Title: Heartwarming Scene of a 2-Year-Old and his Faithful Canine Friends Awaiting His Mother’s Return by the Fence Goes Viral.

Every day in a peaceful suburb, a touching spectacle unfolded that quickly became the darling of a steadily expanding online audience. A pair of loyal four-legged friends and a 2-year-old boy would converge excitedly by the wrought-iron fence in their front yard, their eyes dancing with anticipation as they awaited a very special moment: the arrival of their cherished mother after a tiring day at work.

From the moment he was born, the little boy had developed an unbreakable connection with his two furry companions. They were more than just household pets; they were his ever-faithful playmates and trusted confidants. The Golden Retriever and Border Collie duo showed nothing but endless love and loyalty to their young companion, spending their days exploring, playing, and sharing moments of pure happiness.

One thing that really caught my attention was the daily routine of waiting for Mom. It happened every afternoon when the sun started to set. The three of them would head to the front yard and gather around the iron fence. You could feel the excitement in their hearts, as their tails were wagging non-stop in anticipation of seeing Mom.

As Mom’s return time drew near, the boy’s face would light up with excitement and he’d exclaim “Mommy’s coming home!” The dogs seemed to understand everything and would join in with their barks, adding to the joyful noise. Even passersby couldn’t help but smile at the heartwarming scene. This lovely daily tradition quickly gained popularity online as videos and photos of the trio eagerly waiting for Mom began to circulate on social media. The little boy’s contagious enthusiasm and the dogs’ unwavering loyalty touched the hearts of thousands of viewers from all over the world. Comment sections were flooded with admiration for the loving bond shared between the 2-year-old boy and his furry companions, with many commending the family for creating such a close-knit and joyous environment for their child.

The sight of a mother coming home to a warm welcome from her son and dogs is a heartwarming reminder of the simple yet profound joys life has to offer amidst a busy world. This story exemplifies the beauty of the bond between humans and animals, highlighting the power of family ties. It has left a lasting impression on the internet community, prompting us to cherish the precious moments that make our lives truly special.

The dogs helping find earthquake survivors in Turkey

Trained rescue dogs are helping to find survivors buried underneath layers of concrete and otherwise undetectable.

Hours after two huge earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks struck southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria on February 6, some much-needed rescuers began to arrive in Turkey – K9 teams from around the world that had come to lend a hand to GEA, a Turkish volunteer rescue team.

K9, a homophone of canine, is a dog specially trained to assist security forces and emergency teams – in rescues, drug enforcement or other operations. These dogs came from, among other countries, El Salvador, Germany, Mexico, Qatar, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States.

The much-welcomed rescuers, who can find victims by scent alone, are needed to help the Turkish K9 teams in desperate operations where buildings as high as 14 storeys have collapsed, making it difficult to find survivors by sight or sound.

REDOG, a K9 volunteer team from Switzerland, is on the ground in the Turkish city of Iskenderun, working with the local GEA team, an all-volunteer search and rescue group.

Since arriving on February 6 near midnight, the team of 10 people and six trained dogs together with GEA have so far found 39 people alive under the rubble.

The dogs are trained to sniff out a human scent, stand at the spot and bark loudly to alert their handlers to the spot where they have found it. A second dog is then released to see if it can confirm the findings.

If the two dogs confirm, this allows human rescuers to concentrate their digging efforts on that particular spot until they find the person.

“I think it’s one of the most emotional moments of my life … the moment when one of our dogs signals to us that he found some people in the rubble,” REDOG’s vice chief for rubble search Matthias Gerber told Al Jazeera.

The dogs work all day in teams of three at rubble sites, taking turns to work 20-minute shifts, followed by 40-minute breaks.

In one case after their dogs signalled the location of where people were buried, human rescuers began digging at the spot and soon heard knocking coming from behind the rubble from the victims trapped inside, confirming what the dogs had already pinpointed.

“Eight hours later of hard work, they saved four people alive from this position,” Gian Forster, REDOG team leader who works with three dogs, told Al Jazeera.

Every time a REDOG dog finds a person, he or she is praised and rewarded with a toy or food.

“He really likes to find people because he gets rewarded every time,” Forster said. “The main thing is that the dog has fun and likes to search for the people.”

If the survivor isn’t buried too deep, the dogs can pick up on the scent quite quickly. But some buildings in Iskenderun have six floors that have collapsed with 2-3 metres (4-6 feet) of concrete pancaked in between each level, making it a challenge to find people buried more deeply.

“If it takes time for the scent to come up, we have to go [to the spot of debris] and remove some [floors of] rubble and try again. It’s quite a hard process if the person is buried that deep,” Gerber said.

Describing a recent rescue, Gerber said: “We arrived at the rubble field and we started searching on top of the roof of the building, and we didn’t get any scent there. And then Gian thought about how the wind is coming from the west, so we searched the east side of the rubble and there, the dogs [detected] the scent from the person.”

The dogs working with REDOG on the ground in Turkey – among them labradors, German shepherds, Belgian shepherds, border collies and golden retrievers – have up to seven years’ experience working in rescue missions and have helped find survivors after disasters in Japan, Nepal and Albania.

Courtesy of Matthias Gerber of Redog Switzerland. K9 team in Iskenderun, Turkey
Switzerland’s REDOG team working with Turkish organisation GEA on the ground in Iskenderun, Turkey [Courtesy of Matthias Gerber, REDOG]

But, Gerber said, in the last 30 years of his rescue dog work, the current mission in Turkey is the most challenging and tragic that he has experienced, referring to the scale of destruction.

“For our dogs, it’s very hard if there is so much rubble on top of the victims to find them. It’s a big obstacle for us. It’s good if we can come back to the same rubble site after they removed some floors of rubble and search again, because then we’ll have a chance to find people alive even if they’re buried very deep,” Gerber said.

Murat Kurum, the Turkish minister of environment, urbanisation and climate change, has said that more than 41,700 buildings in 10 affected provinces in the country’s southeast had either collapsed, urgently needed to be torn down or were severely damaged, according to state news agency Anadolu.

At least 1,791 buildings in 10 provinces that were affected have been identified as being severely damaged or requiring immediate demolition.

“It’s horrible what happened here. All these collapsed buildings, all these people who lost their relatives, their homes. It’s horrible,” Gerber said.

“We are happy to help here with our dogs, to get people out alive. It’s really important. It really moves me that we can help here.”

So far, of the 2,000 calls that GEA has received, REDOG, working with the GEA, has answered about 200 of them, he said.

A rescuer with a sniffer dog searches in a destroyed building in Antakya, southeastern Turkey, Friday, Feb. 10, 2023. Rescuers pulled several earthquake survivors from the shattered remnants of buildings Friday, including some who lasted more than 100 hours trapped under crushed concrete after the disaster slammed Turkey and Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
A human and K9 rescuer search a destroyed building in Antakya, Turkey, on February 10, 2023 [Hussein Malla/AP Photo]

California-based NGO National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) has trained seven of the 12 rescue dogs deployed from the US currently searching for survivors in Turkey.

Denise Sanders, director of communications and search team operations, told Al Jazeera that the dogs are “so much better at detecting scents than any technology that we have”.

“They run over the top of rubble and do what’s called air sensing. They’re picking up those scent particles in the air and then following their nose quite literally to the strongest scent source, and that would be the point of the potential victim,” Sanders said.

Knowing from past experience working in the aftermath of earthquakes such as in Haiti, she said dogs have shown that they are able to sniff “very distinct scents that are very dispersed in the air”, as deep as 6-9 metres (20-30 feet) below the surface.

“In Haiti in particular, we had collapsed buildings that had been six, seven storeys tall that pancake-collapsed … We know that the dogs were able to locate [the survivors] and alert,” Sanders said.

picture showing quake rescue dog "Balam"
Balam was one of the K9s taking part in the rescue efforts in Adiyaman, Turkey, on February 9, 2023 [Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Mexican Foreign Ministry/AFP]

For a dog to be trained and skilled at finding survivors, they naturally need to have drive, determination and “boundless energy”, Sanders said.

“This is not your pet that you toss the toy for in the back yard a couple of times and they kind of get tired and lay down. These dogs will go until they drop, until you tell them it’s time to stop.

“That kind of resilience and determination is exactly what we need… they’re [on the ground] for one, two weeks and they need to cover a massive area, and check so many different sites and run over so many different mountains of rubble.

“They don’t necessarily make great pets [due to their high energy]; they are not able to settle quite as well as the average dog, so we really try to channel that into a job that they love.”

The K9 rescuers are dedicated to their work, and they face as many dangers as their human partners do. Proteo, a German shepherd working with the Mexican rescue team in Kahramanmaras, died this past week when the remains of a building he was searching in fell on him. He has been honoured as a hero by the Mexican defence ministry.

The members of the Mexican army and air force. We deeply regret the loss of our great companion, the dog: Proteo. You fulfilled your mission as a member of the Mexican delegation in the search and rescue of our brothers in Turkey. Thank you for your heroic work.

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