Certified in Air Scent

Chara, my beloved 14 1/2 year old GSD, was my working SAR dog, my biggest fan and most loyal companion – a highly driven, stubborn reflection of myself.  We backpacked everywhere from the Sierras to the Cascades to the Colorado Rockies.  We worked many memorable missions, including one for a teammate, which I will never forget.  We camped with NASA astronauts and dedicated Columbia Point to the victims of the Columbia disaster.  We taught countless children how not to get lost in the woods.  We taught Military Working Dog Handlers canine first aid for the field.  Chara was the inspiration for all that I have done professionally as a Veterinarian.  No doubt many patients in the future will benefit from what she has taught me.

As those of you who are working dog handlers know, losing your partner is like losing your right arm.  They are such a part of you that you only really realize the vacuum left behind when they are gone.  It is comforting to be surrounded by “dog people” every day, who really understand and respect the deep bond that you can develop with an animal.

I will miss her deeply, the stubborn little donkey…

Jen (Mackler) Hebel, Handler

Larimer County Search and Rescue

MRA Honor Guard