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Rescue, Doubled
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Firefighters like D’Orsi and Tao applaud Melville’s commitment to them, to the dogs and to helping those in need. “This is a great opportunity to do good things, and that’s what those of us in the fire service want to do,” say Tao, who’s been a handler for nine years. “Andy has definitely found his calling in life.”

So has Cody, who recently took on a new role in canine disaster training. “He’s become like a mentor dog,” D’Orsi says. “He helps with training and works with the new handlers before they get their dogs. They get to work with Cody because you can’t ruin him by making a mistake or two. He knows the system so well.” It’s a remarkable transformation for the once-unruly puppy.

“Cody still has all that energy, but it’s now directed,” D’Orsi says. “He’s become comfortable in his own fur and found his niche in life. And while we don’t wish harm on anyone, we’d love to get out there and help more people. We’re ready to go.”

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 56: Sept/Oct 2009
Lisa McCormick is an award-winning investigative reporter whose stories have appeared in Dogs for Kids magazine, The Kansas City Star, and the national consumer news website, ConsumerAffairs.com; she has written 12 nonfiction children's books.

Watch video of the SDF dogs, here.

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