Honoring 9/11 Rescue Dogs

Well as we all know Veterans Day was this past Wednesday to remember all the people who have, are and will be fighting for our country. Not only was this one of the big things this week, but also a tragic event occurred in Paris on Friday. Often when remembering the people who are serving to keep our world a better place, we seem to forget our silent heroes, the rescue dogs.

Rescue dogs go in to save lives and work alongside first responders, but sometimes this can cause a serious problem for the dogs.  Elena Espriu, a dear friend of Jacklynn's, recently went to the 9/11 memorial site for the first time and learned about how the rescue dogs were affected during 9/11.  She stated:

“Rescue dogs had an especially difficult time; upon finding lifeless body after body, rescue dogs became very depressed. In order to help the dogs psyche, teams set up “fake” rescues. Different people buried themselves in the rubble, in order to be found and saved by the dogs. This continuous exercise of finding living people, saved the psyche of the rescue dogs and allowed them to continue following their mission which sadly became a recovery mission only for 9/11 victims”.

This unfortunately is a very sad issue, because just like humans, the dogs were becoming seriously depressed during this terrible time in the United States and in order to help them regain their strength, the best option was giving them live people to be found. According to the army, “The MWD has exceptional potential in the combat support role and is trained in many skills which can make a difference between the success of failure of many combat missions”. There are roughly 9 tasks that the dogs can be assigned to:

  1. Cache searches
  2. Force protection sweeps
  3. Building sweeps
  4. Entry control points and access control points
  5. Open area searches
  6. Cordon and search
  7. Customs inspections
  8. Route clearance
  9. Perimeter security

The next step though is that not only do dogs contribute during the actual “war” but they also contribute to the soldiers who come home as well. They are known as military therapy dogs which “refers to a dog trained to provide physical, occupational or emotional therapy to wounded soldiers and active duty personnel in military installations, military and VA medical centers, and VA nursing homes”. Underneath the military therapy dogs there is three subsections which are combat stress control dogs, physical and occupational therapy dogs and emotional therapy dogs.

Veterans should be remembered every day, all year for all that they have sacrificed, not just a single day holiday, but just remember the next time you are saying thank you to a veteran, remember to say a little thank you to our military dogs as well, cause they have worked just as hard.

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