The Telegraph reports that Dayko, a four-year-old rescue dog, died Friday after days spent searching the rubble in Ecuador following last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Dayko, a white Labrador, died from “massive coronary myocardial infarction and acute respiratory failure” — he died from a broken heart.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
More than 650 people died in the disaster, though Dayko had done his part: The lab is being hailed as a hero after helping find numerous survivors trapped under collapsed buildings. He will be buried with full honors.
And Dayko isn’t alone. After 9/11, Jonah Goldberg wrote about the canines who bravely followed their masters into the ruins of Ground Zero:
Long before the rubble settled in downtown New York, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and Rottweilers — as well as canines of less aristocratic lineage — were already pulling at their leashes to help with the search-and-rescue efforts. Locating the dead and searching (too often in vain) for the living is obviously an arduous and emotionally draining task for human beings, but it is no picnic for dogs either. The rubble provided unstable footing, was full of glass shards and twisted metal, and sometimes glowed red hot. Dangerous fumes, loud noises, and the equivalent of landslides were constant sources of distraction and peril. Dogs repeatedly had to limp out of the wreckage on bloody paws, the razor-edged debris slicing through even the leather boots distributed to some of them.
Worse, the stress associated with not finding survivors was extreme; dogs tasked with this assignment expect — need — to find survivors. ‘They don’t like to find bodies. They’ll find them, but they don’t feel rewarded,’ veterinarian Douglas Wyler explained to the London Daily Telegraph. ‘The dogs are good, they’re professionals, but like any professional they can suffer from melancholy and depression. It’s hard for the men not to find anyone alive, and the dogs sense that.’
Read the whole thing here.
And say a quick prayer for the people of Ecuador — and the rescue dogs there to help them.