Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In Joplin Missouri, Help Arrives on Four Legs

Life goes on...But...

Tonight, to me nothing else was as important to write about as tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri.

About the confusion, devastation, and loss: nothing more needs to be said. 

About the human tendency to snap to, and provide extraordinary assistance in times of dire need, I can only describe it as the rare bit of poetry I find in being human. 

About those that would exploit others in times of loss and sorrow, like the men who looted the remains of a family home while masquerading as first responders, well...  that is humanity's shameful, overwritten prose.
While reading about the search-and-rescue for possible survivors, still living within the rubble; or the urgency to account for over a thousand people still missing; one item lifted me from a recurring sense of paralysis.  This paralysis I have experienced too often lately, in the wake of continuous news of natural and man-made terror.

The item I found gave me feeling of comfort, even elation: as I read all about the eager and energetic rescuers of The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.  Read this link to learn more about the rescue dogs, their teams, and their success stories.

What helped me regain my perspective, and helped me feel more hopefully alive, were these stories about the innocent and boundless presence of our canine friends.

A team of rescuers from this California-based Search-and-Rescue-dog organization was dispatched to Joplin, and have been doing their work with their characteristic energy and concentration.

(Dog teams from Oklahoma City and other neighboring areas are also volunteering to assist.  Kudos to all of them!)

The human/dog teams from this incredibly fine organization have been deployed to assist in disaster searches everywhere from the World Trade Center, to Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, the San Bruno CA gas explosion, and the Japanese Tsunami and earthquakes.

Introducing Huck, and Jagger, and their partners Brent Koeninger and Jason Smith. These four are hard at work in Joplin now.

Both of these dogs were themselves rescued from shelters, brought to the training center, and will never need to be rescued again.  The love and care they were shown, and the sense of purpose they have from their training, they are repaying tenfold.

Huck and Brent Koeninger

Jagger and Jason Smith


  1. Bless their hearts. My heart goes out to the people in the Midwest. This spring has been devastating. I always do a post to salute these search and rescue teams also. These dogs are amazing at what they can do. To think that some of them have been rescued themselves. My heart breaks at the many who are not rescued and are put down. Just think of all the work these dogs could do in Homeland Security and such. Their noses and brains no technology can match! Thanks for this post and the link.

  2. Stan,
    I appreciate your attention to these rescue-dog teams. Thanks for noticing, and for checking in!