To my canine and human companions, Simon knows that most of us are well aware of the fateful events that were honored and memorialized yesterday – 9/11. With this 10th anniversary of that day, Simon and the rest of the Variety Pack would like to give barks and howls of praise for the pups who served in the search-and-rescue aftermath of Ground Zero–and who continue to be brave and put their lives on the line to save many humans in the wake of other disasters.
Have you ever wondered what groups are behind the recruiting and training of such dedicated dogs? One main organization is the Search Dog Foundation. The SDF was founded in 1995, and provided 13 of the search teams employed at the 9/11 Ground Zero. They’ve also served in Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and many other natural disasters.
Here are the qualities their search dogs bring to the fray:
- Remarkable sense of smell (many times more acute than ours) and ability to ignore all other scents and noises- even tempting traces of other animals, food, or people involved in the search.
- Unparalleled ability to quickly and safely navigate unstable and slippery terrain-like a 4-wheel drive on paws!
- Ability to negotiate these dangerous surfaces while keeping absolutely focused on the job at hand: saving a life.
- Ability to work off-leash and get to places humans cannot safely access.
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