A famous golden retriever rescue dog called Frida who saved people after a devastating earthquake in Mexico has died at the age of 13.
Newsflash obtained a statement and images from the Mexican Navy on Tuesday, 15th November, saying: “The Secretary of the Navy of Mexico informs that, unfortunately, one of our most valuable elements, the canine Frida, died this afternoon in Mexico City, at the facilities of the Canine Control Subgroup, a place that was her home in the last years of her life […].”
The Mexican Navy added: “Frida was a honey-coloured Labrador retriever, who was born on 12th April 2009, in the Canine Unit of the Secretary of the Navy, now the Canine Control Subgroup, belonging to the General Staff of the Mexican Navy.
“From her first days after being born, the puppy began her training, in which her trainers observed ideal qualities to carry out functions within the ranks of the Mexican Navy.”
The Mexican Navy praised Frida for her “independence, concentration, balanced temperament, intrepidity, curiosity, easy habituation to different environments, a lot of willingness to play, ease of learning, […] empathy towards people and ease for social coexistence.”
They said that Frida displayed “outstanding skills, which led her to her completing her training programme in the record time of eight months.”
They said that she was then assigned to “search and rescue work in collapsed structures” and that she was “trained in aspects of obedience, skills on an agility track, ascent and vertical descent by means of rappelling, which allowed her to successfully carry out the rescue mission in events that occurred in Mexico and other parts of the world.”
Her first big mission was in Haiti in 2010 “to support the civilian population in Haiti, after an earthquake that left extensive damage on that island.”
The Mexican Navy added in its statement that “in 2013, she participated in support groups to locate civilian personnel trapped under rubble and collapsed structures, due to an explosion that occurred at the Pemex Tower.
“In 2017, she once again joined the international relief and search and rescue brigades for people trapped under rubble, in the country of Ecuador, where a landslide occurred, causing people to be buried.
“Her last operational participations as a rescue dog were in the state of Oaxaca and another in Mexico City during the 2017 earthquakes, managing to find a large number of people”, including 12 alive and 43 dead.
The Navy said: “Frida’s performance, together with the other canine elements of this Institution, in the different missions entrusted to her, highlighted the spirit of loyalty, affection and solidarity of the animals towards humans and their willingness to serve Mexico.
“Frida went into retirement on 24th June 2019, within the framework of the ‘International Day of the Rescuer’, in which she handed over her tactical equipment and received a toy, as a symbol of the beginning of her new life; likewise, she had a calm routine that allowed her to rest after her operational years in the Secretary of the Navy-Armada of Mexico.”
Admiral Jose Rafael Ojeda Duran, Secretary of the Navy, said: “Frida has not only motivated our newspaper to act as women and men of the sea, she has also given hope to thousands of Mexican families in the most pressing moments.”
And under a bronze sculpture of the hero dog, one can read: “In tribute to the extraordinary work you had as a member of our noble institution. In gratitude for the affection and love that you continue to sow to our Great Naval Family, in millions of Mexican men and women, and beyond our borders. Your life motivates us to continue giving everything to serve Mexico. Thank you, dear Frida!”
The Navy said that “Frida will be cremated and her ashes will be deposited in an urn at the foot of said sculpture.”
The Navy added: “Today, her caregivers say goodbye to her, who accompanied her during her last years, as well as each member of this Institution, leaving a great example of service and dedication forever in our hearts.”
Frida was 13 years old at the time of her death, which is about 75 years old in dog years.