Today I bring the readers of TalesAndTails.com very sad news. After many years of working as a search and rescue dog and a few more enjoying retirement, K-9 ChicoDog died earlier this week. Rest in Peace ChicoDog, Dec 24, 2002-Jan 8, 2018.
Our blog readers may not remember reading much about ChicoDog and they would be correct. I have not written much about him to respect his handlers wishes. But, in the early days of Search and Rescue Saturday you may have seen many pictures of him. He was a wonderful dog. His looks were stunning and a joy to photograph.
ChicoDog the dog, the legend
ChicoDog was a dog that had a storied background that most people would have thought was out of a movie. If my recollection is correct, Chico was found on the side of the road in southern Illinois and picked up by his handler. The bond was instantaneous. At the time of retirement, ChicoDog was certified in Disaster and Wilderness Area search. He was a dog that was trained and certified to work with two handlers. The dog was just something else to watch work.
During one of our fall team training sessions many years ago. We used an old mental health hospital mostly known in our area for being haunted. On the hospital’s property is an old cemetery which we also used. During one of our training drills, ChicoDog was released to search and he took off at his usual fast pace. Shortly after taking a turn to find his victim, ChicoDog ran head fast into one of the tombstones, bounced off of it and kept going. We all just stood there hoping we didn’t break the concrete or his skull. ChicoDog never seemed to notice.
Personally, ChicoDog is the model I hope to get my K-9 partners working level at. I also know there are many other SAR K-9 handlers that use him as their model dog too.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to ChicoDog’s loved handler and friend.