Amber, a white German Shepherd mix, was adopted from the Redding, California pound in December 1983 as a 12 week old victim of neglect and abuse. After enjoying the open spaces of Trinity County for a couple of years, her family moved to Los Angeles. She started her training in SAR in 1987 working as a mission ready trailing dog for both CARDA and Los Angeles Search Dogs. When Frances moved to the Bay area in 1990, Amber continued her work with CARDA and added affiliations with Santa Clara and then Alameda County. Before her retirement in 1997 and death in 1998, she acted as CARDA’s only trailing team north of L.A. for most of her working years.
Her initial fear of strangers created an inauspicious start to her SAR career, but she loved to work and it changed her perspective on people in the process. As the first trailing dog and first mixed breed SAR dog in CARDA in Northern California in 1990, I’d like to think that she also changed some people’s thinking in her time with us. Amber enjoyed fabulous health all of her life and blessed her companion’s life with a willful and playfully manipulative spirit combined with a shy and gentle soul.