On Saturday, a secret service Belgian Malinois died while working to protect Vice President Biden in New Orleans. They were doing an explosives sweep of the parking garage adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton when the dog fell from the sixth floor to his death.
"It was a tragic accident," Secret Service spokesman Max Milien told The Hill. He declined to release the name and age of the dog, which makes sense. This is a private time for the dog's loved ones. Secret Service dogs — who usually work for 7-11 years — often live with their handlers, so I'm guessing that's also a member of the Secret Service. What an intense bond that must be. I work from home with my dog every day and I can honestly say she's my best friend — and we're not protecting our nation's leaders, we're just eating snacks and having staring contests.
I've volunteered in shelters and with animal rescues for over ten years and I can tell you from experience, Belgian Malinois are real tough cookies. They're filled with energy, are incredibly smart, and have a predisposition to extreme loyalty. They're great agility dogs, and I'm not surprised they're the Secret Service's dog of choice because they can get a little nutso if they're not working. They are truly "dogs with jobs".
The Secret Service's exclusive K-9 division was created in the 1970s, and they use Belgian Malinois for all of the reasons listed above. I found this training video, and I now feel that our first family is in excellent paws (and jaws!) with the dogs of the Secret Service around. I'm spilling some Alpo into my pup's bowl this morning in honor of her fallen brethren.
RIP, little one.
Image via AnetaPics / Shutterstock.