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New Evaluator Brings MoreTherapy Dogs to the NorthwoodsSubmitted: 05/09/2013
Story By Kailey Burton

New Evaluator Brings MoreTherapy Dogs to the Northwoods
Photos By Kailey Burton

EAGLE RIVER - Sometimes the best medicine doesn't come from a doctor, but a good friend- or a furry friend. Research tells us therapy dogs can improve our mood, and our health.

"That's a natural therapy dog, wanting to give love... The dogs are certified because they love people and they love to give love," said Nicole Belmore, owner of Northern Wisconsin Canine Center, and a trained Evaluator for Therapy Dogs International.

The playful expression often on Dare's face brings joy to many nursing home patients. But he does even more; his friendly affection actually improves their health.

"Research has shown that it actually lowers blood pressure... Those who can't have pets anymore or even remember when they had a pet, it gets them up into bed a lot of them will get out of bed when they see the therapy dog, or they know a therapy dog is down the hallway, they want to come see the therapy dog. So it brings them a sense of joy," said Belmore.

Belmore sees a great need for more dogs like Dare in the Northwoods. However, the closest place to get certified WAS hundreds of miles away. Then Belmore became an evaluator in Eagle River. Now she can put your dog to the test.

"There are several tests we need to give. They need to sit on command, they need to lie down on command…They need to be able to walk on a loose leash," she said.

And then, they need to pass the biggest challenge of all....

"We have to have a bowl of food or a plate of food on the ground and the dog has to walk over the food without touching it."

Think your dog is up to the test? Belmore offers training classes and several certification tests each year.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

STEVENS POINT - Stevens Point Police are investigating an armed robbery.

Around 6 a.m. Sunday morning, police and Portage County Sheriff Deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery at the R Store in the 5400 block of HWY 10 E in Stevens Point. Police say during the initial investigation, they determined an armed suspect displayed a weapon and took money from the store.

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CONOVER - Hundreds of people gathered in Conover to celebrate all things winter. On Saturday the fifth annual Northwoods Blizzard Blast was held. 

There were horse drawn sleigh rides, sledding, giant ski races, and plenty of other winter activities.

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PELICAN LAKE - Tribal members from across Wisconsin held a Deep Winter Camp to pass on parts of their cultures.
Members from several different tribes wanted to give kids the chance to experience a piece of their culture.
They hope the camp encourages younger members to keep traditions going and never forget where they came from.
"They're going to be the next teachers they're good kids and we all love every kid that came here and spent time with us. They all learned something and they'll take it back and teach others," said Lac du Flambeau Band Vice Chairman John Johnson Sr.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - People from as far as Iowa and New York travelled to the Northwoods on Saturday to take on a unique challenge. Boulder Junction held a new winter sports event that proved to be quite a success.

"I'm just really happy to see this all come together," said Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Theresa Smith.

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CRANDON - Forest County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Justice was justified in shooting and killing 31-year-old Brandon Cude on Jan. 4, Forest County District Attorney Chuck Simono ruled Friday.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice released the results of its investigation in the case, and Simono's decision, Friday afternoon.

The DOJ documents detail how Cude swung a shotgun at Justice at close range. The deputy had just learned Cude had felony warrants against him, and Justice was trying to arrest Cude. Justice fired four shots on the scene, a rural road south of Crandon.

"He didn't get a shot off?" a fellow officer asked Justice after the shooting.

"No. He tried, though. Pulled that sucker out and pointed it right at me," Justice replied in an exchange recorded on a body camera.

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MINOCQUA - Many Lakeland Union High School parents kept their children home from school Friday. Threats to shoot up the school felt all too real after 17 people died in a Florida school this week. The high school stayed open Friday, however the atmosphere felt different.
Friday students walked through a crowd of police and sat in nearly empty classrooms.
"I didn't want to take the chance that something was going to happen to my son," said Lakeland Union High School parent Jennifer Stough. 
 
Stough's 17- year- old son Zach had a lot to look forward to this weekend. Instead she kept him home Friday.
"I have friends that went to school today and that makes me nervous," said Zach.
Yesterday a student and teacher found shooting threats on a ladies bathroom stall suggesting a repeat of what happened in Florida.

"It's not a joke and we take these things seriously," said Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger.
Minocqua police quickly got involved. However, the threats didn't stop there.

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MINOCQUA - Only about one-third of students showed up to classes at Lakeland Union High School Friday morning, with many staying home after police verified a shooting threat.

More police officers were on hand at the school Friday morning.

On Thursday evening, Minocqua Police Chief Dave Jaeger confirmed the discovery of shooting threats in the ladies' bathroom near the LUHS auditorium. The threat noted an attack would be similar to Wednesday's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people.

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