★★☆A Dog’s Sniffer Could Be Your Best Friend in Disaster

2015年09月16日 ★★☆, As It Is, VOA.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. sniffer/ˈsnɪfɚ/(n.)
  2. slang for ‘nose’

  3. hone /ˈhoʊn/ (v.)
  4. sharpen, refine or perfect

  5. certified /ˈsɚtəˌfaɪd/ (adj.)
  6. officially recognize

  7. terrain /təˈreɪn/ (n.)
  8. a stretch of land, specially with ups and downs

  9. impassable /ɪmˈpæsəbəl/ (n.)
  10. impossible to travel over


    A Dog’s Sniffer Could Be Your Best Friend in Disaster

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    (1) When devastating earthquakes hit Haiti, Japan and Nepal, rescue dogs were among the first to arrive.

    (2) American search-and-rescue teams and their specially trained dogs also helped during U.S. hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

    (3) Ron Sanders and his 6-year old Labarador, Pryse, were part of a U.S. team to help find survivors in Nepal..

    (4) Sanders, a retired firefighter, says Pryse and the other special canines, are essential to the team.

    (5) “The dogs obviously have a wonderful sense of smell. So they can quickly determine where the scent is coming from and hone in that location that we need to dig down.”

    (6) The dogs can also navigate quickly through collapsed buildings and squeeze through tight spots to find victims.

    (7) For the dogs, the job is a fun and playful adventure. “They want to go find that person, to play with that person.”

    (8) But becoming a rescue dog is serious business. To become certified, the dogs train long and hard for six to 12 months.

    (9) What helps them get there is lots of practice.

    (10) They train in Virginia. A former prison has been made to look like a disaster site. The dogs learn to follow hand signals and voice commands while running on narrow planks of wood. They go up and down ladders, walk over rough terrain, and search in the rubble for survivors.

    (11) Finding one, which they almost always do, is the ultimate reward.

    (12) “So we’re looking for that ability to play, intelligence, great agility, of course, because we’re going to ask them to climb on things that are very unnatural for a dog to climb on.”

    (13) The dogs also train on helicopters because roads might be impassable in a disaster. The dogs are taught to get in and out of a helicopter while it’s on the ground and running. They become used to the noise, the vibrations, and the wind from the helicopter blades.

    (14) They are picked up from the ground in a special harness, too, and lifted through the air into the helicopter.

    (15) “It teaches them to trust us and to know that it will be all right,” says Sanders.

    (16) At the end of the day, it’s all about trust between the trainers and the dogs, says Sanders. Being trained and ready can make the difference between life and death, he says.


    *Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

    1. Do you like dogs? If not, what kind of animals do you like as pets? Why?
    2. Have you experienced being helped by a pet/animal in times of trouble? Please share your story.
    3. Why do you think people say “Dogs are man’s bestfriend”?
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