Now the black Labrador from Utah is up for an international award honoring heroic dogs.
Jake is among six U.S. nominees for Canine World Hero - to be chosen by Internet voters. The winning dog is to be recognized in August in Washington, D.C., with a cement paw print at a Hollywood-style canine Walk of Fame. Voting was scheduled to begin next month.
Jake and his owner, Mary Flood, are on 24-hour call, year round, to respond to disasters as members the Federal Emergency Management Agency's 27 search-and-rescue units, and as volunteers for Utah's Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs.
Jake is a four-legged mirror to the humans he's out to save: He's a survivor, too.
Flood adopted him about six years ago after he was abandoned, a puppy with a broken leg and a dislocated hip. He's now a muscular 82-pound animal trained to tackle disasters like building collapses, earthquakes and floods.
Puerto Rico and nine foreign countries - Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico and South Korea - also are choosing their own outstanding service canines.
Among the other U.S. nominees are Roselle, a Labrador from Novato, Calif., who guided her blind master to safety from the 78th floor of a World Trade Center tower on Sept. 11; Peekaboo, a Papillon from Tucson, Ariz., who assists a woman suffering from terminal vascular disease; Crazy Joe, a Labrador working as a drug detector in New York; and Remington, a Capitol Hill explosives-sniffing Labrador.
By Verena Dobnik