Jamie was found by My Vickie's niece Becky shortly after her mom (My Vickie's Sister) had died. At the sweet request of this little girl, "Aunt Vickie, please take her home" My Vickie made arrangements to bring Jamie into her life.
She hadn't intended to do search work with the little black and white charmer, but as life would have it, the decision was made for her.
My Vickie had lost her search dog McKenna to a terrible accident and had decided that she would just train other handlers and dog teams but didn't want to start another dog of her own.
However, Jamie had other plans.
At about six months, Jamie, who had accompanied My Vickie on the training weekends across the country, was sitting patiently by a vehicle as the My Vickie set up a one mile track for one of the older more experienced dogs.
Jamie watched "the victim" leave the campsite and disappear into the forest. An hour later it was time to bring the SAR team in to try and track "the victim".
While My Vickie was laying out the "Scent Article" for the team, Jamie, who was just trying to be as patient as she could, could hold herself back no longer.
She was off....She ran to the "Scent Article" picked it up and drank in the smell of "her victim" and headed on track, into the forest after her victim.
My Vickie watched in amazement then finally figured out what was happening and quickly followed Jamie into the trees.
Jamie didn't miss a turn, she didn't pause to check out a dead carcass that was lying just to the right of the track, she followed the trail making no mistakes.
She worked it like a seasoned pro. It took her less than 20 minutes to make her way to the hiding spot of "the victim"
The decision was made. My Vickie had little to do with the choice. Jamie was a search dog.
For ten years, Jamie gave her heart and soul to the lost and missing, as well as over 100,000 children across the country who she came to schools and parks to teach, How to stay safe in the mountains.
She searched and found people lost in the mountains from Utah to Canada north, and as far as southern Texas to the south. Found people who were consumed by avalanches, had drowned in lakes and rivers, and people trapped in rubble.
Retirement was hard for Jamie to accept but as she reached her 12th year, her big brown eyes started loosing their strength, her ears started hearing less and less. But her nose..oh that nose....it was as strong as ever.
Now the eyes are almost completely blinded, the hearing completely gone, but the spirit is AS STRONG as ever. Her heart of gold would serve to the day she could no longer walk, as long as her nose can lead her, she would work.
It was a terribly hard thing for My Vickie to retire her, harder still to go out and find ME to take up the job she could no longer do.
Now the Seizure monster is visiting her a couple of times a week, her little back legs can no longer hold her up for more than a few minutes.
How and when do we say good bye. Many of you know. Many if not all of you have known or are now playing the "Waiting Game" now.
Why do I write this now? Because when that time comes, be it through a choice made by My Vickie and Jamie or by the angels above...My Vickie and I will not be able to talk or write about it. there will be silence.
But as we wait, we hold on to those big brown beautiful eyes, and the heart as big as Texas, the wild spirit, the concentration, the wisdom, the process of reading the clues and reasoning out the answer, the magnificence of this beautiful dog that I can call my mentor, my teacher, my sister, my light.
“Life is short. Time is fleeting. Realize the Self. Purity of the heart is the gateway to God. Aspire. Renounce. Meditate. Be good; do good. Be kind; be compassionate. Inquire, know Thyself.”