Ok, so they found that schoolgirl in Florida whose abduction was caught on tape. They found her dead, of course. And for me the real pathos in the story isn't the fuzzy security camera image, her last portrait, but rather the fact that her classmates were met with the news of her death this morning at school, and the counselors arrived with "'comfort dogs,' which are trained to respond to emotionally upset humans, for the students to pet."
It also made me think about my friend James's story of working on the Police Museuem's 9-11 exhibit. He was making a video installation, and of all the footage he saw, the thing that really got him was some strange footage of rescue dogs, impatient and despondent at having no one to rescue. Every once in a while their keepers would lay down and play dead and let themselves be rescued to keep the dogs' spirts up. Sorry, no link to said video exists, but here's a nice quote from a dog handler:
"Morale is important... So it's my job as handler to remove her from the pile ... and then what we do is we set up a scenario for her that she can win at. We used a New York firefighter. He actually hid amongst a little bit of rubble ... and we sent her on a search. She finds the firefighter. He plays with her real good. She's real happy, and she's ready to go to work again."
— Mark Bogush, Tampa Fire Rescue, speaking about his partner "Marley"
Photo and full article here.Posted by kio at February 06, 2004 12:53 PM