Skip to comments.Man's best friend: Oldest Search and Rescue dog in the U.S. nears retirement
Posted on 09/01/2010 3:08:34 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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K9 Search Dog Handler, Captain Marc Valentine, pets his search dogs Rico, left, and Val at the Montebello Fire Station in Montebello on Tuesday August 31, 2010. Valentine's search dog, Val, 12-1/2, will retire from service when new search dog, Rico, 3, gets certified in October. Valentine and Val were deployed for service during hurricane Katrina. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/SWCITY)
Doggie ping list?
Has a very golden face. Wonder why they think he’s a golden retriever/labrador retriever mix?
Did they let Val work a lot of overtime toward the end of his career, so he would get a larger retirement benefit?
I have a yellow lab that would make a great search dog-if you’re looking for a tennis ball. (My wife says lab stands for “lacks a brain”.)
Montebello Firefighter and California Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 5 team member Mark Valentine greets his rescue dog Val after arriving at the Orange County Fire Authority headquarters late Wednesday night to deploy to Haiti after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rattled the tiny Caribbean island nation
About 2 weeks after Katrina, my husband had to make a business trip to N.O. Through an error by our travel agency, he was booked into a hotel on Canal Street. As he was unloading his luggage from his taxi, he was met by armed federal officers.
"Where do you think you are going?" he was asked.
"We have reservations at this hotel."
"There must be some mistake. This hotel is for FEMA officers and search and recover workers only."<[p>After some negotiation with the management, my husband and colleague were booked in the hotel for the 3 days their business trip would take. Meals were served "family style" and you made your own lunch to pack with you after breakfast because nothing was open yet to the public.
Guests at the hotel included some N.O. residents who had lost their homes and had no place else to stay. The most interesting part of his stay watching the dog handlers. They were up at dawn every morning and didn't return until night. When they came back with the dogs, they had to bathe them and doctor any woulnds, no matter how exhasted they were. (The dogs were going through horrendous debris and sometimes suffered cuts and abrasions.) By the time my husband arrived in N.O. for his business meeting, it was no longer a search and rescue mission -- search and recover only. Terribly depressing.
Short hair? Yes, his face is very Golden. Looks just like my big boy.
Maybe the coat, but it doesn’t look like a lab coat. What it really looks like is a golden coat trimmed down. But, who knows. I find often people call “golden retrievers” “golden labs” or the reverse. I wonder if this dog is a golden who was misidentified. At any rate, what a good guy!
Based on that picture: He looks 100% Lab to me.
I have a 2-year old 110lb Bloodhound that would have made an excellent search and rescue dog. A lot of people picture Bloodhounds as being lazy-lay-on-the-porch all day dogs but they are anything but. This big guy can go all day. They are very high energy; not frenetic like a Jack Russell, but steady.
thanks for the Good Doggie ping!
It’s a PITBULL!! Run for your life! /s
Beautiful dog, and I hope its retirement is more than two or three months before the inevitable occurs.
I have always thought bloodhounds were such cool dogs and very focused. I watched a show about them and they are an impressive breed.....can you ever have them off leash or out of a fenced in yard? It is my impression that once they catch a scent they are gone.......
My cousin had a Golden Lab who really was just that — a Golden/Lab mix. His name was Noodles and he was a wonderful dog. He had a coat that was longer than a Lab, but shorter than a Golden — just a little fluffy. Unfortunately, he died of cancer, suddenly. The kids noticed a lump on his chest when they were petting him, and he had only days to live.
It’s so sad that our big dogs live such short lives.
Goldens — 10-15 years
Labs — 10-15 years
Great Danes — 8 years
Bernise Mtn. dogs — 8 years
GSD — 10-12 yrs.
Rotties — 8 yrs.
My previous Goolden died at 15 1/2, and I’ve known one who lived to 16. My current Golden is approaching 10, and I’ve just noticed that he has developed some stiffness to one hind leg when he gets up from a nap. Just developed this week, and I’m hoping it is temporary. I just don’t know what I’d do if I lost him. He’s the perfect dog.
Thanks for posting such a sweet story with a sweet ending..........
Yes, big dogs especially, die too young. My oldest so far was 13.
There is a softness about the eyes and the bump on the top of the head betray his Golden ancestry. (1st picture) If you trimmed that picture so that just the face showed, he is the spittin’ image of my current Golden, Max.
Check out the black Lab next to him. The black Lab head is flat across the top and he’s wider through the eyes. His gaze is more determined than a Golden who just wants to love you and be loved in return.
It’s a subtle difference, but I think brytlea picked up on it. I did too. You have to have lived with Goldens to understand.
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