The eight-year-old search and rescue dog that became a social media star and bona fide Mexican icon after last September’s earthquakes has been honored with a statue in Puebla.
Frida herself was on hand at the recent unveiling ceremony in the state capital’s Ecological Park, where the white Labrador — decked out in her customary protective goggles, blue booties and vest — put her highly-sensitive nose against her bronze replica to check it out.
Made out of unwanted keys, the statue of Frida stands next to another in the likeness of the dog’s trainer, Israel Arauz.
Both canine and master played key roles in the search efforts following the September 7 and 19 earthquakes that claimed hundreds of lives and devastated parts of southern and central Mexico, including Puebla where the monuments now stand.
In front of the two statues a plaque reads: “Memorable symbols of the strength Mexicans can have when we decide to come together for great causes.”
In her distinguished career of public service, Frida has helped to save the lives of 12 people who were buried under the rubble of buildings that collapsed in the 2010 Haiti earthquake and found 41 bodies of victims of a landslide in Guatemala in 2012.
She also contributed to rescue and recovery efforts after the Pemex tower explosion in Mexico City in 2013 and the 2016 Ecuador earthquake.
The Puebla statue is not the only piece of art that celebrates the heroic actions and achievements of Frida.
The navy canine unit sniffer has also been featured on t-shirts, in comic books and in a large colorful mural in the Mexico City neighborhood of Roma, clearly demonstrating that she has won over the hearts and minds of many.
For now, Frida continues to be at the ready to lend a paw if her skills, including her highly-sensitive sense of smell, are needed in the event of another natural disaster.
But in the future she could act as a mentor for younger dogs that are training to become Mexico’s next generation of highly-valuable and much-loved canine heroes.