She once descended by herself into a dark, hot, stinking crawl space to save a pit bull that charged at her and barked viciously.
But she stayed with the trapped dog and won it over with patience – and by singing.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine …,” Diana Frye softly crooned to the miserable dog in the darkness. The dog eventually became calm enough for Frye to gather the 60-pounder in her arms and carry it up a ladder to a new life.
In the world of animal lovers who network through social media about the dogs they love or want to help, Frye is a doer – a dog rescuer.
Frye, 54, says she can only hear or read so much about an endangered dog before she has to act.
She has been in the news in recent days for her work to save a starved, severely emaciated puppy left to die in a crate by a trash bin in a Wichita alley. The sweet-faced pup, named Tatum, is now thriving in Frye’s care.
Frye thinks Tatum is a special dog who has touched the city and is the perfect poster pup and ambassador for raising awareness about animal abuse and neglect. Tatum’s Facebook followers are sending messages to Ellen DeGeneres, saying that Tatum’s story should be aired on the entertainer’s talk show.
How did Frye – whose day job is auto shop service manager – become a dog rescuer?
She has loved dogs since she was a little girl, she grew up in a family that worked with special-needs children, and she helps the homeless.
While working as an American Red Cross volunteer after the devastating Greensburg tornado, Frye set in motion a system to reunite dogs with their owners after their homes and lives had been blown apart.
The common denominator in her life: helping vulnerable people and vulnerable animals.