Please find listed the following dogs that have served and worked with MSAR in our K-9 programs. They are gone but not forgotten….
Age: In Memory of a great dog
Todd completed the Elite K-9 Therapy in 2007. Todd is a “volunteer” at Deer Lodge Centre in Winnipeg. He spends over 200 hours a year bringing entertainment and pleasure to residents, staff and visitors.
Todd was featured in a commercial (CTV) for the Winnipeg Foundation. The commercial demonstrated the role played by Elite K-9 Therapy Dogs in the community.
Todd, Jan and a resident of Deer Lodge were also featured on the Deer Lodge Foundation’s Christmas Star fund raising drive in December of 2008.
Name: Maxx Power
Breed: Doberman X (Adopted from Winnipeg Humane Society)
Service Application: Elite Therapy K-9 and Medical Services
Decorations / Awards: MSAR Life Saving Award, Purina Animal Hall of Fame (Died prior to induction)
The entire program started because of one dog – Maxx Power. Maxx was adopted after a near death experience with a car that left her with 11 broken bones, punctured lung and clinging to life. Luckily in the next vehicle was a veterinarian from Oak bank, who saved her live. Maxx’s injuries were so severe she had to be transported to Saskatchewan to the veterinarian hospital for treatment.
It took 6 months for Maxx to recover from her injuries, 3 of the months she was carried around like luggage by her owner (George Leonard) because she was unable to place any weight on her front legs while on the mend. During this healing phase Maxx needed special attention and the owner noticed that Maxx would crave interaction due to her limited mobility. George thought that there would be some benefit to this dog wanting to give and receive affection so after some research and development he developed the current Elite K-9 Therapy Dog Program.
The program was tested and modified on Maxx Power to ensure its success and has now become the largest certified Therapy Dog Program in Canada. Maxx Power is the only dog to score 100% on the final exam to graduate from the program. Maxx has worked with autistic children, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, children, seniors and her many clients from Meals on Wheels.
Name: Stinky Leonard
Service Application: Elite Service Dog – PTSD
Decorations / Awards: Purina Animal Hall of Fame
Stinky was a ten-year-old Rottweiler, with extraordinary compassion and an unusual name. When she was adopted as a puppy by George Leonard, Search Commander with the elite search and rescue division of Manitoba Search and Rescue, Stinky’s name was actually Nikki. Stinky’s name was chosen after an unfortunate encounter with two skunks. Since then, Nikki became affectionately known only as Stinky.
In turn, Stinky’s name is now often used as an ice-breaker for the many soldiers she helps through the Manitoba Search and Rescue’s (MSAR) Elite Psychiatric Therapy Dog Program. Inspired by a special therapy dog, the program was created by George Leonard. One of the major components of this program is providing constant emotional therapy via psychiatric dogs to Canadian soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Soldiers suffering from this debilitating anxiety disorder feel isolated, angry, have trouble falling and staying asleep, and have difficulty coping with the trauma they endured during combat. Many even fall into despair, giving up on life and losing their will to go on. Elite psychiatric service dogs, like Stinky, help soldiers cope with this dangerous condition through companionship and unwavering affection. They are specifically chosen for their sociability and intelligence, to provide continuous emotional support for the soldiers, especially in their most desperate times.
Stinky, the lead dog in this unique program, not only helps train newer service dogs, but also belongs to the ‘Loaner Dog’ support service. When soldiers require the immediate assistance of an Elite psychiatric service dog but one is not yet available, MSAR will loan the soldier a fully trained and experienced service dog.
In this senior role, Stinky has provided unconditional love and encouragement to many soldiers diagnosed with severe cases of PTSD and depression. A number of these soldiers have come forward, sharing the life-changing experiences that they had with Stinky, highlighting her ability to give them hope, even through their darkest hours.
Stinky is a true hero – her unconditional compassion, loyalty and devotion has rescued many Canadian soldiers from despair and helped give them their lives back. According to these soldiers, Stinky helped save their lives in the most important way: by helping them realize that life is worth living once again.
Name: Aida Jane
Breed: Labrador / Rottweiler
Service Application: Elite Search & Rescue
Aida celebrated a career of teaching youth about how large dogs can be friendly and respected as well a part of MSAR’s world class Search & Rescue Team.
While with MSAR Aida had the privilege of being a part of many searches and participated in countless training exercises and working hours.
Name: Fatso (Baby J or Jessie)
Breed: Black Labrador Retriever
Age: 13 years old
Service Application : Search and Rescue K-9
Fatso was the original search and rescue dog of Manitoba Rural Search and Rescue, the entire tracking program was developed, modified and improved through the handler working with Fatso. She was not your ordinary retriever and really did not like many people except her handler, but was extremely loyal and protective. Fatso worked as a search and rescue dog in Manitoba and internationally with much success. Fatso was adopted from the Winnipeg Humane Society and spent her time homing her skills with her partner and playing. Fatso was credited for saving her handlers life and had a very special bond with her partner. Fatso passed away in early 2007 and is sadly missed –her handler states “ Fatso was a unique dog, I have never had a dog so loyal and attached to one person and one person only – myself. It was a difficult to lose such a great partner and companion.”
Age: 10 years old
Program: Elite Search and Rescue
Mountain was adopted from Rottie Rescue through the Winnipeg Humane Society. Mountain worked as a search and rescue dog in Manitoba and internationally with much success. Mountain was a very large presence and your initial feeling was to avoid any complications with this dog – the children up north called him “big bear” and Mountain cleared out many a school hallway by his entrance. In actuality he was a gentle and calm giant that when he was not training was working with children on the No-Bite Program. His favourite activities when not working was going for a long car ride and getting an ice cream. Mountain had a special relationship with his partner – his partner states “ Wow Mountain what a great dog, we had been in some very crazy situations and I knew that no matter what happened, Mountain would never leave. I wish I could find another dog like Mountain – he was the complete package – calm, confident and courageous.