legalize noodling, which now needs Gov. Rick Perry's signature. "I personally don't noodle," Deuell said, "but I would defend to the death your right to do so."


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