Jenny McCampbell is first Honorary Saint

Gary and Jenny McCampbell with their daughter Courtney

The City of Saint Johns is lucky to have Jenny in our community. She has given tirelessly of their time and energy to make the city of Saint Johns a better place to live.

Jenny McCampbell has been part of the St. Johns Community for nearly 50 years. From the time she moved to town, Jenny has had a positive impact on the community. Early on, Jenny, her husband Gary, and Bill Richards came up with an idea to create an organization which would promote the arts throughout the city and give kids greater access to the arts. They began planning and organizing and with the help of many others in the community, the Clinton County Arts Council was born. They have been bringing art to the people of St. Johns and the surrounding communities for over 40 years. From summer art and theater camps, to music groups and the summer music series, to the railroad museum and art gallery in the heart of the city, Jenny, Gary and Bill’s little idea has touched all of our lives.

As an educator, Jenny was instrumental in working with local educators to build an amazing gifted and talented program used throughout the city. The collaborative efforts of everyone involved helping students explore new areas and experience some incredible opportunities.

While she is very proud of all these things, it may just be the creation of the sister city relationship between St. Johns and Shiga, Japan that she feels is her greatest achievement. Through her work with the Michigan-Shiga exchange program, she developed a lot of incredible relationships and knew it would be a wonderful opportunity for St. Johns. Once again, working with many others to make it happen, Jenny helped bring to life this idea. In addition she worked with a committee and raised the money needed to create a Japanese Garden next to the Briggs library in downtown St Johns.

Mint Country Garden Clubs closes out the year

During the last meeting of 2021 members of the Mint Country Garden Club enjoyed making a bookmark with dried flowers. Thanks to Marilyn and Sue providing the materials and flowers for the craft. Dorothy and Lynne brought wonderful treats which were enjoyed by all.

Their first meeting in 2022 will be held on the first Thursday in March. Guests are welcome.

They plant and maintain the Hazel I. Findlay Country Manor Courtyards and the planters at Mt. Rest Cemetery. They are always looking for members to help with these community projects. If you are interested in joining the garden club, send a message from their Facebook page.

Reminders of Central School remain

Remember When – Remembering the Central School bell tower in 1999

At about this time five years ago, everyone was looking up at the landmark Central School building in St. Johns – watching the bell tower being lowered to the ground and transported away by its new owner, Ruth Nihart.

It was quite a sight.

In the days that followed the school that Mark Barber had hoped to transform into a conference center and restaurant came toppling to the ground – drawing more spectators, and causing tears to be shed by many of the students who had walked its hallways.

Prior to its demolition, Barber made a final trip up to the tower where the sound of the school bell resounded one last time. No children answered that call; the bell had earned its rest.

Today the Central School bell is a focal point of landscaping near the entrance to the gymnasium at St. Johns High School, while the tower that housed it is being transformed into a lovely cupola.

It’s nice to know that although the building that meant so much to so many people no longer remains, a part of its heart and soul is still present.

Some things are worth saving.

Maralyn’s Pet Corner
– Can Dogs See TV?

Dogs absolutely can see TV, and many seem to enjoy it. There are a number of features about television shows that dogs find attractive. Some of these are visual, such as motion, while others relate to the sounds coming from the TV.

Dog eyes are very different from human eyes, so they see things on TV differently. Their vision isn’t as sharp, being closer to 20/75 than 20/20, which may explain why they prefer to sit closer to the TV than we do—it helps keep the images sharp.

They also have different color perception because they have only two types of color-processing cells in their retinas (we have three). They can only see blues, greens, and yellows, so a dog running on grass with a blue sky behind them, playing with a yellow frisbee, may be very interesting, while a dog sitting next to a red and white picnic table with a red toy would be very dull.

Dogs also have more rods in their eyes than people. Rods are the cells that increase night vision. This means that dogs see very well in the dark and are very sensitive to motion.

Dogs will also perceive the image itself differently, especially on older TVs. Humans don’t notice any flickering of images if the screen refresh rate is faster than 55 hertz. However, dogs have better motion perception—they will see flickers up to 75 hertz.

So, if we are watching an average TV show at 60 hertz, it will look smooth to us, but the image will appear to flicker for dogs. Fortunately, newer TVs are refreshed at a higher rate, and laptops and desktops have higher refresh rates, so not only do we enjoy a better picture, but so do our pups!

Do Dogs Know That TV Isn’t Real?

It is hard to know what dogs are “thinking” when they watch TV, and some seem to take it much more seriously than others. That being said, it does appear that dogs recognize other animals on TV, will respond to the barking of dogs, and readily distinguish photos of dogs from cartoon dogs.

But dogs also heavily rely on other senses, such as smell—which clearly isn’t possible on a televised image. Based on the disconnect with dogs’ most important sense (smell), it’s likely that dogs do recognize that the image on the screen isn’t real, but instead a representation of an animal or figure.

That being said, dogs do often respond to the sounds made by animals on TV, and this clearly communicates information to them, even across species lines. So it might be wise to avoid shows involving distressed animals when your dog is sharing screen time.

Why Do Some Dogs Watch TV and Others Don’t?

Just like people, dogs will get varying enjoyment out of the TV. Different breeds (and different individual dogs) have differing sight capacity, so some dogs may be able to see what is happening on TV better than others.

If a dog can easily see and recognize a dog chasing something across a screen, they may be more engaged than a dog that relies more heavily on sense of smell or hearing. And some dogs may be more easily “fooled” by the images on the screen, while others are a little more perceptive in knowing that what they see is not real.

What Kind of TV Shows Do Dogs Like?

In general, dogs will prefer shows that feature animals in motion, and they’d rather see a real animal than a cartoon.

If you’d like to test whether your dog is interested in TV, pick a show with very active animals—especially those your dog is attracted to in real life (such as squirrels, birds, cats, or other dogs). If the colors featured on the screen are shades of blues, yellows, and greens, your dog will be able to see them better.

Then watch your dog’s reaction to figure out if they like what they see. Are their eyes following the action? Is their tail happily wagging, or do they seem distressed and growling? Do they seem worried by what they see?

Keep testing shows until you find one that makes your dog happy—and then hope that you don’t have to fight them over the remote control!

Should You Leave the TV on for Your Dog?

Dogs watching TV has become a “thing” to the point that there are now channels devoted to dogs and marketing messages that dog TV will calm and relax your dog. Is this true? The jury is out.

More than likely, dogs prefer to watch TV with their owners for companionship. When they’re alone, they’re more likely to just curl up to sleep or do their own thing.

However, if your dog seems to like watching TV, you aren’t likely doing any harm by leaving it on when you go out or as long as TV time doesn’t interfere with playtime, outdoor time, or social time together.

Just hearing the sounds of TV (or even a radio) might be stimulating enough to make the time pass more quickly until you come home. Keep it at a low volume and make sure your dog can move away from the TV if they choose to for example, if they are crate training or confined to a room with the TV on.