Archive for the ‘Dogs who work’ Category

Check out “War Dog”-photo essay by Rebecca Frankel, Foreign Policy Magazine, May 2011


A tribute to the dogs who fly into danger, sniff out bombs, mines and dangerous fugitives. One such dog, whose identity is being kept a secret, was there with the U.S. SEALS the night they found Osama bin Laden. See Rebecca Frankel’s on-line photo essay in Foreign Policy Magazine.

Also, check out the World War 11 Mascot section of this blog.

Search Dog Foundation units ready for deployment to Japan

Gary Durian and Baxter

Gary Durian and Baxter

US Canine Disaster Teams To Leave For Japan
Good Dogs Canada commends the six canine search and rescue teams in Los Angeles who are responding today to the devastating 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The American National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is deploying six canine disaster search and rescue teams from Los Angeles County Task Force. The LA Task Force is being mobilized along with Virginia’s Task Force 2 by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which dispatches Disaster Assistance Response Team (Dart) to help coordinate rescue efforts in Japan.

Each Task Force will be composed of approximately 72 personnel, including Urban Search and Rescue canines and 75 tons of rescue equipment. The teams are in the process of getting a health clearance for their dogs from their veterinarians, certifying that the dogs are in good health and able to be deployed. Unlike other national disasters Japan is asking for immediate help.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation was founded in 1996 with a mission to strengthen disaster response in America and across the world by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to assist in finding humans buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. Currently there are 74 Search Dog Foundation teams located in California, Florida, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

World Vets is an international veterinary aid organization that provides “free veterinary aid, resources and support during times of disaster all over the world”. Their non-profit efforts spans 25 countries and 6 continents, and handles both veterinary issues and human health issues caused by animal-related infectious diseases.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is a non-profit, FEMA-certified agency that searches for survivors in the wreckage of catastrophic events such as the one is Japan. NDSDF has already deployed six Canine Disaster Search Teams to respond to the current crisis; each task force is made up of approximately 72 members (including both humans and Urban Search and Rescue dogs) and some 75 tons of rescue equipment.

Buddy and Joey

Blind Buddy Jim and Mary Borrowman own and operate Stubbs Island Whale Watching which is located in picturesque Telegraph Cove on North Vancouver Island.

In February 2009 their five year old Shi Tsu, Buddy, (pictured left) weighing about eight kilograms, lay asleep outside the gift shop. Suddenly, a cougar turned up at the open front door, picked Buddy up in his mouth, and began walking down the boardwalk with him.

Horrified, Mary and her assistant, Cara Aman, ran after the cougar yelling and screaming. Buddy was struggling in the big cat’s mouth so they knew that he was still alive. Mary’s husband, Jim, grabbed an axe and chased the cougar as he took off up the stairs toward the Borrowmans’ house. When the cat growled at Jim, he quickly dropped Buddy who rolled down an embankment. Jim was able to pick him up right away.

Buddy was in terrible shape. His eyes had popped out of their sockets because of the pressure. The Borrowmans rushed the little dog to a veterinary clinic where his eyes were treated as well as a cracked jaw, broken teeth, and other injuries.

In the meantime, the cougar was treed by a neighbour’s Rhodesian Ridgeback. As a precaution, he was shot dead by a conservation officer who thought that the cat’s taste for blood might escalate his prey instincts.

Out of love for their dog, the Borrowmans forfeited their holidays last year to pay for five surgeries on Buddy. Eventually most of Buddy’s injuries healed, but he did loose his sight.

The little fellow coped well enough during the summer, but when Fall came, Mary says he seemed to be depressed and disinterested in activities. She contacted support groups online and was advised to get another dog to keep Buddy company.

Initially Jim and Mary were doubtful, because Buddy is more of a people lover than an appreciator of his own species. When Joey, a Shih-Tzu/Lhasa Apso mix, arrived as an eight week old puppy, Buddy growled at him every time he tried to play. But little by little they grew closer and closer and the dogs are now inseparable.

Mary says that it is hard to know if Joey knows whether or not Buddy’s is blind, but Buddy doesn’t go anywhere without Joey anymore. They’re always seen together greeting visitors on the boardwalks at Telegraph Cove. Joey manoevres Buddy around obstacles. He’s Buddy’s guide dog.

Remembering the homeless this holiday season

Courtesy John and his 11 month old Great Dane, Bull Mastiff, Jersey

Courtesy John and his 11 month old Great Dane/Bull Mastiff, Jersey. Photo taken at Yonge and St. Clair in Toronto




Larry is a working German Shepherd on an organic produce farm in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Ferme du Coq a L’Ane, owned by Jean-Francois Labbe and Jean-Francoix Levasseur. He monitors visitors, guards the farm’s free ranging chickens and Guinnea Hens, and oversees his humans’ Scottish Longhorn cattle and extensive pesticide-free vegetable crop.