A typical story in the days following a severe earthquake – anywhere in the world – tells of a rescue dog and his/her handler finding a person buried under the rubble. We have heard those stories so often that we have come to expect them, maybe forgetting what a miracle those stories of survival are. I heard one of those stories on the news last evening, but it had a different twist to it.
First, this occurred nine days after the earthquake – can you imagine surviving for nine days, i.e., being buried alive for nine days? Even if your injuries did not kill you by then, the lack of food and water probably would, as well as the rock bottom despair and heartbreak of the disaster and your seemingly hopeless predicament.
Second, there was a dog involved, but it was the dog who was buried under the rubble. Rescuers – who by that time were, no doubt, searching only for those who had perished, heard faint barks and whimpering from down under. They dug through the rocks and earth until a Golden Retriever emerged, wagging his tail and “smiling” as only those happy breeds do, despite the circumstance.
It’s quite an amazing story and I’m glad to have heard it, but I can’t help but wonder if the dog’s people survived. If they did, what a wonderful reunion they had with their dog. If not, I have to believe there are many people who would love to adopt the Golden who persevered and lived to tell, in dog language. The wonder and love of pets is amazing.