Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Touching stories of dog rescue in Japan's double disasters



It's not only humans who became victims of the powerful quake-triggered tsunami that flattened the coastal areas of the Tohoku region on 11 March.
Animals suffered from the devastation too. While it's true that dogs are man's best friend, I may have to add that dogs are also dogs' best friends.
Here are two stories of canine heroes who suffered from the twin calamities. The first is a story of a dog that was reunited with her owner three weeks after the tsunami struck while the second story tells of a dog that refused to leave behind an injured friend dog after they were hit by the giant waves.
Ban—a two-year-old mixed breed dog—was spotted Friday by a coast guard helicopter crew about 1.8 kilometers away from the tsunami-hit Kesennuma town in Miyagi Prefecture, Kyodo News reported.
The brown dog was found drifting at the roof debris that was washed away by the deadly waves.
The owner saw the rescue aired on TV news and visited the animal shelter where Ban was one among the 19 other rescued dogs and several cats that was being taken care of.
The unidentified pet owner who suffered from unspecified damages said, "We'll never let go of her," as Ban wagged her tail upon seeing her owner.
Japan's government station NHK showed images of the reunion.
Animal care center head Toshio Suzuki said, "I'm happy for the reunion, after they were separated by the disaster."
I appended a touching video that has gone viral after it was uploaded a few weeks ago.
The 2:34 long video shows a dog who appeared to be dirty and scared of the rescuers filming the event. The brown-spotted dog seemed to be protecting a white dog that was initially immobilized. The person behind the camera thought the white dog was dead.
Both were rescued alive by Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support in Mito, Ibarak, northeast of Tokyo. They were first sent to a veterinary clinic and then in an animal care center also in Mito city.
Here is a translation of the conversation between the two reporters in a report by 7News.
"We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty."
"He has a collar. He must be someone's pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid."
"Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead."
"Where?"
"Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright."
"The dog is protecting him."
"Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay."
"I can't watch this. This is a very difficult to watch."
"Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive."
"Yes! Yes! He is alive."
"We need them to be rescued soon."
"Oh good. He's getting up."
"It is amazing how they survived the tremendous earthquake and tsunami. It's just amazing that they survived through this all."
allvoices

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