NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, the stray dog known as ‘Brutus’ has officially gone from homeless to hero.
“Oh I can definitely see him with a cape,” Marissa Farrand, of Naperville Area Humane Society, said.
They knew little about his past when he arrived at the shelter seven months ago.
“We didn’t even know exactly what kind of breed he was,” Farrand said.
What they did know was this was no ordinary dog. He was agile, quick, intelligent and able to find pretty much any tennis ball on the property.
Trainer JoAnn Schaeffer had a hunch that Brutus’s affinity for the kryptonite-colored balls destined him to a special role in the universe, so she sent a reel of videos of Brutus to the Search Dog Foundation out of California.
Katie Brennan is part of the staff that decides who makes the cut for the search and rescue training program.
“Basically we need them to be bombproof,” she said.
The foundation accepts only the most determined, toy-driven MVPs of canines before training them to take on the world’s, most daring search and rescue missions.
“They are literally like unicorns. It’s rare to find a dog with all these characteristics,” Brennan said. “So when we find them, we try to get them in the program.”
It was only a week later that Schaeffer received the email that forever changed Brutus‘s status from homeless to hero.
“It’s crazy!” Farrand said. “We may think we save lives here, but he’s literally going to be saving lives.”
And that’s when Brutus went up, up, and away to his begin his training in California. He climbs ladders to planks six feet off the ground, through tunnels and debris piles two stories high. His departure left Naperville’s Lois Lanes still swooning over their dog of steel.
“He is the dog equivalent of the man of my dreams,” Farrand said.
Brutus, once a stray, reminds us all, that our past doesn’t dictate where we’re heading or meant to be.