The 3-year-old German shepherd has passed his window jumps, tracking and commands. Diesel just received his disaster and wilderness certification for Monroe City Search and Rescue. He's joined handlers Rich Enochs and Kate Sidun on the only search-and-rescue team for the Missouri State Fire Association's Region B. While Diesel hasn't made a rescue yet, his heart is willing and his drive is evident.
"I know he would put himself in harm's way to help someone else," Enochs said. "Nothing's going to stop him."
While Diesel had the genes for heroics, he hadn't always had the opportunity. When Sidun and Enochs adopted the pup from Missouri German Shepherd Rescue, Diesel's attitude was just as bad as his future was bleak. Sidun recalled his uncontrollable outbursts, his tendency to snap at pedestrians and several occasions when he nearly ripped his walking leash in two. His fierce temper was one reason he was slated to be euthanized. The shelter couldn't handle him, and few thought anyone else would.
"It was horrible, but we saw his potential, and we knew what his parents were," Sidun said.