May 24 1986 – August 26 1997
Tess was put to rest after suffering from arthritis and complications due to old age. She started SAR work in September of ’86 and became operational in the summer of ’87. She loved the “game of find ’em” throughout her career. Tess worked her way to “Advanced Operational”, the highest level a K-9 and handler can achieve on this team. A serious worker while in the field on all search missions, she was a fun and caring member of my family. She seemed to know the every move of her family and was especially cued on me. All I had to do was answer the phone for a search call and Tess would be by my side nosing each piece of search gear and clothing; knowing we were going to roll on a mission. Even when there was a training, she was right by my side as if to over look me, if she could talk I swear she would tell me what I was forgetting.
Her ability at air scenting, for both live and cadaver on land and on water, produced finds on several missions. She was the first SAR K9 to work a track/trail, OFFLEAD, both in training and on a find for an actual mission in New York State.
When she retired from SAR last year, I could feel her urgency to “find ’em” whenever Jetta and I would leave for training or when I would leave alone for a search mission. It took a while for her and I to accept the fact that she was retired, it will take a lot longer to get used to the fact that she is no longer here at home or by my side in the field.
I would like to thank all the master trainers, senior handlers, subjects who hid for us, the back-ups, the breeder, the WNYSD team, my daughter, and most importantly; my wife, for helping and being there for Tess throughout the years; I know that she is thankful too.
Tess came into this world with dignity and a sense for SAR, she left with dignity, and left behind great memories and an impression on SAR. She is resting now on StidHill, her ashes laying over the area of her last find, and I believe she is still sitting on guard over the site, the same as she did for the subject she found that day. God bless you Tess, I miss you!