FEMA dogs have a soft side, too

Piper, our black lab girl in the roses

Piper, FEMA search dog in training
Piper, FEMA search dog in training

I can’t believe, that 10 years have passed since I was on deployment with New Mexico Task Force 1  in New Orleans. I deployed with my search dog, Spenser, who passed away last year.
I still see pictures of flooded neighborhoods we criss-crossed by boats, looking for survivors, who had stayed behind. Often because they didn’t want to leave their pets. I can immediately recall the smell of water and decay and feel the heat of the asphalt of the parking lot where we pitched our tents.
I see the faces of people, who lost everything and the dogs that were left on rooftops. Memories I’ll carry with me forever.
Our Piper, who rarely rests long enough for us to capture her other than like a black blur, is here enjoying the roses on our porch.

Piper is in training as a FEMA search and rescue dog. Finnegan, our other black lab is already certified and ready for the next deployment.

So, in addition to being obsessed about lighting I train dogs for urban and wilderness search and rescue. Not a boring life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

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