My name is Janeen. I am a Police Officer for the Department of Defense. I have been a Search and Rescue K9 Handler for about 15 years. I had the privilege of having a “One in a Life Time” K9 Partner in my life for 12+ years. When I brought home Busca on the first day, I knew he was something special, much less being the most beautiful Australian Shepherd I had ever seen.. He was about 8 week old and a fluff ball. We started training the next day. Busca was the first SAR Dog I trained and will always be the best! It was all fun and games in puppy training and he was the comedian. Even as an adult, Busca had a habit of letting the world know he did good, when he found what we were looking for. Between my loud hooplas for him doing great and his loud barking say “I know”, People could hear us for blocks. Busca was a Mommies Boy. When my now ex-husband stayed at home and Busca could not go with me somewhere, my ex would call him back to the house. Busca would then look at me and kind of say “Do I have to?”.

Busca was the joy in my life even when everything else was not going so well. My life rotated around the work with him and the training of other dogs and people. So even if he wasn’t working, we still would be together. On 4 November 2006 I lost my boy “Busca” to brain cancer. It was a very short illness for him “Thank God” but of course way too short for me. I eased him across rainbow bridge while laying across my lap. I promised him from the beginning that I would be their for him until the very end. I just hope he did not suffer too much. My brother Pete came to be with me for moral support as I let my boy go for the last time. I always knew Busca and I had a special connection. When I got home and we were sitting on the couch. I asked Pete if he just heard that? It was the sound of a dog not quite barking, but not crying either right outside the window on the back porch. He said he did! My other dog Freedom and his dog Gonzo were in the house with us. It only happened once, so when I looked out onto the back porch, nothing was there. I know it was my boy ‘Busca” saying “Mom I am still here!”

As the 1 year anniversary is coming near, I cry a lot because I miss him so very much. He was the Best Search and Rescue dog, much less my best friend and my baby. He was certified in Wilderness SAR, Cadaver, Basic Urban Disaster, as well as Weapons/Explosives. He was also a great trailing dog, even though we never got certified. I must say that God must have had a really important search, because he called the best home.

The last search we did before moving to Washington from California was a 12 year missing persons case. He along with a team mate and her wonderful dog were looking for the remains of a person that had been missing for about 12 years. Needless to say the remains were found and the family finally had closure and know that there son was not suffering. Busca was and will always be “My Boy”. I know when my day comes and I must leave this earth, my boy will be waiting for me. I know my other Aussies will also be there. Luna, the rescued aussie, who went from abused to a Therapy Dog and my current aussie Freedom who is doing his best to fill some very large paws.

In honor of my boy Busca, I have started a program called Busca’s Benefit Bone, under my newly forming organization NULEA K9. This will be to assist small Police agencies get a detection dog. They otherwise may not be able to afford or be able to muddle through all the government red tape for a dog through the government. I take a dog from where ever, shelter, donated by a breeder etc and train it for some kind of detection work (ie Narcotics, Explosives, Cadaver, trailing etc). I have right now a German Shorthair that was donated to me by the breeder. I have trained him in explosives. He can be donated for out of pocket expenses only to a handler that has a need for a dog in their department. I want others to learn the joy and eventually pain of having that once in a lifetime K9 partner.

Mark, Thank You for allowing me to tell the story of my boy “Busca”!

Janeen from Washington