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


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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Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) signed a bill lifting the decades-long ban on switchblades on Saturday at a 
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Walker said this gives people another option for protection, and it also can help first responders at accidents.

"Say at a crash to take someone out of a harness or seat belt or other things like that," Walker said. "And again, the bottom line is as it is with firearms, the people you are worried about are already possessing these, law abiding citizens should at least have access to that in the state of Wisconsin."

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Under this new bill people can also carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license.

FORCE, or Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, is an association chartered by the NRA. 

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D.C. Everest vs. Wausau West

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We'll have this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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This is the fifth year Treehaven has hosted the 5K and 10K races.

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