Janell Mayberry's dog isn't a secret agent with a license to kill, but the 6-year-old Wheaten Terrier is named after one and has a skill set most dogs don't have.
Mayberry and her dog, Bond, recently were recognized by the city of Moore for their efforts in search and rescue in the aftermath of the May 20 tornado in Moore. On Friday, the pair traveled to Pennsylvania to be recognized by the Montgomery Kennel Club as the Wheaten Ambassador of the Year.
“They give it to one dog a year and they have to do some pretty spectacular things,” Mayberry said.
Bond and Mayberry, of Jones, were among the first rescue dogs on the scene. They first searched a demolished 7-Eleven and then went to Plaza Towers Elementary School. Bond's feet were cut up in the process, but the dog never let on they were bothering him. The pair located victims at Plaza Towers, and the day was painful in more ways than one.
“He had so many cuts from the debris and two nail punctures in one of his paws but he wasn't limping,” she said. “He has a high pain tolerance but it was a tough and emotional day for both of us.”
Bond has been trained as a tracking dog and in drug interdiction but had been retired at the time of the Moore tornado. He's also a certified therapy dog.
“He's mostly a duck hunting dog now,” Mayberry said.
Bond was named by Mayberry's mother, who is a big fan of the James Bond movies. The name doesn't exactly fit his personality all of the time.
“He's goofy at home, and he's a great baby sitter for my son,” she said. “He visits people in the hospital, and he perks them up a little bit. But he has a serious side, too. I'd call his personality well balanced.”
But it was not love at first sight. When Mayberry first met Bond as a puppy, she wasn't sure he was the right dog for her. She had owned German shepherds and Malinois in the past.
“We got him from my aunt and he was just bouncing off the walls,” Mayberry said. “I didn't really like him much when we first met but eventually he won me over in a big way.”
Mayberry said trust is important in a service dog-handler relationship. The pair communicates in a way that is sometimes effortless.
“We're on the same brain wave,” she said. “It's a strong bond. Some people say you have one heart dog in your lifetime and I believe he is mine.”