K9 Memorials

  • Amber

    Amber, a white German Shepherd mix, was adopted from the Redding, California pound in December 1983 as a 12 week old victim of neglect and abuse. After enjoying the open spaces of Trinity County for a couple of years, her family moved to Los Angeles. She started her training in SAR in 1987 working as a mission ready trailing dog for both CARDA and Los Angeles Search Dogs. When Frances moved to the Bay area in 1990, Amber continued her work with CARDA and added affiliations with Santa Clara and then Alameda County. Before her retirement in 1997 and death in 1998, she acted as CARDA’s only trailing team north of L.A. for most of her working years.

    Her initial fear of strangers created an inauspicious start to her SAR career, but she loved to work and it changed her perspective on people in the process. As the first trailing dog and first mixed breed SAR dog in CARDA in Northern California in 1990, I’d like to think that she also changed some people’s thinking in her time with us. Amber enjoyed fabulous health all of her life and blessed her companion’s life with a willful and playfully manipulative spirit combined with a shy and gentle soul.

  • Autumn

    Autumn was a natural when it came to searching in wilderness situations, becoming certified before she was two years old. Throughout her life, she always enjoyed searching, be it in training, tests, or actual situations. She participated in many wilderness searches in the rugged Coast and Cascade Ranges of the northernmost California region. Autumn was retired from CARDA in 2001, but continued to train and to monitor the progress of her young search dog buddy and successor. She had the opportunity to receive the Canine Good Citizen Award just a few months before she passed on. Autumn will always be remembered and appreciated by all who knew her friendly, gentle disposition, and her willingness to do what needed to be done.

  • Belle

    The hardest part of SAR is losing one’s partner, rapidly and before their time. Belle was known for her agility, beauty, speed, and trailing; the toughest of problems were no match for her thinking skills. She is the only dog I know that has climbed a tree over 10 feet off the ground in order to obtain a scent picture of the problem she was working. She enjoyed agility so much that she is the only canine I know of her size that could walk, sit and turn around on a 2×4. Belle helped me extend my knowledge to understand there are four trailing zones for a problem and that a handler needs to learn the body language for each zone. Trust in a partner’s ability allows for success as the search work is the dog’s problem and the handler’s job is help keep the canine in the workable scent zones. Our bond is inseparable and she will always be missed. Belle is now with Tasha, playing and searching.

  • Brock

    It’s so hard to write about the hardest day in my life.  That was the day when I took Brock to his final appointment with his veterinary oncologist.  The day I set him free right there in the back of that same jeep that he and I spent so many happy California times in, whether it was for training, camping, exploring…or for searches.  He loved it all, and in that process, he made me a better person.

    Brock was one of the first Rottweiler’s to become Mission Ready in CARDA.   His accomplishments helped to promote the breed in a positive way.  He was an amazing “thinker”.  He was two steps ahead of everyone else when he was given that precious “FIND” command and launched from my jeep…

    He was a true ambassador for his breed.

  • Bruga

    CARDA. He loved to work and search. He was a big shepherd and I think his favorite job was tearing apart the rubble to get to the hidden subjects. A great disaster dog we all loved to watch. The lessons learned with this dog have never been forgotten. “Bruga Bear” – What a dog!