Ari was Sharolyn's first SAR partner, and taught her far more than she ever taught him. Ari was born in Aitkin, MN in 2002. He started his SAR career in 2003 when Sharolyn joined Central Lakes Search and Rescue. He was certified for Scent Specific Area Search, as well as land and water Human Remains Detection. He retired at the age of 11. His most memorable find was a water recovery in the Boundary Waters, where the person was recovered 90' down. Ari, whose name means "Lion of God" in Hebrew, lived a full life and gave everything he had when he deployed. He died just a few weeks shy of his 12th birthday in July of 2014; deeply missed by all who knew him.
Gus was Sharolyn's second SAR partner, and while he had only a short time with us, left a lasting impression on all who met him. He had a love of life that was infectious. Gus was rescued from the HART Humane Society in Brainerd, MN, and learned the job of being a SAR dog by watching his "big brother" - K-9 Ariel. He certified in 2007 for Human Remains Detection and remained so until his death in 2011. Sharolyn's favorite demo dog as he loved to play to the crowd, he also assisted in many recoveries during his lifetime.
Jael - Hebrew meaning "to be helpful" - was donated to Sharolyn to train for SAR. While she started her SAR work as an Area Search dog like K-9 Ari, Sharolyn discovered her true talent was in human remains detection. Jael certified just two months before Sharolyn lost Gus in 2011. She stepped into Gus's shoes for demonstrations and searching with everything she had. Jael remained certified through several different organizations over her lifetime. Jael experienced a bad fall in November of 2016 during a search, and just 12 months later, after multiple medical issues which didn't stop her from helping bring home the missing, we lost Jael the day before Thanksgiving in 2017.
Azize's Princess Levia joined SAR through a donation from her breeder, Azize's Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Ridgebacks are known as the African Lion Dog as they were used to track lions. Her name - Levia - means "Lioness" in Hebrew. She was born in 2014 in Fall Creek, Wisconsin and loves her job, people, and stealing water bottles from her hiders. Levia certified for Advanced Mantracking at the young age of 16 months, and since that time has certified multiple times under different organizations and evaluators.
K-9 Rafah was adopted from a rescue in the fall of 2017 at about one year old. The rescue told us he was the "WalMart Greeter of the dog world", and indeed, he wants to meet everyone and every dog he sees. Rafah, which means to heal or make whole in Hebrew, arrived severely underweight and lame on all 4 legs, but abounded in joy and energy. In one year, he achieved his certifications for Scent Specific Air Scent and Human Remains Detection, land and water. He loves to play frisbee, fetch, and tug. In 2020, it was discovered Rafah had severe hip and elbow dysplasia, making him unable to continue his SAR work, and instead because a "demo dog" for Sharolyn's Pet CPR and First Aid courses.