A touching story in the midst of all the disasters that have befallen Japan. And it's a dog story. A dog rescue story. I have to admit my bias since I'm the proud Mom of 2 black labs.
You go Pearl!!
A floppy-eared homeless pooch turned search and rescue dog has landed in Japan and is actively searching for survivors from the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Pearl and her handler, Los Angeles County Fire Captain Ron Horetski, along with five other Canine Disaster Search Teams from the Los Angeles County Task Force 2, arrived in Japan on Sunday, reports The Danville Patch.
Last year, the 4-year-old black labrador's shelter-to-hero story was captured in a children's book, A New Job for Pearl.
All proceeds from the book, which was illustrated by second graders from Rancho Rombero School in Danville, Califonia, are donated to the training of other search dogs, a process that can cost up to $15,000.
Second graders from Rancho Romero School in Danville, California, hang with Pearl, whose shelter-to-hero story they helped illustrate in "A New Job for Pearl."
"Coming right on the heels of the New Zealand quake, the devastation in Japan underscores the critical importance of having the most highly skilled canine search teams ready to deploy-locally, nationally and internationally-at a moment's notice," said Debra Tosch, the executive director of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF), in a press release.
In early 2008, Pearl's original owners just couldn't care for her anymore. Volunteers from the NDSDF based in Ojai, California, rescued her from a local shelter, and she made short order of her training as a search dog.
Fast forward to July 14, 2010. Pearl and her handler, Horetski, were sent to earthquake-ravaged Haiti and the pooch no one wanted spent the next two weeks digging through mounds of concrete rubble, sometimes 40 feet deep. Along with six other canine search teams, Pearl and Horetski helped bring 12 people to safety.
Now we can only hope she does that-and more-for the victims of the Japan quake.