Rescue Dogs of the Oso, WA Landslide – Part 2

In the past few days Seattle’s KUOW 94.9 and KCTS 9 have featured interviews with those most affected by the Oso, WA landslide, which just six months ago (March 29, 2014) devastated an entire community 60 miles northeast of Seattle. I remember hearing descriptions on the news of rescue workers searching for victims in the huge debris field–conditions were extremely dangerous and the going was rough.

FEMA search dog onsite to help find victims of the Oso, WA Landslide.

FEMA search dog onsite to help find victims of the Oso, WA Landslide.

Highly trained search dogs from across WA and the country were flown in to help guide the search for victims.

Governor Jay Inslee acknowledges a tired search dog with a scratch behind the ears.

WA Governor Jay Inslee acknowledges a tired search dog with a scratch behind the ears.

Soon news reports about the dogs and their skill began to pour out of the area. Not only were the search dogs helping in the disaster zone, but “trauma dogs” were onsite in shelters to provide support to worried, grieving survivors as well as exhausted workers.




Fire fighters were critical to the search and recovery mission.

Fire fighters were critically important to the search and recovery mission.

I collected photos of the dogs featured in news stories and saved them on my desktop. I found comfort in knowing they were in Oso helping on so many levels. I post them now with respect for their meaningful contributions and to acknowledge their key role in the recovery mission.

Spending a moment with an understanding friend.

Spending a moment with an understanding friend.

Helping to keep spirits up at the command center.

Helping to keep spirits up at the command center.


Orangutan — “person of the forest” and a very close relative

The Malay word ‘orangutan‘ means “person of the forest.” Studies show orangutans may be our closest relatives. Sadly, their increasing homelessness has brought them to the brink of extinction. How impoverished our world would be without their beautiful presence.

#ThankYou for this video, which helped me hope for a new tomorrow for our beloved relatives, the orangutans. May they find forests full of food. May they increase. May they thrive.

Finding one’s voice & being a voice for animals — the incredible journey of wildlife biologist Alan Rabinowitz

Listening to this podcast I felt myself in the presence of greatness: Alan Rabinowitz, wildlife biologist, overcame stuttering and the devastating emotional trauma it caused to become an advocate for the downtrodden, pursuing life with openness, compassion, and wisdom.

When Mr. Rabinowitz was growing up he discovered that, amazingly, he could talk to animals easily, clearly, and without stuttering. He sought refuge in their company. Now he is “paying it forward” by working to help the world’s endangered cats survive the encroaching march of habitat destruction. This is a great listen.

Have you seen the bumper sticker that has a paw print and these words “Who Rescued Who?” That image came to mind as I listened to The Gift of Stuttering and Animals, a moving excerpt from the original interview with Mr. Rabinowitz. (See link below.) This story affirms that being in the presence of animals can lead to life-changing transformation and healing.

Thank you, Mr. Rabinowitz for sharing your deep and universal story with the world.

A Voice for the Animals with Dr. Alan Rabinowitz (October 13, 2011) [encore] by On Being is licensed under a  Creative Commons Licence.

I had a dog / who loved flowers…

Precious Luna--faithful friend, old soul, teacher. Thank you.


by Mary Oliver

I had a dog
who loved flowers.
Briskly she went
through the fields,

yet paused
for the honeysuckle
or the rose,
her dark head

and her wet nose
the face
of every one

with its petals
of silk,
with its fragrance

into the air
where the bees,
their bodies
heavy with pollen,

and easily
she adored
every blossom,

not in the serious,
careful way
that we choose
this blossom or that blossom—

the way we praise or don’t praise—
the way we love
or don’t love—
but the way

we long to be—
that happy
in the heaven of earth—
that wild, that loving.

“Luke” by Mary Oliver from Dog Songs. © Penguin, 2013.

Two horses…The dignity of being.

Two horses were put together in the same paddock.
Night and day. In the night and in the day
wet from heat and the chill of the wind
on it. Muzzle to water, snorting, head swinging
and the taste of bay in the shadowed air.
The dignity of being. They slept that way,
knowing each other always.
Withers quivering for a moment,
fetlock and the proud rise at the base of the tail,
width of back. The volume of them, and each other’s weight.
Fences were nothing compared to that.
People were nothing. They slept standing,
their throats curved against the other’s rump.
They breathed against each other,
whinnied and stomped.
There are things they did that I do not know.
The privacy of them had a river in it.
Had our universe in it. And the way
its border looks back at us with its light.
This was finally their freedom.
The freedom an oak tree knows.
That is built at night by stars.

“The Weight” by Linda Gregg, from Chosen by the Lion. © Graywolf Press, 1994.