“I want to ensure that Caesar’s story serves as a beacon of hope in such a seemingly hopeless time.”

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A lucky German Shepard got a new lease on life and a new home all in one go after surviving Hurricane Ida last month.

Louisiana Air National Guard Captain Ryan Mitchell was on a rescue mission in Lower Plaquemines Parish two days after the storm made landfall when he and his crew came across a dog on a small wooden platform surrounded by water.

Mitchell, who was the Officer in Charge of the Plaquemines Initial Search and Rescue (ISAR) boat team, grabbed the scared and dehydrated pup and pulled him onto the boat.

After some TLC and a clean bill of health from the vet—who confirmed that the dog wasn't microchipped—Mitchell adopted him.

Louisiana Air National Guard Captain Ryan Mitchell and dog Caesar
Credit: Ryan Mitchell

He and his girlfriend named the dog Caesar, after the fateful rescue mission's callsign, "Caesar Ops." They even created an Instagram account for him so folks can keep tabs on him and follow his progress.

"Perhaps this Instagram account can be a place for all those affected by Hurricane Ida to come together and express their emotions," Mitchell told Southern Living. "Perhaps this can provide a cathartic environment and mitigate feelings of isolation. The goal here is to provide a platform of community cohesion and to show that we're still spreading the love!"

Mitchell said that any proceeds Caesar earns through his Instagram account will first be directed towards ensuring that he remains healthy. Any additional funds will be donated back towards disaster recovery.

"I want to ensure that Caesar's story serves as a beacon of hope in such a seemingly hopeless time. The community deserves to know that we have specialized teams who are immediately present in the community post-disaster," he said. "In addition to physically saving those who were unable to evacuate, our intent is to provide a layer of psychological comfort for community members during the time between the disaster and their return."

"No life gets left behind," Mitchell added. "We'll risk ours to ensure this remains the case."

Caesar can certainly attest to that!