Marble, a dog saved from the Korean meat trade, is now training to perform search and rescue tasks. With the help of two passionate activists, Heather Heath of Willow’s Wish and Jason Johnson of Project K9 Hero, Marble showing the world that he’s destined to be a hero and not someone’s next meal.
Originally rescued by organization Save Korean Dogs, Marble is currently working with a certified and retired military dog trainer in Texas, Melissa Schmalhorst. After his training and SAR (“Search and Rescue”) certification, he will be assigned to a police or fire department to serve as their Cadaver Rescue Dog.
“The goal is to build a program that demonstrates to Asia that these animals are worthy of so much more,” Heath told Lady Freethinker. “Korea can learn that there is no difference between a meat dog and a pet dog. China can discover that these animals who they torture will actually forgive and protect them. Cambodia will see that a dog can detect mines and help serve the community — a program they’ve already begun developing there.”
The journey hasn’t been easy for Marble or the others involved with what has been termed “Project Hero Dog.” Due to travel restrictions enforced during the current coronavirus pandemic, it took a lot of planning and money to fly Marble from Korea to the United States, and then get him over to Texas for training.
Fortunately, once Marble arrived in Texas, his ability to learn and pick up on his training has been above and beyond expectations.
“[Schmalhorst] has him with her other dogs,” Heath said about Marble’s training program. “He listens to her. He responds to her.”
The intensive program seems to fit Marble’s active lifestyle as well and has helped him adjust to his new life outside of Korea.
“Certain dogs have that quality,” Heath continued. “You can see it in them. They don’t want to be the couch potato dog. They don’t want to be the one that’s just lounging around. He has that ‘let’s get up and go do something’ kind of attitude.”
Marble could be certified as soon as October, an impressive feat for any dog to accomplish, especially one with psychological scarring from his time as a victim of the dog meat trade.
Lady Freethinker couldn’t be more proud of this brave and heroic dog. Marble’s story just goes to show that with a lot of love and attention, dogs from any background can live their best lives.