Service Dog Stands Between Blind Guardian and Bus

Service Dog Stands Between Blind Guardian and Bus

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An eight-year-old Golden Retriever named Figo (pronounced “FEE-go”) is my new hero. Figo is a devoted service dog and he recently demonstrated his devotion by putting his life on the line for his human companion, Audrey Stone, who is legally blind.

On June 8th Audrey and Figo went out for their daily walk in Brewster, New York. While crossing a street, they were approached by a school bus. The bus driver failed to see the twosome, but Figo clearly saw the bus moving toward them. According to CBS New York, witnesses at the scene describe Figo leaping to action by moving from his companion’s right side to her left, literally putting himself between Audrey and the bus. In spite of his efforts, Audrey and Figo were both seriously injured.

According to CBS and Peter Kramer of, Audrey Stone is in stable condition at Danbury Hospital, recovering from a fractured elbow, ankle, three broken ribs and a cut to her head. Fifteen miles away from where Audrey is recovering, Figo is also in stable condition at Middlebranch Veterinary, located in Carmel New York. Figo’s right front leg went under the bus, resulting in a mild break in the bone as well as severe trauma to the skin and deeper tissues.

Figo’s surgery
Surgery was performed on Figo’s leg, and he is receiving antibiotics and pain medication. Multiple bandage changes will be required throughout his recovery, reports Kramer. Dr. Angela O’Donnell, the attending veterinarian, says that Figo is on the mend. “He won’t have to wear the cone of shame. He’s a good boy and he’s leaving his bandage alone. That points to the strides he’s making. If it was bothering him more, he probably would be chewing at it.” It was an anonymous benefactor that offered to pay for Figo’s veterinary care.

In a video interview, Audrey Stone talks about Figo, her third service dog. “We hit it off immediately. He protects me, he loves me, and vice versa. We just have a strong connection.” Stone said that she doesn’t remember much about the accident, but she clearly recalls the image of a wounded Figo crawling to be by her side. Witnesses say the same thing, according to CBS. Following the trauma, Figo remained intent on staying by his Audrey’s side. He didn’t stop struggling until she was taken away by ambulance. Audrey was quoted as saying, “He needs the Purple Heart from the president.” I couldn’t agree with her more!

Here’s hoping for smooth and speedy recoveries for Audrey and Figo, and may they be reunited very soon.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets. -

"A Traveler's Guide To Space And Time", a strictly limited-edition BLIND GUARDIAN box set with 15 CDs in 13 high-quality digipacks and only 8000 copies worldwide, will be released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on February 1 and the rest of the world on February 4.

Looking back over BLIND GUARDIAN's career from the here and now in 2013, you see a success story gone global, the likes of which very few other German metal bands have ever experienced. This band from Krefeld has been just about everywhere, conquering the North American market in the same way as they stormed the charts in Asia or packed concert venues in South America and even South Africa. From their (at that point purely) German beginnings with debut album, "Battalions Of Fear" (1988), followed by their first international recognition with the second album, "Follow The Blind" (1989) and the euphoria which went round the world when "Tales From The Twilight World" (1990) and "Somewhere Far Beyond" (1992) came out, right through to their masterpiece of composition in "A Night At The Opera" (2002), the name of the band developed to become an unmistakable world brand. There are lots of reasons for this, but no doubt much of it is down to the extraordinary skill of everyone involved, their virtuoso dexterity and that gift for bringing mystical themes in tune with unusually complex metal directives. Something else which really makes BLIND GUARDIAN stand out is the way they have always kept so close to their fans. Even more proof of their unconditional commitment to the huge fan-base is being released now "A Traveler's Guide To Space And Time", a strictly limited edition deluxe box set with a total of 15 CDs in 13 high-quality digipacks, which the musicians and the record company have been working on together for almost a year. A particularly long time to create a compilation you may think, but a glance at just how much this box set encompasses explains why their conscientious and time-consuming preparation took so long.

"A Traveler's Guide To Space And Time" not only includes all the albums released during the so-called Virgin years (the record company brought out all the bands' records between 1988 and 2004) but also all their previously unreleased demo recordings, rare bonus tracks and alternative versions of famous pieces from this era, and all of them have been remastered and some even remixed. To be precise it includes the seven studio albums "Battalions Of Fear", "Follow The Blind", "Tales From The Twilight World", "Somewhere Far Beyond", "Imaginations From The Other Side", "Nightfall In Middle-Earth" and "A Night At The Opera", and on top of all that you get the live albums "Tokyo Tales" and "Live" as well as "The Forgotten Tales" compilation, all of them now with 2012 mastering and some of them with new mixes. Above and beyond that, BLIND GUARDIAN have dug deep into their archives and come up with some real treats: in "Imaginations Through The Looking Glass" for the very first time the phenomenal concert they put on in Coburg, Germany in June 2003 appears in audio format on two CDs. And another first, in a special edition of "Nightfall In Middle-Earth", the musicians also present the legendary 1998 studio album without any breaks (including a new mix of "Blood Tears"). This precious box is rounded off with "An Extraordinary Tale", which includes so-far-unreleased demo versions of the pieces "Welcome To Dying", "Lord Of The Rings", "The Bard's Song (In The Forest)", "The Bard's Song (The Hobbit)", "Theatre Of Pain", "Trial By Fire" and "I'm Alive" and the never-before-released, around-90-seconds-longer version of the song "The Quest For Tanelorn" as well as the comparatively rare number "Harvest Of Sorrow".

So, there is so much to find, enjoy and rediscover in this outright opulent deluxe box which is accompanied by a 20-page glossy booklet (size: 27cm x 27cm) containing comments from the members of the band and more than 100 rare and mainly unpublished photos belonging to the musicians. A limited-edition and numbered BLIND GUARDIAN art print on special paper (sized 27cm by 27cm) and a guitar plectrum engraved with the band's logo have also been added to the box.

"With 'A Traveler's Guide To Space And Time', we document how much has BLIND GUARDIAN developed between 1988 and 2004 in, as I see it, a particularly impressive and vivid way," explains singer/bassist Hansi Kürsch who, together with original members André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen, still controls the destiny of this amazing group. Kürsch adds: "The brand new mastering also makes sure that all 15 CDs are on the same level as far as the dynamics are concerned so theoretically you can listen to the whole box at one go, without having to adjust the volume level at all."

Of course this jam-packed compilation also includes all the compositional climaxes and milestones along BLIND GUARDIAN's career path "Majesty" from their debut album "Battalions Of Fear" was the first time the band presented their unusual song writing combined with the boundless energy which still makes BLIND GUARDIAN stand out so much today. "Traveler In Time" from "Tales From The Twilight World" then puts the band's epic approach into focus. "The Bard's Song" has developed into a real classic, creating that perfect symbiosis between band and audience at concert after concert and reinforcing the folklore element within the typical BLIND GUARDIAN sound.

Of course, in this box, BLIND GUARDIAN also present the sublime title track from the album "Imaginations From The Other Side" with its capable mixture of anthemic power metal and progressive directives, as well as the downright cinematic number "Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)" from the album "Nightfall In Middle-Earth". The experts reckon the fantastic "And Then There Was Silence" from "A Night At The Opera" was the icing on the cake of those Virgin years and you can hear it in all its glory on "A Traveler's Guide To Space And Time".

With "A Traveler's Guide To Space And Time", BLIND GUARDIAN stay true to their reputation of not doing anything only halfway. As always with this band you get the full-on thing, on both the composition and technical production sides. This box is also full of rare photos from the musicians' private collections as well as previously unreleased demo recordings, once again documenting how far this group will go to give their fans the best possible product. And as Hansi Kürsch put it: "We poured our heart and soul into 'A Traveler's Guide To Space And Time', making it a well worthwhile box for our fans which fully meets the demands we make of ourselves as well as those of our fans. And that is exactly what we were aiming for."

Service Dog Stands Between Blind Guardian and Bus - pets

Music in the style of heavy metal or one of its sub-genres that is written, performed, and recorded for no other reason than that it rules. Thus, heavy-metal-style music written specifically for commercial success cannot be considered "true," and is instead false metal. This does not necessarily mean that the false metal is not enjoyable to listen to, but it does mean that it is not metal.

It is possible for bands that were once true to become false, most famously Metallica. The reverse is also true, although it is much rarer.

A good rule of thumb in distinguishing true metal from false metal is to check Metal Archives. If a band/artist is listed, they either are or were true metal.

The term is also occasionally used to describe old-school, straight forward heavy metal, as opposed to one of the sub-genres.

True Metal: Manowar, Iron Maiden, Mayhem, Death, Helloween, Blind Guardian, pre-Black Album Metallica

False Metal: Most nu-meta bands, post-Black Album Metallica

This week’s 5 best bets for music in Las Vegas

Our music picks this week include Dweezil Zappa paying tribute to father Frank’s first record.

Dweezil Zappa

Fifty years ago, the brain police first went on patrol. On June 27, 1966, Frank Zappa released his truth-in-advertising debut, “Freak Out!,” a bent, brilliant takedown of contemporary pop culture. Five decades later, the chief heir to Zappa’s legacy of inspired lunacy, son Dweezil Zappa, is paying tribute to his father’s first record on his current tour. Get ready for “The Return of the Son of the Monster Magnet” once again at 8 p.m. Sunday at Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq. Tickets are $35 call 702-862-2695.

Blind Guardian

Queen, Mozart and Iron Maiden may seem strange bedfellows, but not between Blind Guardian’s sheets. These operatic German power metallers favor a more-is-more approach to music making, their bombast knowing no bounds. See them at 7 p.m Saturday at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Tickets are $23 call 702-632-7600.

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