| About us | Call-Out | How to Help | Site map |  





We dedicate this page in honor of those partners who are no longer with us.  Their memory, and the lessons that they taught us, will live on forever.




Ch. Patriot's Stars 'N Stripes ROM CD AD CGC FFB V1B VCX  SAR

Retired K9 "Banner" (Black/Tan Doberman) 
*Wilderness Search*
BIS Ch. Platinum's Back in Black CDX ROM CGC x Am/Can. Ch. Dabney's Don't U Dare Trump v Aria WAC
(Born: July 28, 1991 -  September 5, 2001 )

"Banner," my dear, sweet, gentle friend died in our arms today. Born into a litter of two black dogs, six black bitches and one brown bitch, Banner was always a willing participant in ALL of my various interests. Initially purchased as a show dog, Banner easily switched from trotting around the manicured show ring to ranging effortlessly through rough backwoods terrain when my interests shifted to search and rescue. Banner was once described as the dog who could find "anyone, anywhere, anytime" after Banner found a mock "subject" within twenty minutes in the pitch dark, even though the person had buried himself three feet under dirt and brush -- the amount of time typically allowed for such a problem was two hours. On another occasion, Banner found a mock "subject" who was hidden well over a mile down an old logging road even before I had gotten my compass out of my pocket! Banner was a big-moving, big-ranging SAR dog, who loved people and who would effortlessly search through tough brush or rocky terrain looking for them. As my first SAR-dog, Banner taught me a tremendous amount about how refind dogs should be trained, especially high-drive dogs that work out-of-sight. Suffering at the end from cervical vertebra instability (CVI) and from cancer, Banner remained a very gentle, patient dog that only wanted to be by your side.

Banner truly was an ambassador for all Doberman Pinschers and I will always love him and carry him in my heart.


Alisaton Star-Trip v Dalclar CD WAC VC AD CGC FEMA II MASSARDF

Retired K9 "Harlow" (Black/Tan Doberman) and Gail McCarthy
*Former FEMA Level II Dog*
*Former Massachusetts State-Certified Wilderness Dog*
 (BIS Ch. LeMils D Triple Threat x Ch. Lastar's Pantera
(Born: December 7, 1992 -  September 11, 2001 )

In light of the twin terrorist attacks today on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the need for urban search and rescue (USAR) trained disaster dogs is underscored. And, it is with great sadness that we state that one such USAR dog died with dignity after a long, and valiant, fight with dilated cardiomyopathy. "Harlow" passed the FEMA Level II Disaster Readiness Evaluation in 1997 after only 13 months of training. In May 2000, Harlow passed the Massachusetts Search and Rescue Dog Wilderness Certification Test, making her one of only four dogs so certified under the new Massachusetts Search Dog Standards that went into effect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on September 19, 1999. In October 2000, Harlow was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and was retired from all search and rescue training. At the time of her retirement, Harlow had been in urban search and rescue training (i.e, confined space/collapsed structures) and wilderness training (as a bark alert dog) for over five years and had been trained in human remains detection for almost three years. Along with search canines from the Massachusetts and Connecticut State Police, Harlow responded to the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse where six firefighters lost their lives in a catastrophic warehouse fire. Each of the canines was rotated into the building as excavation efforts cleared the building of burned material. All of the canines performed well and areas of interest correlated with the locations where the missing firefighters were ultimately found. Extremely task-oriented with a fanatical ball-drive, Harlow was a tremendously reliable search dog who intrinsically loved to search and who was controllable with the whispered word. Had Harlow survived, Harlow would have worked the World Trade Center alongside the rest of the FEMA MA TF 1 team and she would have worked diligently in searching for survivors as was her nature. I could not have been more proud of her and all her accomplishments. And I will always, always miss her working brightly at my side.


Each dog in your life teaches you a tremendous  amount, not only about themselves, but your own strengths and weaknesses as well. The following two Dobermans were no different -- and I want to thank each of them for all that they unstintingly gave me over the years. Each of these dogs gave me opportunities to do things -- and to learn things -- that I never would have been able to experience without them. I also would like to thank Shirley Hammond (CARDA/FEMA) and Elaine Sawtell (FEMA), and all the many, many other people who offered me their time, and their wisdom, as I worked through the training challenges each of these dogs posed. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Elizabeth Shepherd and Dr. Jeffrey Giles, and all the many other people at Highland Animal Hospital, Needham, Massachusetts, each of whom stitched and stitched and re-stitched all of my dogs and who graciously rose to the challenge of keeping my SAR dogs sound and who always responded to any crisis with professionalism and with skill and who always understood the importance I placed on top quality care.

Thank you one and all.

 Gail McCarthy




Home | About Us Callout | Sitemap |Webmail

Copyright 2007, Massachusetts Rescue and Recovery K9 Unit, Inc. All rights reserved.

Questions or comments about the content or usability of this site? Contact us.