March 1, 2009
Sure, your dog can fetch. She may even retrieve the paper or your slippers. But what's she done for the environment lately? In the case of Dixie, a nine-year-old golden retriever in Pinellas County, Fla., plenty.
As a puppy, Dixie developed the habit of nabbing aluminum cans out of the trash and off the street and bringing them to her owner, John Weber. Weber says he did not teach her this trick and that she just began doing it on her own. Now Dixie collects as many as 75 cans per week from the office where Weber works and painstakingly deposits them, one by one, in a bucket.
Dixie's talent for recycling has made her somewhat of a mascot at Anclote Metal Recycling in Tarpon Springs, Fla., where Weber drops off his recyclables each week. Eric Hambusch, the facility's owner, was so impressed to learn that the dog had collected 40 pounds of cans that he subsequently used a picture of her as his screensaver. Weber says Dixie gets a bit ahead of herself sometimes, snatching half-full cans from people that weren't quite finished. She's even trained her daughter to retrieve cans.
Drivers of Coca-Cola and Budweiser delivery trucks would be well advised to give Dixie's house a wide berth.
SOURCE: The Tampa Tribune