Frida, the famous rescue dog that won millions of hearts and minds in Mexico and abroad for her efforts searching for earthquake victims, officially retired today after nine years of service.
The navy held a ceremony to honor the work of the 10-year-old yellow Labrador, best known for her participation in search efforts following the powerful September 19, 2017 earthquake that devastated Mexico City and other parts of central Mexico.
Frida was also involved in the search for earthquake victims in Haiti in 2010, in Ecuador in 2016 and in Juchitán, Oaxaca, in September 2017.
In addition, she searched for landslide victims in Guatemala in 2012 and people buried under rubble after an explosion at the Pemex tower in Mexico City in early 2013.
All told, Frida is credited with finding 12 people alive – all of whom were victims of the Haiti quake – and 41 bodies.
While her active service ends today, it’s not a final farewell for Frida from the navy’s canine unit.
The rescue dog’s trainer said that his star pupil will now become a teacher for the next generation of Fridas and Fidos.
Israel Arauz Salinas described working with the famous canine for five years as a “very special” and “rewarding” experience.
“I’m happy because Frida is retiring completely healthy. She’s earned her rest as a result of the work she’s done,” Arauz said.
The trainer said there have been plenty of offers to adopt Frida but for the time being she will continue to live at navy facilities in the southern Mexico City borough of Coyoacán.
“She will have the care and love of the handlers who work in the canine unit,” Arauz said.
Both he and Frida were honored with statues in their likeness that were unveiled in Puebla last year, while a mural in Roma, a Mexico City neighborhood that was hit hard by the 2017 earthquake, depicts the beloved Labrador as a saint-like figure.