The Trauma Lines Blog

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

Remembering Buddy

with 3 comments

The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) lost a member of its family this week: Buddy, a disaster relief canine. Buddy and his owner Frank Shane were committed members of ATSS, dedicated to serving and assisting victims of trauma-related incidents like natural disasters. Rarely does an animal, in this case a Golden Retriever, join in the cause right alongside his master.

Buddy was the very first canine used by FEMA in disaster relief efforts:

Buddy’s visit to the Panhandle represents the first time the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has officially included a disaster relief canine as part of its disaster work force.

Buddy’s trainer, Frank Shane, of Upper Montclair, N.J., teaches courses in Canine Disaster Relief and Critical Incident Stress Management. He calls Buddy “a live teddy bear”, emphasizing that “Canine disaster relief is psychological first aid and does not involve therapy”. Frank participated in 9/11 canine disaster relief efforts at ground zero in New York.

With Buddy on hand to nuzzle people – young and old – and distract them a bit from their immediate concerns, they can gain a renewed sense of possibilities for a time when disaster won’t be such a prominent factor in their lives.

Buddy will surely be missed dearly by all of us at ATSS, all those he helped along the way and especially by Frank.


Written by traumalines

July 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Buddy was an amazing therapy dog with a unique ability to connect with people who were traumatized. He was great to be around and I know many people were touched by his life. God Speed Buddy!!

    Barbara Maurer

    July 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    • Barbara,

      Thanks so much for your comment, I know Buddy meant a lot to a lot of people.

      Thanks again,


      July 6, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    • Barbara, thanks so much for your kind thoughts. He had many favorite activities. Going through airport security and being “patted down” was his favorite because it usually led to belly scratches by TSA. Long haul car rides to West Virginia gave him time to relax as we crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains to disasters like Hurricane Ivan and the Sago coal mine incident. Helping the HSUS volunteers durina Katrinia was unique – – an animal giving strength and courage to those who tried every day to reunite pets with families. Another favorite was seeing you and your son Colton in a sporting store pup tent set up in their store while we plotted the future of ATSS. Jumping in your pool would have made his canine day! Since his sudden death on June 28th, children all over the country have sent heart warming cards, notes and drawings – this has helped me during a very difficult time. To all who have a dog . . . Tonight, give him/her a big smooch on the nose . . . Scratch ears . . . And a belly rub too Barbara, thanks again . . . Glad you knew Buddy.

      Frank Shane
      K-9 Disaster Relief Foundation

      Frank. Shane

      July 29, 2010 at 12:23 pm

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