SAR Brady’s Story – Helping a wonderful Golden in need

Golden Chase looks pretty happy working here on the water, even though he believes it is all a fascinating game. We learned about SAR Goldens Brady and Chase from their handler, Deana Hudgins, President of the Ohio Search Dog Association, Inc. (OSDA), a non-profit all volunteer response unit that primarily provides qualified K9 search teams to assist in locating missing persons.

They also are educating agencies and the general public about the use and benefits of such teams in search and rescue missions.

OSDA has assisted with search operations in Ohio and in neighboring states, including searches for Alzheimer patients, mentally handicapped individuals who have wondered away from hospitals or their homes, and missing or abducted children. They have additionally worked on operations involving victims of drowning, violent crime, plane crashes, and various types of natural or man-made disasters.

Each team member/handler supplies their own field packs for the dogs in a “ready to go” status. The field packs contain change of clothing, cyalume sticks, flashlights, batteries, first aid kit, dog supplies, water bowl, power bars, food, maps and a compass, GPS and other necessities. Team members also maintain a fully equipped trailer for use on search missions including rope rescue equipment to support search operations.

This photo shows Deana with her two incredible boys, (right to left) Brady and Chase. Brady’s specialties include Live Finds and Area Search, while Chase’s skill specialties are Human Remains Detection and Air Scenting. Brady’s certifications include: NAPWDA Area Search, NASAR SAR TECH II, NASAR Canine SAR TECH II, and Canine Good Citizen Certification. Chase’s certifications include: NASAR SAR TECH II, Water HRD— Southern Tier Police K9 Assocation, NASAR Canine Human Remains Detection-Land (III), and Canine Good Citizen Certification.

Sadly, we learned about this hard-working family, when in June 2008, an application arrived for one of our Working Dog Cancer Treatment Grants.

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This is Deana’s story about her guy Brady:

Brady is my baby, my partner, my loyal and loving companion. He is the first dog I trained for search and rescue. He was born on February 15, 2002 in Rootstown, Ohio at Gangway Kennel. He was the only boy in a litter of five. He came home on April 18, 2002 and began his search and rescue training immediately.

We are members of the Ohio Search Dog Association, Inc. (OSDA). We train as a team twice a week and respond, free of charge, twenty four hours a day to requests from polices, fire and emergency management agencies to assist in the search for lost and missing people throughout Ohio and around the country.

In April of 2003 Brady received his first search and rescue certification from the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) in Area Search. He has been recertified by NAPWDA in Area Search every April since, including April 13, 2008.

Brady was certified as an Area Search Canine SAR Tech III by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) in 2004 and an Area Search Canine SAR Tech II in 2007. Brady has loved to work from the first day I taught him puppy run-aways, the building block for area search canines. Brady’s overwhelming love of people of all ages, races and abilities has made him an outstanding search and rescue dog.

He is OSDA’s star when it comes to PR events and demonstrations. Long after the other dogs on the team have tired out Brady is still eager to meet and greet anyone who comes near our booth in the hopes that they will stop and pet him for a while. Brady assists me with dozens of demonstrations each year including the Ohio Child Abduction Response Team (CART) training for law enforcement agencies around the state.

I have been truly blessed to have Brady in my life. He has brought so much joy, love and happiness to my life. He has been a forgiving partner as we have navigated through the learning process of the K9 Search and Rescue world. He has also taught me so much about being present in the moment of our lives and the lives of our loved ones every day.

My teammates have been a huge support system for me during this process. We have some fantastic people and dogs who happily go to work whenever called and willingly put themselves in harms way to help return the missing to their families. K9 Search and Rescue has become my calling and I have been so blessed to have had Brady share this journey from the start.

I have been devastated by his diagnosis. I pray that I am making the right decisions in his care and treatment and that I can help him have the longest healthiest life possible. I was caught completely off guard by the diagnosis since he was showing absolutely no signs of feeling ill in any way. He was working, playing and living day to day like normal. I took him in to be checked because he had a small mass behind his shoulder blade about 2 cm wide. I, along with my regular vet, the oncologist and the surgeon, were totally unprepared for the diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma.

Brady had surgery to remove the mass on May 23, 2008 and the margins came back clear however radiographs and CT scans have picked up lesions in his lungs that may be metastatic disease but at this time they are too small to tell for sure. He had is first chemo treatment on June 9. He has been receiving weekly CBCs to monitor his blood. Brady has handled the chemo very well with no evident side effects.

To look at Brady you would never know he was sick, and for that I am eternally grateful. He runs and plays with Chase, his 4-year-old full brother who is also a search and rescue K9, every day. We have pool parties in the back yard and walk about three miles each night.

Brady still licks his bowl clean after every meal which he devours in less than a minute and he has really been enjoying all of his medicine and supplements since I give it to him in hot dogs three times a day.

I am praying for a miracle for Brady and trying to enjoy every day he is feeling well. I am more than willing accept the financial debt that comes with maintaining the health and well being of both Brady and Chase, but the bills for Brady’s surgery, tests and treatment have been overwhelming. I can’t thank you enough for your donation it will definitely help ease the burden.

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Brady just went back for his second chemotherapy treatment on July 3, 2008. He is working with Dr. Lisa Fulton, an excellent Veterinary Oncologist. Deana believes he still seems to be doing well. And, she has promised to keep us up-to-date on his progress.

Making a Difference
Please help support our cancer treatment program with the purchase of cards. This first card, hopefully leading off a series of cards honoring our wonderful working dogs, was inspired by SAR Golden Brady.

The design below is featured on oversized 5¼” x 7¼” quality classic ivory linen cards, which are a hefty 80-pound weight. The set includes matching 70-pound ivory linen envelopes along with 10 glossy puppy stickers. Just click here to order!