VSRDA Dog Memorials

We give thanks to our treasured partners, who worked faithfully and lovingly.

K9 Hero

K9 Hero

March 1999 - February 2008

Qualifications: Wilderness and Water Search.

Handler: David W.

Breed: German Shepherd Dog

Non-SAR trick: Catching bubbles.

Photos of K9 Hero

K9 Hero's last day
K9 Hero's Last Day

Notes: As a puppy, Hero was flown from Missouri to Reagan International Airport. Then a small ten-week old pup with floppy ears, he grew to be a 95 pound impressive looking canine. David and Hero were certified in wilderness airscent searching since 2003 and water recovery work as well. Hero broke his femur in half when he was only two years old, and he would set of metal detectors when he went through them due to the metal plate and screws in his leg. Hero participated in a huge number of demonstrations at camps, scout meetings, fire station open houses, church functions, county fairs, and other events. David and Hero educated kids how not to get lost in the woods, what to do if they ever end up lost, and demonstrate Hero's agility, obedience, and searching abilities. David and Hero responded to countless searches in Virginia, and, as well, have responded to searches in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Hero also came in 1st Place at the Virginia Police Working Dog Associations Iron Dog in the SAR category in 2005. Hero sadly passed away in 2008, surrounded by family and friends, due to cancer.

K9 Hero: a Look Back:
Born: March 18th, 1999
I got him at ten weeks of age.
It took him 4 years to become certified.
He was certified for 4 years and 2 months.
We responded to 34 searches together.
He found one missing person.
We attended 5 NASAR Conferences and 6 ARDA Weekends.

We did 57 demonstrations together:
Boy Scout Troop, New Market
Saratoga Vet Open House, Burke
SPCA Open House, Fauquier
Fairfax Fair
RECPAC Summer Camp, Fairfax
Warrenton County Fair
Prince William Forrest Founders Day
CFC - Selective Service Branch, Washington D.C.
Richard Byrd Library, Alexandria
CFC - Dept of Commerce, Washington D.C.
CFC - Nuclear Safety Branch, Washington D.C.
CFC - FCC, Washington D.C.
Maury Elementary School, Washington D.C.
Cherry Elementary School, Fairfax
CFC - DEA, Pentagon City

Fairfax Fair
Big Meadow Polo Night, Warrenton
Fauquier Fair
CFC - FEMA, Washington D.C.
Kings Park Library, Burke
Boy Scout Troop, Vienna

Mason Neck
DARE Day, Stafford County
Fairfax Fair
Farnham Kennel Club
CFC - IRS, Falls Church
CFC - USGS, Herndon
CFC - Dept of the Interior, Washington D.C.

Fairfax Fair
Prince William County Library
Church Fall Festival, Richmond
Franconia Fire Station Open House
Girl Scout Troop, Oakton

Boy Scout Meeting, Cherry Hill E.S., Burke
Inaugural Day Parade, Washington D.C.
Red Cross Pet 1st Aid & CPR, Sterling
Boy Scout Troop
Fauquier County Fair
Lee District RECenter Summer Camp
Heroes Day Parade, New Market
Virginia State Fair, Richmond
CFC - Navy DHS
Franconia Fire Station Open House
Beastie Bazaar

Super Pet Expo, Chantilly
FCPA “Doggie Day Camp”, Lake Accotink
CFC - US Patent & Trademark Office, Fairfax
Franconia Fire Station Open House
Beastie Bazaar
Miss Spotsylvania Beauty Pageant

Super Pet Expo, Chantilly
FCPA “Doggie Day Camp”, Lake Accotink
Warrenton Natural History Day Camp
FCPA All Hands Picnic, Burke Lake
Franconia Fire Station Open House
CFC – National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Reston
He was an honorary member of a Cub Scout troop.
He watched both Scooby-Doo movies in the theaters.
He kayaked with the dolphins.
He once had his own website.
He met Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard and sat in the General Lee.

He visited 10 states other than Virginia:

  • Minnesota
  • Illinois
  • Texas
  • California
  • West Virginia
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri

He flew on planes 6 times. His first flight was from Missouri to D.C. at 10 weeks of age.
He rode the Trolleys in San Francisco, the metro in Boston, and the bus system in Texas.
He competed in two Virginia Police Work Dog Association Iron Dog competitions, taking 1st place in the SAR category one time.
He had countless friends.
He had more nicknames than can be counted.
He enjoyed chomping ice, swimming, and digging in the sand. He loved tennis balls, bubbles, snow and picking up rocks and moving them.
He cost $2,500 from the breeder.
$4,822 was spent on supplies, toys, food, vet and SAR in all of 2007.
$4,800 was spent in his last week alive.

His time with us…priceless
~ and not enough
He died on the shore of the Potomac, looking out into the water and the morning sun after a few chomps on his ball and bubbles, surrounded by friends, on February 10th, 2008.