By Catherine McGeer •
Published: 07 Nov 2023 • 19:00
The Heroic Canine Rescuer of Alicante
Image: Sección Canina Bomberos Alicante
SENDA, a heroic member of the Firefighters’ Canine Section in Alicante, recently accomplished a remarkable feat by rescuing an 86-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s who had been lost in a thicket for seven hours. Guided by her handler, Narciso Ayuso, Senda utilised her exceptional sense of smell and the ‘man trailing’ technique to locate the missing woman in just ten minutes.
Senda is one of the ten highly skilled dogs in the Firefighters’ Canine Section, and for her, such rescues are routine tasks. According to Ayuso, ‘Dogs find fulfilment when they serve a purpose,’ and this is how Senda plays her part.
Assisted by a concerned neighbour who reported the incident promptly, Senda successfully tracked the elderly woman. Senda’s quick success is primarily due to her ability to locate scents with precision. The importance of acting within the first 24 hours is emphasised, as it allows the dogs to work with fresher scents and greatly improves their tracking capabilities. Senda’s name, meaning ‘path’ in Spanish, is symbolic and reflective of her destiny to follow and blaze trails.
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I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!
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