The Dog Who Started Shekinah

OsaI have been gifted with having a lot of great dogs in my life. Osa was very special and unique, and I know I will never have one like her again.

As a puppy, she was very challenging. She didn’t mess around with chewing the usual shoes and socks. She would instead tear up lawn mowers, sprinkler systems and boat trailer wiring. Right away we realized she needed a full time job. We knew we needed to channel that energy and put her to work.

She truly had the best work ethic that I have ever seen in a search dog. She was incredibly focused and intense in whatever job she was doing. She really did live to work. She certainly had a ways to go with being social with dogs who got in her “space”. Guess I can only say she could be a b—–. But boy, to watch her work! What a huge heart! I never knew her to stop or give up, no matter what. Although her loss as a loyal friend and partner is painful, she will always be remembered in my heart and with others as one of the best.

Although there will never be another Osa, God has brought me another special and unique partner in Zig, my new partner.

I know I’m biased. Here is what others in Shekinah K-9 that knew her have put into words:

To get to know Cris and Osa as a team, is something that will always bless my heart. Their relationship was one that makes you strive to be a better dog handler, even though realizing that theirs was a profoundly unique union.

I say that because Cris being gifted by God to “read” a dog, was obviously given a partner (Osa) that seemed to excel in whatever Cris asked of her.

Whether they were demonstrating a training technique, working an actual search, or just together socially,… Osa’s attention was extremely focused on the task at hand, yet obviously aware of Cris. Osa’s commitment to Cris was unfailing. If Cris wanted someone else to work Osa, Osa was just as true to her work ethic as if Cris was handling her. She loved her job as a search dog.

I can’t tell you the times I was with Cris and heard people ask about Osa as if she was a “he”! Her physical presence was as big as her heart! Yet, if you were of Cris’ pack,… you were ok with Osa! Which would eventually lead to letting you get in to her truck! LOL! I learned to have no reservations of leaving purses or cell phones laying out in the open of Cris’ truck, (windows down), in the heart of a big city!

In getting to know Osa, I have no doubt that God designed that one dog for one lady,… Cris. Thru trials and tribulations, this team humbly touched the lives of all those that encountered them. And I considered myself blessed to have known Osa.

I believe I will see my friends united again one day in the Kingdom of God. Psalm 37: 6 “Oh Lord, you preserve both man and beast.”

Osa was the dog that all dogs aspired to be. She had a nonstop, remarkable work ethic that kept her constantly working. She could work little detailed areas or big sweeping landscapes with true diligence. Cris and Osa had a working relationship and intuitive understanding of each other that few ever reach. She will be missed!
Osa was the dog that we, as K-9 handlers, could ever hope for. She had a work ethic that was incredible and an intensity that was unbelievable. She was and always will be the inspiration for me as I continue to train and develop skills with my dog.
The first time I saw Osa work, she was not even a year old. When I saw her focus, drive, speed, determination and unbridled joy, I knew I was watching something special. Over the years and throughout the many seminars I attended since that day, her presence, power and excellence continued to amaze and inspire me. She was the standard to which I pushed myself and my own dog. She still is.
The first time I got to watch Osa work was at a water seminar years ago. My dog and I had trained maybe three times on HRD. We were really green, pretty much clueless. Cris set some source out and gave Osa the command to search. Osa rocketed in and downed right next to the source. Wow, it was so cool! That set the standard I was to shoot for in training my dog. In the years since I was able to watch Osa several other times. It helped me keep the vision in my head of what an HRD dog should be. I consider it a privilege to have watched Cris and Osa in action, and am a much better handler for it.