Watch Belgian Malinois remember lifeguard one year later: ‘Special’
A dog who recognized his rescuers more than a year after being rescued by them has melted hearts online.
Henry Friedman has shared the heartwarming moment he reunited with Dennis, a purebred Belgian Malinois who was rescued in Mexico.
Friedman has been involved in fostering and rescuing animals for five years now, starting with his own dog, Finn.
With a growing social media following, he shares stories of success and animals in need with his followers. Over the past three years, they’ve raised over $500,000 for animal welfare organizations across the country.
In a heartwarming video that has been viewed over 200,000 times, Friedman shared the moment Dennis saw him again after a year.
“We found Dennis in the middle of a farm in March 2022, covered in mud and unable to walk on his hind legs,” Friedman said. Newsweek. “We got him out of there, loaded him into the back of a car and took him to the vet to be evaluated.”
The vet discovered that Dennis had a lower back injury consistent with blunt trauma.
“We believe one of the farm workers where we found him hit him with a shovel,” Friedman said. “So after being bedridden for several weeks, he started walking again.”
Once he was healthy enough, the team transported him to the United States and to their rescue partner in San Diego at The Animal Pad.
“He was then adopted by an awesome woman named Danielle who eventually decided to adopt him,” Friedman said.
Now living in San Diego with his loving family, Dennis was able to reunite with his rescuer a year later.
After being rescued, he had some minor responsiveness issues, so Friedman knew he had to approach the meeting with caution.
“Keep in mind that Belgian Malinois are often used as police or military dogs, so they are intimidating enough, so we approached the whole meeting with a lot of caution,” he said. “I placed myself on a bench, and the plan was for them to walk beside me and sniff me. Well, as they approached, I called his name like I used to say when I was with him: “Is it DENNNYY? !”…His body language changed completely, and we all immediately could tell that he remembered me just by my voice.”
Dennis immediately ran towards his rescuer, wagging his tail and licking his face.
“It was also a special moment for his owner. Seeing your dog who is afraid of most people and can be reactive, completely helpless and overflowing with love,” Friedman said. “Of course I was happy he remembered me, but it’s mostly amazing how lucky Dennis is.”
A reminder of why he does what he does, Friedman said he is constantly inspired by the dogs around him and hopes to continue helping more animals.
“I believe dogs can save us,” he said. “Animal rescuers are known to burn out because that’s all they see, but if you follow the story to its conclusion, you’ll understand why.”
“It’s obvious when you see it,” he explained. “This dog that we saw on the worst day of his life, is no longer in pain. This dog for the first time in his life has a name. He is happy, eats the best food twice a day, sleeps in a bed, is loved, and treated like family.”
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