I admire service dogs. Their ability to take all their energy and convert it into aiding humans is remarkable. There are many different types of these special pups. My parents have one in their neighborhood. He helps a blind man during his walks. I am fascinated. I could never have that kind of discipline. Then there are the working dogs who help the army and police. They are our rock stars. When we dream we see ourselves as these brave creatures. Sometimes, in my fantasies, I am in World War I ratting critters from their holes as we Yorkies were initially trained to do.
Other times I am a rescue dog saving humans from the rubble.
It is natural for a dog to want to find humans. On my walks, if I saw or heard a person I would pull on the leash trying to get to them until my parents scolded me. When you.are a rescue dog, you are allowed to go to people all the time and have the satisfaction of saving lives.
Many of these dogs work for law enforcement and the military. While army dogs are well known other branches, including the Navy, rely on dogs to aid them with their work.
One of these dogs is Freda. She and her handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, became cause celebs in Mexico. After she found 50 people and saved a dozen more during the earthquake rescue and recovery efforts.
Decked out in her goggles and neoprene booties Freda soon became a symbol of hope to the embattled earthquake survivors. Mr. Arauz and Freda became spokesman and dog for the Mexican navy. They made several appearances on television where Mr. Araux demonstrated how, using the grip on Freda’s harness he would place her in areas that humans could not reach, then retrieve her when the area was clear.
Freda's image has been painted, both professionally and by freelance artists across Mexico City and the people of Puebla have erected a bronze statue of Freda and Mr. Araux.
Freda set aside time in her busy schedule between rescuing and television interviews to bark with me. I wasn't sure how a celebrity dog would react to a modest angel like me. When I appeared in Freda's dreams, she was the sweetest, most unaffected dog in the world. “The people of Mexico have been so nice to me,” Freda said. “But, it is quite unnecessary. I am a dog, and it is my job to aid humans. I don't sit with and provide comfort my people, which is an essential job we all have sworn to do. I have to contribute in another manner. I use the tools the big guy gave me, including my excellent sniffer to find missing people. Sometimes I find them after they have passed, and that is sad. But, at least I have provided their family answers to their loved one's whereabouts And if I find someone alive, oh Foley, there is no better feeling in life. It is like I have fulfilled my purpose in life. And I get to do it again and again. Awesome.”
We chatted until she was called to her latest mission. “Every dog is a hero to people who love them,” Freda said. “Parents want to erect billboards, statues, and cover every blank space with testimonials expressing love for their dogs. We are all heroes. You pups who are house pups are everyday heroes.” Then Mr. Araux called Freda, and they went off to once again fulfill Freda's reason for living.
And I retired to my.villiage of everyday hero dogs where our parents love for us is expressed by postings on websites just like this one.