2003 - 2009

Chaos was born on Father’s Day, June 15th, 2003. Chaos was owned by Diana Akeret. He was a very active and intense Border Collie whose life revolved around playing ball (how unusual for a BC!). Throughout his SAR training, his hunt and play drive luckily outweighed his cautiousness. We did have our challenges along the way. For example, it seemed like forever before he would bark at his subject. Chaos was my first Border Collie and first experience training an air-scent SAR dog, so it was a work in progress for us both. And as usual, the learning curve was longer for the handler than the K9! After 5 years of SAR training with Palisades, 2 weeks of training in Colorado with a FEMA Dog Handler/Trainer, four 20-acre assessments of progress, independent evaluations at PSARC SAR-EX, and numerous practices with local law enforcement K9 handlers, Civil Air Patrol members, family, friends, and any person willing to hide in the woods…..we finally passed our 80-acre mission ready test on February 15, 2009!

In June of 2009, we completed Andy Rebmann’s Human Remains Detection Seminar in Philippi, WV. Chaos loved working human remains as much as live scent. We got out on a few missing persons searches soon after: one in Bensalem, PA and the other in Island Beach State Park, NJ. Chaos fell ill the evening after his 2 day search at Island Beach. A portion of a food-filled toy that was found and swallowed in WV had become lodged in his intestine. A delay in X-raying his abdomen further compromised his intestine. He made it through the first surgery, but complications the next day required a second. Chaos died of heart failure during his second abdominal surgery on July 30th, 2009.

His loss was felt by all who had the privilege of knowing him and working with him. He is most deeply missed by me and his younger brother, Riot. My fondest memories are watching him work and of his attentiveness: when I’d say, “hey Chaos” he’d trot over, approach nose to nose, ears up, eyes focused, with a head cock to the side as if to say, “What?”. I have had a number of dogs in my life, but I have never learned as much from one dog, as I did from Chaos: both in his life and in his death. His life and SAR career were cut too short, but what he shared will last forever. Long live the spirit, energy, drive, joy and enthusiasm that is my SAR Dog, Chaos.