Sign In

Rescue team mourns death of service dog

April 5, 2020

The Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (SAR) team is mourning the death of one of its most beloved members, service dog Luke.

Luke, a 14-year-old golden retriever who searched with Comox Valley SAR for seven years, died this week.

According to search manager Paul Berry, Luke’s time with the team took him on countless searches across Vancouver Island and B.C.

“Luke was a real [boon] for the team,” said Berry. “He liked everybody and was very approachable and often led our group in public settings, like in parades and so on.”

While Luke was described as a “social butterfly,” Berry says that the canine was always focused while on the job.

“He was very good search dog and very dedicated to his work,” said Berry. “When he was at work, it was all work.”

Luke was raised and trained by his handler, Chris Smith, who also works with the Comox Valley SAR.

While Luke was based in the mid-island, Berry says that search dogs are called to wherever they are needed most across the province, and Luke was deployed throughout B.C.

The search and rescue team now has four search dogs in its service.

“The team will feel Luke’s passing and our thoughts go out to Chris and his family because these dogs are not only working dogs, they are members of his family as well.”

Today, sadly, we say good-bye to one of our K9 members, Luke. An institution with the team, he was loved by all whom were fortunate enough to cross paths with him. Luke was on active duty with the team for 7 years, assisting on countless searches and tasks. His golden personality represented us well at parades and public events. His life of service kept him fit, healthy and energetic – just shy of 15 years, he was never too old to let his inner puppy out to play!

Our love and condolences are extended to his 2 legged partner, Chris, his family, K9 companions, and teammates. His gentle soul will be missed.

Rest easy Luke – we’ll take it from here. 

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more