Chances are, you won’t. We’re expecting she will be one of the unsung heroes who, with her handler, is quietly working behind the lines saving lives for some and bringing closure for others. Mak is officially in training to become an urban search & rescue dog. She will be one of the special ones braving the dangerous rubble after a disaster occurs and we’re so happy for her. This is a life she will love. Please take a moment to read about this special girl.
When Mak came into the shelter at the beginning of the year, immediately we knew this big girl was different. Some would say “Catahoula crazy” but we had a hunch that it was something else – so we waited, we watched and we learned. Knowing she wouldn’t make a good family pet because of her drive and her energy, we began casting out looking around – what would be right for this dog? Over the months, a series of wonderful people came through and helped us identify Mak as a working dog; a dog most happy in life when doing what we call a job – what she calls having a good time! It took a long time – many service training organizations are breed specific and wouldn’t even talk to us. But then we were put in touch with two wonderful people who would rather not be named – professional handlers, trainers, people who are answers in the face of terrible tragedies – and they were an answer for Makenzie. For those who caught a glimpse of that crazy video that was briefly posted on Facebook one day, that was Mak’s first audition! Then she still had multiple evals to go through – it’s not easy and the dogs that make it are few. But our Mak passed all with flying colors! As one of the trainers said, “That big horse of a Catahoula made us all eat our words.” Makenzie is now happily living with a trainer going through the process of being matched to a handler. How do we say thank you to all the people that helped make this happen? How do we say thank you to all the people who support the shelter and gave us TIME to find the right answer for Mak. I do know this – one day we will all be saying thank you to Mak for being one of the dogs that does the difficult and dangerous jobs that must be done – a dog who lives her life in service to us all.