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 and he never gave up his determination to do his job.
His handler and adoptive guardian, Mirarchi, recalls:
“It was very hard to watch. I’ve never had to see my dog get hit like that, slammed like that, kicked, punched. He was cut up pretty good from the fight. I knew it was bad. Hurricane went in and did that so we didn’t have to.”
For his bravery, dedication, and work ethic, 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 wholeheartedly that recognizing the heroic action and necessary role of animals within the community would elevate their status and ensure better and more respectful treatment.