I mowed the back yard today, but this usually mundane chore was very different, it was the first time in almost 18 years I did not have a German Shepherd or two following behind me.
Chief our wonderful German Shepherd crossed over to the other side Saturday May 29th. A sudden and rapidly growing cancer was discovered in his abdomen. Chief was the last of our SAR dogs, preceded in death by Schatzie and Ajax. A gentle giant Chief who could enter a classroom, church, or just walk up to you and display an affection that surprised most people because of his size (and breed of course). He could speak on command or whenever he felt like talking, the only problem, he knew only one volume, wide open, probably a result of the SAR recall or refind where the search dog barks to let his handler know he has found someone. Chief had to retire early from SAR work because of a heat stroke in 1999. He always loved his people and his collection of stuffed animals. Strange he never ripped or chewed these toys, only carried them around the house and yard. Chief will be missed by many but joined by his old pack in the afterlife. Chief was 13.