MWD Ddamien D214, USN, Patrol/ Explosive Detector Dog, Commander Navy Region Southwest, Belgian Malinois/GSD.
OCT 1999- 26SEP12
This is the one who started it All..
9 Deployments, Diagnosed with PTSD in 2007. He was a legend when I went through Handlers Course in 2007.
The Devil Dog of San Diego.
Supposedly had to be fed with a squeegee under his door... If you yelled loose dog and he was it, handlers ran for it, locking themselves in rooms, jumping on top of kennels. After his return from his last deployment in 2010, his career was over. He retired in October of 2010.
Ddamien and I became friends in early 2010 after he came home from his last deployment and his last handler was getting ready to transfer. Someone had to take care of him and it ended up being me. When it came time for him to go home, i received a phone call from our Army Veterinarian asking me to consider bringing him home. The Navy was going to let one of the most infamous dogs retire, and they were going to let me bring him home.
He was a joy to me for the next 2 years, and although he never wanted to socialize with anyone other then myself, he spent everyday with me at home, horse shows and even foal watch!
MWD Doky M145, USN, Patrol/ Explosive Detector Dog, Commander Navy region Southwest, Dutch Shepherd
NOV 2006 - 03NOV19
He served at CNRSW San Diego, and NAS Fallon Nevada. He retired in 2014.
Doky was renowned for his fear aggressive behavior, never quite adapting to the Navy way of life. He did his job, was loved by some handlers, feared by others.
He had a long faught battle with Cancer, being diagnosed in February 2017 with a Soft Tissue Sarcoma up in his ilium wing. Thanks to the US War Dog Association, we rushed him to New Jersey to RedBank Veterinary Hospital for an MRI and possible treatment. After getting a poor prognosis for any surgical options, we were sent to RedBanks partner outside of Philadelphia for what was going to be his first round of palliative radiation treatment.
After coming home, we had to do a second round of radiation in September of 2017 at the California Veterinary Specialist hospital.
He spent his days howling at his Harry Potter Audio books, playing in his kiddie pool, and watching the Mountains. He un-stuffed his bed almost every night and I would re-stuff it in the morning.
He was an amazing, sensitive dog that is very missed.
MWD Kira J080, USN, Patrol/Expolsive Detector Dog, Everett Washington, Belgian Malinois
JAN 2003 - 09FEB18
Kira served with the TSA before becoming too much dog for the Airports and ended up in the Navy instead. Her first duty station was at NSA Bahrain in 2007. She also served in Naples Italy, and Everett Washington before being retired in 2012.
She was my MWD from 2007-2009, the first to certify her in the fleet. She was a notorious MWD in the kennel, letting very few people other then her handler do anything with her. She kept that same bad attitude at all of her kennels. She was also the best partner I was ever assigned.
Kira was a fantastic friend for MWD Barri F388 for over a year and a half before he passed, then Kira befriended the ever happy MWD Baiky H203 until his passing. We were able to introduce her to another pair of friends - MWD Rocky and MWD Zorro, you could find them all napping together, or better yet, watch Zorro guide the pair of really old dogs around the yard. She would go with me anywhere I went doing yard work, loved rotisserie chicken, and she forever carried her Cuz ball, from her time with me in Bahrain, until she passed away.
I will always remember her sitting in the back of the Suburban, in an open vari kennel that I would help her up into, and she would have her Cuz ball in her mouth, just watching the world go by, happy as could be like she was on watch.
MWD Timmy C229, USN, Explosive Detector Dog, NSA Bahrain, Dutch Shepherd,
SEP 1999 -01 OCT 2009
Timmy was my friend's first partner when we arrived together in Bahrain in August of 2007. During the STAAT inspection in December 2007, it was decided that Timmy didn't have the necessary drive to remain active duty. My friend was still living in the barracks at the time, and couldn't take him home, so I was asked to adopt him. He came home in December of 2008.
There was never a kinder, sweeter dog. He was great with other animals, loved people, loved car rides. One of his favorite things to do when he got back stateside was to go to Home Depot, and sweep all the cars on our way in. He slept in the back of my knees every night, and loved to sleep in the hay during the day.
Timmy was truly an amazingly, loving dog.
MWD Barry F055, USN, Patrol/ Drug Detector Dog, Commander Navy Region Southwest, Belgian Malinois.
MAR 2001 - 09 AUG 2014
Black Barry was retired from CNRSW San Diego CA in OCT 2012.
He was what was called a "dirty dog" active duty, known for not liking anyone other then his handler. He liked to keep everyone else at a distance when his handler was with him (one of the reasons there is a 15' rule around MWD's when they are working). He had quite the temperament.
Barry was invited to be part of the Orange County ASPCA walk and was a fantastic lead dog at his first public event.
He is also Featured in the beautiful book "Working Like A Dog"
He was a happy, sweet dog in retirement. He loved to walk out with the horses in the evening during feeding times, or if we had a long night out when one was sick. Barry also enjoyed going out for wagon rides up and down the road when his hind legs began to weaken as he aged.
He made friends with our resident Great Dane, Riddick, and even the cats in the house.
MWD Barri F388, USN, Patrol/ Explosive Detector Dog, Commander Navy Region Southwest, Belgian Malinois.
MAR 2002 - 10 MAY 2016
Brown Barri, Or shady Barri came to us from CNRSW San Diego in DEC 2012.
He was notorious for looking like he wanted you to pet him, then he would nail you. Definitely had to be careful when this big boy was out!
He waited a very long time in the kennel, waiting on a home that never came. When he came home with us, he began to blossom and grow, finding that destroying feed bags, and playing in the kiddie pool was just the coolest life ever.
He retired amazingly, and had his first long time girlfriend with MWD Kira. He was her best friend until the very end. Where one went, the other was right there.
He is also featured in the Beautiful Book "Working like A Dog"
MWD Yago N289, USN, Patrol/ Drug Detector Dog, GSD
JAN 2008 - 18 JUN 2016
Yago came to us from Port Hueneme/NBVC in AUG 2015.
He had a hard battle to retire from the military because of his strong bite work training being one of the top dogs on the West Coast, and that fight to save him would go on to help save the lives of several MWD's after him. Not only did his kennel master step up to save him, but so did his Security officer and even Commanding Officer.
Yago was also with Commander Navy Region Southwest for some time in his early days before being relocated to NBVC. He had some significant medical issues that caused his early retirement, and they ultimately led to his passing the following year. With assistance from Mission K9 Rescue, he was hospitalized in intensive care doing everything we could do to save him for a week before his body finally succumbed to Kidney failure.
He was an amazing dog, full of fun and life. His favorite toy was the indestructible ball that he would spend all day herding around if you let him. Yago just wanted to run and play and see what he could do to get you to chase him.
He was expressive, and happy, ALL the time. He is so very much missed.
MWD Baiky H203, USAF, Patrol/ Drug Detector Dog, GSD
MAY 2003 - 05 APR 2017
MWD Baiky came to us from Vandenburg AFB in OCT 2014.
He was Deaf, had a grumpy old mans temperament, and with his bite training, made him difficult to find a suitable home for.
He loved playing with the indestructible ball, helping feed the horses, and in his later days, he trucked around in his doggie wheel chair like a champ. He had LS disease, and it would be progressive.
He was always happy, and enjoyed his time in the sun and the little patch of grass we have here in the desert mountains. You would find him trying to help with the wheelbarrow, biting down on one of the handles and pulling one way while I was trying to go the other.
Eventually he found himself as the new best friend with MWD Kira. It was always great to see the two of them sound asleep next to each other.
K9 Thor, Burbank PD, DOB MAR 2003 Died MAY 2016
K9 Thor had been an owner surrender at Veterinary Hosp in Central California. He had switched a few homes and his last home had been less then kind to him.
One of the wonderful vet techs at the hospital found out he was a Prior Police Dept dog and reached out to Mission K9 Rescue. They asked if we could go pick him up and eval him. He had some significant medical issues, having just been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, a nerve sheath tumor in his elbow that was already open from a bed sore. We were concerned that the long drive to Texas might be too much for him. We had a consult with an oncologist that week and due to his age and severity of the cancer and its location, he stayed with us as a hospice foster.
He was happy, fun and loved everyone. We set out on making him the best bucket list in San Diego, spending time at the beach, Naval Base Coronado, taking him to dog friendly restaurants, ice cream, and of course lots of toys!
His time with us was far too short, but he was very much loved.
MWD Xxerxes K222, USMC, Patrol/ Explosive Detector Dog, Belgian Tervuren
21APR2005 - 20FEB2019
Xxerxes was stationed at MCAS Miramar until his retirement in JUN of 2018. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest Active Duty Marine Corps Military Working Dog in the World.
Xxerxes was one of the last dogs to deploy out of MCAS Miramar.
He was bred by Lackland Air Force Base as part of their DOD breeding Program.
He was lovingly referred to as the Hairball, he was like Fabio in a dogs body. He could hold a grudge like no one else could, and was notorious for not liking a lot of people.
As soon as he retired, he turned into a whole different boy! He loved the cat, loved playing with other dogs, and even was good with the staff at the vet clinic! His dirty biting days were long behind him and he spent most of his days carrying his ball around the yard, napping in the sun, and letting the wind rustle that amazing hair.
We lost Xxerxes suddenly just before his 14th birthday to a mass rupture on his spleen. Before he went into surgery, an ultrasound was done and multiple masses were found on his liver and in his abdomen, and he was humanely euthanized for suspected Hemangiosarcoma.
MWD Oscar M163, USN, Patrol/Explosive Detector Dog, GSD
DEC 2006 - 25 JAN 2019
He was retired out of NAS Oceana, Virginia in MAY 2017.
He had at least one deployment to Iraq that we are aware of. He had a history of Kidney disease, and had been seeing a specialist for a mass on his spleen. His kennel had always referred to him as the grumpy old man, even when he got to the kennel as a two year old!
Oscar was one of our MWD's that enjoyed going out to Agape Ranch Dog Sports for Dock Diving.
His first time at the pool he beat me down the ramp and swam off, and jumped off the dock his first day there! He enjoyed his kiddie pool, and playing with GoughNuts. We have a Woof Project Alum, Helo, that became Oscar's friend that he always shared a kennel or play yard next to. One of his favorite things was to bring me his toy, try to get me to take it, then hold onto it with his front paws.
We lost him to a post operation blood clot a week after emergency surgery.
MWD Zorro P793, USAF, Patrol/ Explosive Detector Dog, GSD
JUL 2009 - 31OCT2019
Zorro retired from Edwards Air Force Base in JUL 2016 due to hip dysplasia and vision issues. He was humanely euthanized when he suddenly became very ill over night, and the specialist found a mass in the heart from suspected Hemangiosarcoma.
He had one deployment to Afghanistan before retiring.
His handler that deployed with him had the chance to see him when we went back to Edwards AFB for several Feed The Dawgs events.
He participated in the Valley Center Western Days Parade, and he had a fantastic time! He loved watching TV, napping in his favorite leather chair and spending time with MWD Kira and MWD Rocky. And also loved chasing the cats.
Zorro was the first Retired Military Working Dog to earn an invite to Nationals with North America Diving Dogs, after earning his Advanced Title in the Junior Distance Division. He had a huge fan club at Agape Ranch Dog Sports where he trained.
MWD Bruce P033, USN, Explosive Detector Dog, GSD
OCT 2007 - 23DEC 2019
Bruce was part of a Government contract gone pretty bad. Long story short of it, he ended up with 24 other dogs at Commander Navy Region Southwest in 2009 emaciated, with giardia and high anxiety. Several months of attempts to get him able to work again ended up to no avail. He was retired out of the program in March of 2010.
Several years later, at the ripe old age of 7 he earned his IPO1 title. He was an outstanding tracking dog and loved bite work.
He completely retired from dog sport in 2015 and enjoyed doing bark and holds at our window waiting for meals, roughhousing with his great dane rescue brother Trooper, and visiting everyone at Miramar VTF. He had a huge supportive group at the San Diego Schutzhund Club. He also survived a very scary rattlesnake bite in 2015, and his friends at Mission K9 call him "Snake Bite".
Bruce had to undergo spinal decompression surgery in June of 2019 for issues from an extra vertebrae. He went to physical therapy once a week at Tsavo's Canine Rehabilitation and Fitness to ensure we were giving him the best quality of life we can. Unfortunately, it was suspected that he began to exude more disk material in December 2019, and it was decided that another surgery was not going to be an option for Bruce because of the poor prognosis.
Bruce was my shadow, with my on transports for rescue, at work, and would even sleep right on top of me. I would wake up with him almost nose to nose with me.
Loosing him was like loosing a part of my soul.
MWD Lucky N328, USN, Patrol/ Explosive Detector Dog, Belgian Malinois
MWD Lucky was retired from Naval Base San Diego officially on 25FEB2020. He had just arrived to San Diego right before I got there in August of 2009. Lucky just so happened to be kenneled right next to my own MWD Talpi N183.
MWD Lucky was always an intense dog, loved to work, and just the embodiment of how a working dog should be. He either liked you or he didn't, and usually just preferred being with his handler.
While active duty, he had 2 deployments- Honduras and Afghanistan, plus multiple temporary assigned duty's for Secret Service missions.
Lucky had actually been sent home early to us in DEC2019, while awaiting his retirement package approval because of a serious medical condition that developed with his blood pressure. Although his CT scan did not give us any answers, his medical team found a good regiment of medication that he will be on for life that has been very effective in getting him stable, and letting him be a happy, bouncy retired working dog.
His favorite activities included napping on the thickest bed he can find, and running around the yard for no reason.
MWD Lucky suddenly became very sick on 13MAY2020. Even after an extensive work up at the Specialty Hospital, and being hospitalized for a week, we lost Lucky to what we believe was cancer in his chest. He is greatly missed by his kennel, his handlers, and very much by us.
MWD Rocky H353, USAF, Patrol/Explosive Detector Dog, Belgian Malinois
MWD Rocky came to us as a foster from Mission K9 Rescue in SEP 2016. He retired from Goodfellow AFB in APR 2014. He had multiple deployments while on active duty.
Rocky was very much loved by his last handler and his family who Rocky retired with originally, but Rocky had a hard time adjusting to children in the household. A friend of the family had then taken Rocky in initially, but after some time, Rocky's last handler took him back in an emergency. We got the call around 5 in the morning asking if we could drive to Arizona and pick him up. Rocky came to us with some medical issues that needed worked up, and after staying with us a few months and due to his age, we decided to be his forever foster!
He was best friends with MWD Kira and MWD Zorro, and now that they have passed, Rocky has recently made new friends with several of the house dogs, including MWD Talpi N183, and MWD Rudy M436. He enjoys stealing toys from his roommates, and playing with all the toys he can find. Occasionally you will still find him running along the dog yards harassing the other dogs.
Rocky made a complete recovery from an anal mass removal when he was 14, and from a small mass they found near his heart that seems to have disappeared.
Turning 16 last September, and he is one of the oldest retired Military Working Dogs! They say the ornery ones live forever...
We always sent his handler's family updates regularly, and we got them to let them visit with him when ever possible.
MWD Rudy M436, USAF, Patrol/ Explosive Detector Dog DOB 24MAR2007-26DEC2020 GSD
He served at JBMDL until his retirement on 19FEB2019 MWD Rudy unfortunately came to us with some behavioral and medical issues that limited his ability to find a suitable home. He has issues with his thyroid, Gallbladder issues and Grade III heart murmur. Since coming to us in February, MWD Rudy has been to the California Veterinary Specialist several times to make sure we have his medical conditions well in hand. Thanks to amazing care and follow ups from his Army Veterinary Dr at JBMDL, we have made a great transition to retired life for MWD Rudy, and he has been received outstanding reviews from his Cardiologist and his Internal Medicine doctors. Unfortunately, in December of 2019, a large mass suddenly appeared on a hind leg, and the diagnosis was a very aggressive Soft Tissue Sarcoma. After his CT scan, and speaking with several Veterinarians, specialists, his last active duty Veterinarian, and his last handler, we made the difficult decision to have the leg amputated in January.
We are very thankful that Rudy has adjusted brilliantly to being a tri-pod! He is now running on his own, playing with other dogs in the household, and showing no signs of slowing down. Rudy has moved into retired life like a super star, always excited to go play ball or go for a car ride, and is extremely photogenic! He enjoys long naps on his favorite super puffy bed and bouncing around the yard. His very renowned bad attitude at the vet clinic for his check ups have now turned into cookie times and he has been complimented by the staff he has worked with.
Rudy started physical therapy at Tsavos Canine Rehabilitation Center to help keep his back healthy and his remaining leg strong. He LOVES swimming in the pool and goes twice a week.
A mass was found in Rudy's mouth in October 2020 that was very suspicious, and he was rushed in to an oral surgeon to have it removed. it did come back as an Oral Melanoma, so he was immediately started on a radiation protocol. He did very well for his 6 treatments, even with having to be sedated for each one.
MWD Oobama R270, USMC, Patrol/Explosive Detector DogDOB 12DEC2009-12JAN2021 Belgian Malinois
MWD Oobama is from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (MCLB Albany), in Albany, GA. If you did not know, the double "O" at the beginning of his name lets us know he was a Lackland AFB bred dog!
Oobama (who is known as Oobie-wan now) had been in the disposition process for over a year now, with medical issues that included a torn ACL. After being sent back to Lackland AFB for a TPLO surgery, and an extensive attempt at rehabbing his hind right leg, he was also developing mouth ulcers and what ended up being diagnosed as CUPS (Chronic Ulcerative Paradental Stomatitis). He was not responding to treatment as everyone had hoped, and they couldn't find a prior handler that was going to be able to take on the high veterinary bills that were probably going to be needed for his care. It did not help that Oobie had an infamous personality that did not endear him to several Marines, especially over his food pan.
The wonderful Captain from Fort Benning reached out to us to see if we would have room and be willing to bring Oobie into the program. We discussed his medical needs and expectations, and for the first time in 10 years, MCLB Albany adopted out an MWD to someone that was not a prior handler to that kennel.
Because of COVID, I made the crazy drive from San Diego (rather suddenly), with a quick stop in Houston to pick up 2 co-pilots from Mission K9 Rescue, and drove to Albany Georgia and back in 5 days! Oobie received a great little retirement ceremony from his new command, and on the road we went!
He had an apportionment with my regular vet within the week to see what we could do to get his mouth feeling better. My vet reached out to a few of her friends, veterinarians that had already been working on his case, and we prepared to remove several, if not most of his teeth. Within the week it took to get him in for a surgery day, we noticed some significant changes to his mouth and lymph nodes. By surgery day, we ran bloodwork and did xrays first, and it confirmed we were dealing with may more then the CUPS. We were sent directly to the specialty hospital.
2 weeks later, and multiple biopsies later, consults with 2 oncologists and a surgeon, MWD Oobama was diagnosed with Cutaneous Epitheliotropic Lymphoma. He has started his first round of CCNU chemotherapy, and he was put back on his prednisone at a higher dose.
We do not know yet if he will respond to the chemotherapy yet, if he does, it may put him in remission for up to a year. If he does not respond to this particular chemo, we will have to talk about either a more aggressive chemotherapy option, or just make sure he has the most comfortable, amazing retirement that we can give him.
We love him very much, and he has surprised us with how well he has taken to life on the farm, with no signs of his dirty temperament from his active duty days.
Oobie had the most amazing bucket list, from ice cream, a roads trip to San Francisco, a night a Big Bear Lake to see snow, a special trip to the Big Bear Lake zoo, Oliver's Emporium in Big Bear made special arrangements for his own chance to shop at their store, an 11th birthday party in Thousand Oaks with a stay in the hotel and biggest stuffed animal ever...
MWD Dona1 P037, USN, Explosive Detector Dog DOB AUG2007-09FEB2021 GSD
MWD Dona1 was retired from CNRSW San Diego CA. She was part of the same Government contract that went bad as MWD Bruce P033. Unlike Bruce, she thrived in her detection work, but it did come at a cost. This girl has zero interest of giving up her toys to anyone! Although her personality to most handlers did not leave her with many friends, she was a wonderful partner to her handlers. Most of the time... She was medically retired to multiple issues of Degenerative Joint Disease in her shoulders, and hindquarters. Dona is full of life and energy here at the Pack as she adjusts to life with dozens of toys she doesn't have to give back, and as she adjusts to a life with cats in the household. Her new life goals are to seek and squish them all! (We are thankful for very dog savvy cats that have been very successful at discouraging working dogs for using them as toys...) Her prior handlers are enjoying the updated photos of her first holidays and her antics!