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Đề thi Olympic Tiếng Anh lớp 4 vòng 2 năm 2012
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Dogs show their friendliness in many ways. Read the selection below to learn the so called man's best friends.
Dogs Giving a Hand
As traffic comes to a halt at a busy intersection, a Labrador retriever steps off the curb. The dog walks confidently to the other side of the street. His owner, a blind college student, walks just behind him, holding on to the handle of the dog’s leather harness.
For the student, owning a well-trained dog guide means freedom and independence. The student can go to and from class without depending on anyone else for help. Working in partnership with a dog guide, a blind person can go almost anywhere a sighted person can. Together, dog and owner walk up and down stairs. They board subways and buses. They go to restaurants. The dog acts as the blind person’s eyes, guiding its owner safely wherever they go.
Dog guides for the blind are probably the most familiar of the service dogs. But did you know that dogs also act as ears for the deaf? Hearing dogs learn to notice such important sounds as those made by alarm clocks, doorbells, smoke detectors, sirens, and crying babies. They alert their owners to a noise, and let them know where the sound is coming from. Dogs can be helpful partners for physically disabled people, too. At Canine Companions for Independence, in Santa Rosa, California, dogs learn to respond to 89 commands. These dogs can push elevator buttons with their paws and pull wheelchairs up steep walkways. They carry their owners’ belongings in special dogpacks, open and close doors, turn on lights, and even pay for purchases. For some disabled children, having a canine companion gives them the chance to go places they’ve never gone before. The dogs often enable adults to take jobs and live on their own for the first time.
At some hospitals and nursing homes, dog visitors actually help improve the physical as well as the mental health of patients. Researchers have discovered that stroking an animal lowers a person’s blood pressure. Because high blood pressure can lead to many illnesses, including heart disease, petting a dog can be good medicine. Some experts think that touching an animal may release chemicals in the human brain that make people relax and feel good. Some nursing homes allow elderly residents to keep their own pets. In others, volunteers bring trained “therapy dogs” to visit on a regular basis. Some of these dogs have worked wonders. The elderly people look forward to the dogs’ visits. One 90-year-old woman had stopped caring about life. She just stayed in bed. But once dogs became frequent visitors, she was always up and dressed, eager to greet them.
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