Tsunami's Truth & JustizRN CGC VAX
Breeder/Owner: Rita Roberts
Co-Breeder: Sandi Soto
We were already on a Search and Rescue team working primarily the Virginia Peninsula. We didn't respond to 9/11, but our training officer put us on standby. There was nothing for trailing dogs to do then, but we knew our cadaver dogs might be needed later, even years later. As it was, that's the atmosphere that Buck entered the world, destined to be a show dog. Only one of his testicles didn't descend. Waiting on that we found he had an uncanny ability and tenacity and he began search training after 12 weeks of age.
No one believed an Akita could do the job, primarily because of perceived dog aggression. Buck, who grew up with a bunch of old show dogs, fosters going in and out, and bloodhounds never showed an ounce of dog aggression, but he hated wheels. Once we overcame that, he never looked back. At 11 months of age he completed a grueling week of training in West Virginia with labs, border collies and bloodhounds. He was ridiculed and laughed at, at first. People didn't laugh after he consistently took the hardest trails and found his person. We didn't have anything to lose. He had to overcome trailing through heat, around critter holes, over a wooden suspension bridge and up steep inclines and down. Some trails were a mile in length. At the end he completed his CGC. He was certified by our team-training officer, but not before she ran a bitch in season over his trail. These are normal things a working dog might encounter and so everything was thrown at them for proofing. Satisfied, he was ready to work.
Buck had thousands of hours of trailing; every weekend in snow and rain, in urban and wilderness and cadaver training. He did it all. His first call out was in Newport News where he responded to a dementia patient that had way wandered off from his house. His career was shortened when I became expectant with my first child and we moved to Florida, where licensure was different and a 2nd baby was expected. He did go on one last cadaver search there in an old MP case. We were not ever blessed with a live find. He wasn't the only Akita to ever train for search, but he was one of the first that I know of to mantrail in the US. There was another Akita added to our team as well.
After premature retirement because of his handlers' family aspirations, he got bored. So we began a short Rally career, which ended when his daddy left for Iraq. His old injuries sustained from search limited his jumping ability.
He took his family duties very seriously, and in old age moved with us again for the last time and immediately hated our neighbor for no apparent reason. It was disconcerting. This neighbor was later arrested on charges of soliciting a minor.
He was he best dog I have ever known, and we all miss him daily.