When we think of the heroism of the emergency services, we normally think of the actions of people, but this dog in Mexico pulled off something extra special and everyone should know about it.
In her downtime, Frida's an ordinary dog that likes a game of fetch and a cuddle from her master, just like any other canine. However, when Frida's called into action, she becomes something entirely different. She works as part of a team and their job is a matter of life and death. As you'll see, Frida's contribution is vital.
Frida is one of a handful of dogs that are trained by and employed by the Mexican Navy (SEMAR). Yet, they are not designed to fight in combat (unsurprisingly, dogs are not the most useful of naval fighters) but rather to participate in a very different activity. One which saves lives. A lot of lives.
Frida's job is to participate in search and rescue in the event that a natural disaster strikes Mexico. Sadly, for the developing nation, this is a more regular activity than you might have anticipated. Mexico is regularly hit by earthquakes, mudslides, and other cataclysmic natural events. It's Frida's job to make a challenging time less awful for the victims. She's very good at it as you'll discover.
Frida and her other canine chums are tasked with finding people in amongst the wreckage caused by natural disasters. In some cases, these people will be alive and in desperate need of treatment. In more unfortunate cases, they will be beyond treatment, but they will still need to be retrieved so that their families can bury them. Frida's seen it all. Yet, she's always ready when needed.
Frida doesn't go out into danger completely unprotected. She wears protective goggles to keep her eyes safe, boots to prevent her from damaging her feet and even a harness to enable precise interaction with her handler. It was her look that attracted the attention of the Mexican press, but it was her heroism that kept it.
Frida is Mexico's most accomplished search and rescue dog. While nearly every dog has saved a life or two or identified a corpse, Frida has gone far beyond that and she has the thanks of a grateful nation now. Let's see just what Frida has done for Mexico.
52 people owe their lives to Frida! When the people of Mexico learned just how hard this labrador had worked to save lives, they took to social media to celebrate her. This 500 peso note was a tribute from one fan and no, sadly, it won't be legal tender in Mexico even if it does look great.
Mexico City took Frida to their hearts, too. The graffiti artist Uneg was commissioned, alongside Celest Byers, to develop a mural commemorating Frida and her amazing achievements. Yes, she's still wearing her trademark safety gear in the picture. How else would you be able to tell it was her?
Frida can't be a safety dog forever. There comes a time when an animal must retire because it can no longer smell well enough to be relied on to find bodies. However, that doesn't mean the end for Frida, and she has something to look forward to in a year or so when that day comes.
Frida will be retiring in luxury and will live out the rest of her days with her handler and his family at their home in Mexico City. The bond between a handler and rescue dog is strong and no dog is abandoned after giving service to their country and the people that live in it. Frida has plenty to look forward to.