Mr. Speaker, Presidents Washington and Lincoln understood, as does Michael Auberry, the true value of man's best friend.

America would have never known the greatness of General George Washington if his dog, Mopsey, had not saved the young lad when he wandered far from home.

Fido, Lincoln's dog, allegedly jumped in front of a knife-wielding drunk, saving President Lincoln from injury. Gandalf is the latest of these heroes.

Gandalf, a 2-year-old Shiloh shepherd heard the cries for help and answered like a true soldier. He led searchers to Michael Auberry, a 12-year-old Boy Scout who had been lost for 4 days in the woods. Thanks to Gandalf, Michael was safely returned to his family.

Gandalf, a search-and-rescue dog, is a trailing dog trained to pursue specific individuals by following their scent. When time is short and the situation is extreme, it is man's best friend who answers the call. Rescue dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, and drug dogs are always loyal to guide, reassure, rescue, and save us.

As Harry Truman once said: ``Dogs are as necessary to the welfare of our country as Wall Street and the railroads.'' Dogs, man's best friend.

And that's just the way it is.