A nice gentleman walked into the Sarasota Sheriff’s Animal Services on March 2012 with a bundle of black fuzz and said, “I found this puppy a couple of weeks ago but I work too much to keep him”. As soon as I saw him I fell in love. I had always wanted a Bernese Mountain dog and this little ball of fuzz look just like one.
I had to do a lot of fast talking, to my husband, since we already had 8 dogs at home. But he knew I loved the breed and he gave in. We certainly didn’t need another “BIG” mouth to feed or all the hair either but I was in love. I held my breath for 5 days while I waited it out to ensure that no owner was looking for this beautiful pup and when the final day came and I drew a big sigh of relief that he was going to stay.
My husband and I have been involved with Sarasota K-9 Search and Rescue Team for 16 years and I already had 3 working K9s and 2 about to retire so I really had my work cut out for me to work another dog. Gandolph got along well with all my dogs and was wonderful with my grandchildren. I started him with basic puppy training and it progressed into him searching for a lost person in 10-20 acres. On November 27, 2012 he passed his wilderness certification and became a search and rescue K9.
Gandolph is such a funny boy, he loves everyone and goes willingly with anyone. At school functions or public gatherings he is a clown. He loves all the children and is excited when he hears their voices. Our team leader, Patricia Abrams, has been writing children’s books about the lives of our past search K9s. The books are the stories of these k9s through their perspective and each of the stories have life lessons relating to situations children may encounter in their lives, like social issues, bullying etc. The books have pictures of the K9s, not illustrations, so the children are able to see what the k9s went through. The books are titles “Noah and the Search Dogs” and are now a series of stories. Noah was Pat’s first search dog and Gandolph looks just like him. We felt since Gandolph was so social he would be a perfect “spokesdog” for the books. He has gone to countless functions to help promote the books and he is the “face” on the Facebook page for “Noah and the Search dogs”.
Gandolph has the greatest personality and he has been affectionately known as “Chunky Monkey”, at our house, due to his fluffy size and very large personality.