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May 19, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Search and Bow-wowzie.

Happy Dog face. ALL rights resrved. No permissions granted. Copy righte

Put me in coach. I’m ready. Oh? Must be able to focus and not eat odd stuff on the ground? Sniff on command? OK. A bit of homework yet to do.But these guys are inspiring.©

Many hear the howl, but few actually trot over to help.

Realistically it’s a little intimidating for even the best trained or most prepared.

A lot of weight on small shoulders.

Yet strong paws reach down and find the strength. And courage.

 "It's my first mission." Search and rescue dog Pryce. Handler Ron Sanders. (Facebook Fairfax County fire and rescue/VA-TFl-1 Kyle Knox)

“It’s my first mission.” Search and rescue dog Pryce is a little worried as she sets out for Nepal with handler Ron Sanders(Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Images by VA-TFl-1 Kyle Knox)

“Wow. Now this is one giant dog house. Room for me, my handler, my friends, generators, and our 14 days worth of supplies. My blanket made it on board? Oh, whew. Small comforts mean a lot on the job.”

Here’s the ride: a C17 Globemaster II. Might as well get comfortable. It’s 52 hours of travel.

A little help from their friends on the way.

airplane interior. US Mission to Nepal. Fairfax Co URban search and rescue on C-17 Globemaster II (Image:US Mission to NATO/Fairfax fire rescue photo on facebook)

Heading to Nepal (Image: US Mission to NATO)

And all that training couldn’t prepare for all this.

Where to start? (USAID video here. Dogs included! CNN.)

Nepal Damaged buildings being searched.  Nepal. (Image.Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance/FB USAID.OFDA)

This was a street. With neighbors and children playing. Even dogs and cats. (Nepal. Image by USAID.OFDA)

Search and rescue dog searching rubble pile in Nepal. Fairfax Co Search and Rescue/FB/USAID

“I AM being careful. Now be quiet and let me do my job.”Nepal. Fairfax Co Search and Rescue/FB/USAID

Yes, it’s rough and tough, but so are the search dogs.

Focused and determined.

Tired, but pleased they found people alive, the dogs and their handlers returned stateside over the weekend at the end of their rotation.

Search dogs returning home with handlers at airport. (Fairfax County Fire and Rescue /FB)

Look at that strut. Pryce knows she made a difference. That’s a good dog.(Fairfax County Fire and Rescue)

Hero dogs and their loyal equally dedicated leash holders.

Welcome home.

Applause to Fairfax County Search and Rescue, Los Angles County Search and Rescue, and all the many others still on the ground. (and their spouses and employers who let them go as soon as that phone call comes. Everytime.)

Happy dog and handler are home. Fairfax Co Fire and Rescue Dept. Facebook

Yes, good job.(Fairfax Co Fire and Rescue Dept. Facebook)

The rescues, evaluation of buildings, sorting through the mess continues.

  • “Rescue workers are battling hard to save the lives of Nepal’s animals” It’s not just dogs and cats. The livestock estimates over 9 million cows, goats, pigs, were killed or inured in the earthquake.  There are few standing barns or shelters:the sun is harsh and the monsoon rains soaking. Vets from the Humane Society International are on site with medical treatment and tarps to provide shelter. Healthy livestock is important to help Nepal’s people get their lives back to normal.


  1. Paul / May 19 2015 1:11 pm

    Wow, I hadn’t even though about the millions of animals. Whew, that’s a big job. Thanks for the post Phil.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 1:34 pm

      Pigs, bovines with curved horns, and little goats – they’re digging them all out. It didn’t occur to me either until i saw them digging out a very large hog. (I wanted to post some rescued animal pix,pictures but need to add some additional WP space pretty soon.) Critical to save as many as possible. Apparently the lack of shelter is a big concern for livestock because they develop respiratory problems and pneumonia fairly quickly with the stress, less food, and weather/climate. MAssive undertaking to sort things out there. (and seeing/hearing about all that makes me a little annoyed at those here whining about how hard their life is.)
      Thanks for climbing in to chat.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. easyweimaraner / May 19 2015 2:13 pm

    This dogs are heroes… and I cross my paws for the people and the animals…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 3:48 pm

      Paws up for hero dogs and disaster teams! As the ground stabilizes, more sorting and rebuilding is possible. Livestock appreciate the food, tarp shelter and medical care as much as people. Thanks for pawsing to send them warming energy


  3. marthaschaefer / May 19 2015 2:30 pm

    So heart-wrenching to think of the animals as well. Love this post that brings the humanity and canine-ity to the situation. Well done Phil!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 3:51 pm

      At first thought, no one remembers the livestock is critical for survival there. Thank goodness the vets and animal disaster teams are in as soon as possible. Every pig, baby goat, cow counts even more now. Appreciate the kind words. Thanks for flying in to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie Rubin / May 19 2015 3:12 pm

    Thanks for bringing these dogs story to light. Most of us probably don’t even realize they’re out there alongside the search and rescue folks. As for the 52 hours of travel–oh my, oh my, oh my.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 3:43 pm

      The scent dogs are critical for finding people early and are rushed in as soon as it’s safe to land. They do have their special blankets, booties to protect paws, and are rotated to not overwork them. Handlers have to watch as the dogs can get stressed, discouraged and depressed, if they aren’t having success and finding people – this time they did. Better than a tennis ball. Thanks for riding along

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate Crimmins / May 19 2015 3:12 pm

    I always worry about the animals because you don’t hear about them until a little later. It was the same way with Katrina. Then you saw the pictures of dogs cowering on roofs that broke your heart. So glad there are rescue groups who are willing to save anything that is living. Hopefully those dogs didn’t have to fly in the cargo area!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 3:36 pm

      Everyone and everything flies cargo in that plane. Serious “open floor plan”. One of the links has an outside view of the team arriving in Nepal – that plane is unbelievably big. The first teams in are for search and rescue while there’s time, engineers evaluating buildings, and emergency medical. Followed quickly by International Humane Society vets and animal logistics. They are pulling pigs out of mud, little goats huddled in spaces under barns. Every small life is important. Thanks for worrying along.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean / May 19 2015 5:49 pm

    I just love those dogs [and their handlers, of course]. They amaze me with their abilities to help humans and other animals. There’s a wonderful lesson about cooperation in this story. Pity that we humans are too egotistical to understand the selflessness that these dogs demonstrate.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 10:21 pm

      A perfect example of each using their individual special skills toward a single goal. As you say, if only the majority could see how well it works, and try to do the saem, life would be so much different. Thanks for cheering along


  7. dogear6 / May 19 2015 7:10 pm

    Thanks for putting this out there. It was good to see how people and their animals responded to the need.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 10:11 pm

      Fairfax Co. and LA Co. disaster teams are some of the first calls when something happens. Remarkable dedication. Thanks for stacking a comment up over here

      Liked by 1 person

  8. roughseasinthemed / May 19 2015 8:36 pm

    Good dogs. Go dogs, go. And, maybe the odd treat later when you have saved countless lives?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 10:09 pm

      A little success goes a long way – Search dog Pryce’s body language certainly changed.
      Molly could use a job. She probably would have made a good scent/search hound if we had gotten her as a puppy. Far too much of a party girl now. Hopefully she can resume her cruise director position with her friends shortly. Meanwhile she’s taking on the role of cat aerobic instructor. Always busy, right Snowy? Thanks for romping along


      • roughseasinthemed / May 19 2015 10:13 pm

        Scent search hound? Me!! Pick me Snowy. I am the only breed that does scent sight and smell! Yes I am Podenco.

        Actually to be serious, they do hunt with three senses, why aren’t they using these dogs instead of killing them after two hunting seasons? 😦

        Oh, but, wait, he’s gone to bed. I need to go too, and be rounded up. Zzzzz


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 10:28 pm

          Wow, I had forgotten how specialized Snowy and Podenco canines are. That is a good question. Being small, they could go into tight places, too. They need a champion – and a group to show what they can do. (must do some investigating. There are so many uses for Snowy’s friends and family. Hmmmm. Why not, indeed?)
          And as a bonus he can sleep anywhere…given enough pillows or a human to sleep on top of.
          Sweet dreams – and great idea.(Wonder who to suggest this to…win-win)


        • roughseasinthemed / May 19 2015 10:35 pm

          Gallegos and podencos are very abandoned on Spain. In our area, podencos, Gallegos more in the north. But such useful dogs, why not use their superb skills instead of killing them off? Nasty people, killing potential life-saving dogs. Silly humans. Lacking brain cells. Yes, Podenco search mission control is needed.

          But how to do it? Spanish shelters are full of them. There’s a squad waiting to happen. They need little training. Fearsomely bright and will hunt, hunt, and dig, dig.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 19 2015 11:36 pm

          This is really beginning to bug me. Snowy is right. They already have natural skills and will train. All things work better when you use the right tool – so here’s a breed that’s been forgotten and not utilized when it could be the best choice.
          Know you have plenty of them there but wondering if there are any this side of the pond and if it has occurred to any of the search groups that these dogs might work well. Do they all have to be large dogs? Doesn’t seem logical. Maybe I’ll try to contact the search trainers and ask what the requirements/possibilities are. Everything has a perfect place and once in it’s place, everything works perfectly. Hmmmm.(Dog jumping. Dog jumping. Wanna go out. Is it still scorching? A little less than earlier, so hasta later. Paw waves of encouragement Snowy!)


        • roughseasinthemed / May 20 2015 5:31 am

          Doubt there are any on your side. Some rescues do get shipped to the UK because obviously there are so many Brits down here. Snowy stands and barks for toys that have disappeared under furniture days before. Not sure how he smells inanimate plastic. He was barking this morning for something. I couldn’t see a toy, but it was a drop of dried blood from when I cut myself last night. Pods come in three sizes. Snows is medium, but there are large ones for hunting deer and bears. Snowy is a caza de tierra, so primarily rabbits. Hugely trainable, intelligent, fabulous sense of smell.
          Everyone’s been out here, a quick dentists I for S while Pippa was out, and it’s morning nap time now. Zzzzzz Molly.

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 20 2015 1:01 pm

          Sounds like the perfect behavior. Still going to check around – it would probably take one dog going through training to demonstrate ability. (Another windmill to joust at…) Molly’s going to run in large field with friends – finally. We think she’s out of danger..except for summer heat…months of couch snoozing under the fan ahead.


        • roughseasinthemed / May 20 2015 1:45 pm

          A dog that displays innate hunting sense of smell and wants to dig to Australia via the furniture? Perfect.

          Run Molly, run and enjoy. Silly leads and people and cars and streets. Joyous Snowy wave 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  9. sustainabilitea / May 20 2015 12:01 am

    If things are going to the dogs, in this case, it’s a good thing. I supposed that really the dogs are going to them. Ahhh, well, it’s a doggone good post. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  10. shoreacres / May 20 2015 1:12 am

    This is a wonderful post. I know a couple of people who live in Fairfax, and I’m going to pass this on to them. The stories are just so inspiring. And yes — just think of how many animals need help during a hurricane. It’s even more critical for people in Nepal. What an undertaking. It’s hard to fathom, but wonderful that these people are helping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 20 2015 1:21 am

      I think Fairfax gave the arrival a hero’s welcome. It’s quite an undertaking and quite a group. (And I never thought about the livestock and farm animals. The biggest risk to the ones who made it through the earthquake is respiratory illnesses from exposure with all the barns down. Pigs, goats, and cattle are an important part to getting back to normal) Thanks for the kind words and for sitting down to chat.


  11. colonialist / May 20 2015 8:35 pm

    Wow, that packed aircraft! With all those hours in the air, I suppose that when they had to go they had to go. Wonder how that bit of logistics was coped with?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 20 2015 9:40 pm

      Wish I had posted the picture of a man standing outside that plane – that thing is huge beyond belief.The do drive monster-sized vehicles right inside. The pack in relief supplies, plus every single thing the disaster team needs for 14 days: water, generators, tents, dog beds and tennis balls, the passengers take little more than a backpack – no cell phones – a coordinator relays messages only if urgent. I don’t think it’s travel without a stop. I know the 12 search dogs were hosted by a US military canine company overnight at one point. But you do wonder if people do get up and move around in flight…or is it too embarrassing since everyone would know why you are up? Pretty loud inside, I imagine…not Jet Blue buy any definition. Paws up for those guys anyway. Thanks for digging out a comment to leave


  12. Kourtney Heintz / May 22 2015 8:36 pm

    Amazing animals. Thank goodness those dogs could get there and do so much good in the face of such a tragedy.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 25 2015 1:22 pm

      It looks like they have 12 search and rescue dogs ready to go at a minute’s notice – and can rotate the dogs so they don’t get too stressed. What a logistics effort. A rare breed: dogs and the people that rush in to help. Thanks for cheering along


  13. jmmcdowell / May 26 2015 7:01 pm

    No mere words can express the gratitude we should feel to those humans and other animals who put their own lives at risk to help others. “Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 26 2015 11:47 pm

      Both a whole special breed with great hearts. The organizational logistics are also head spinning. How lucky we are that some are so determined. Thanks for packing up a comment to leave



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