Meet 8-year-old Frida, a special rescue dog on a mission to save lives in Mexico that has become a hero in her own right.
The Devastating Earthquake Destroyed Many Lives and Buildings
More than 300 people were killed in the September 19th earthquake in central Mexico. In addition, many buildings collapsed with survivors trapped underneath them. In the following agonizing days, rescue crews worked frantically to save their lives, and one rescuer in particular got a great deal of attention. (See: Momo The Dog Who Faced A Bear.)
Frida Is An Extraordinary Rescue Canine
According to the Mexican Navy who use her all the time as a sniffer dog, Frida has a "sixth sense" for finding humans that's unlike any other dog they have ever trained. In the last eight years, she has rescued 12 people after earthquakes and other disasters in Mexico, Haiti and Ecuador. She has also located 53 bodies buried under rubble. (See: Dasher The Hero Pup.)
This Brave Dog And Others of Her Ilk Have Inspired A Sense of National Pride
According to reporter, Franc Contreras, Frida and other search and rescue dogs have become symbols of renewed hope and promise. In his own words: "There have been a lot of reasons to divide Mexicans, namely; politics and economics. But after this disaster, you could really see the country pulling together and somehow, these furry creatures on the scene help lift peoples' spirits...I would say, at this stage, Frida is a rock star, but she doesn't let it get to her head. She's just getting used to being in front of the cameras because she's gotten so much attention." (See: Dog Takes Bite Out of Isis.)
Social Media Has Catapulted Frida to the Status of Pop Culture Icon
There's a Facebook campaign for Frida's face to replace Diego Rivera's on the 500 peso bank note, and images of this sweet hero dog wearing her protective goggles, vest and boots have not only circulated throughout Mexico, but also all over the world. In addition, murals have been painted in her honor, and souvenir shops cannot stock enough stuffed animals, tee-shirts and mugs emblazoned with her image to keep up with the demand. One man, believe it or not, even got a tattoo of her face! (See: Hero Dog-Wolf Saves Couple Trapped in Snowstorm.)
The Mexican Soccer team honored this brave canine in a tearful ceremony that included a moment of silence, the national anthem and fists raised in solidarity. This occurred before the start of the World Cup 2018 qualifier football match Mexico vs Trinidad &Tobago at the Alfonso Lastras Stadium in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. This emotionally charged ceremony involved the players handing out tee-shirts to all the first responders, but the true highlight of the moment came when Frida walked out in her signature protective gear. The crowd broke out in chanting and cheers. (See: Sergeant Reckless).
Frida, dear sweet canine, you deserve it all. Ole!