Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” One canine is basking in the recognition of his fight to protect the First Family of the United States.
Meet the brave and loyal pooch, Hurricane, a black Belgian Malinois and US Secret Service canine officer who was on duty with his handler, Officer Marshall Mirarchi, at the White House October 22, 2014, when a stranger breached security. A man had vaulted the north lawn fence, darting across the lawn, and towards the family residence.
Mirarchi and Hurricane responded, and the heroic canine was kicked, punched, swung through the air, and slammed to the ground. Although Hurricane was battered, his jaws remain locked onto the suspect’s arm.
For his bravery and dedication, Hurricane is being rewarded by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) – a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom founded in 1917 to provide care for sick and injured animals of the poor. The noble organization established a prestigious award Order of Merit in 1943 to recognize animals that “display outstanding devotion to their owner or wider society, above and beyond normal companionship – and represents an exceptional example of the special relationship between animals and humans.”
Maria Dickin, founder of the charity, felt that recognizing the heroic action and necessary role of animals within the community would elevate their status and ensure better and more respectful treatment.
Hurricane was trained as part of the US Secret Service Emergency Response Team and is a legend in police work circles. Although slight in stature, Hurricane let no obstacle get in his way: His strength, power, and tenacity were all he needed to be successful in his job. His adopted guardian, Mirarchi, praised him, stating, “If I ever had to choose between me or him, I would choose him. And that’s an easy choice to make because he would choose me – he did choose me.”