Archive for August, 2009

Jan Dean: Heidi Dean, teacher’s pet

k15841471Two Golden Retrievers peer curiously over the veranda gate, eager to meet the visitor.  Jan has agreed to tell me about the most memorable dog she’s ever had, an animal I’d heard described as a saint by those who knew her.


“It all started for me in 1989 when I answered a Canine Vision ad for foster homes in the Toronto Star.  After I passed their qualification process they put me on a waiting list.  At the time I was a Physical Education teacher and Vice-Principal at Timothy Eaton Business and Technical Institute and I had two Golden Retriever adults.  The day after the holidays ended that Christmas, I got a call from Canine Vision informing me they had a puppy for immediate take home.” Read the rest of this entry »

PDS Caesar

Caesar and his human partner, Constable Randy Goss, lived their unit’s motto: “Life’s Short – Bite Hard”. He was killed in the line of duty in 1998.
Caesar and Randy Goss, photo courtesy Tom Braid, Edmonton Sun

Caesar and Randy Goss, photo courtesy Tom Braid, Edmonton Sun

At the time of his death, the 85 pound Rottweiler was a 5 year veteran of the Edmonton Alberta Police Service Dog Unit.   As Tom Braid, the photographer who had participated in numerous charity events  with the Unit, said afterwards,  ”People don’t quite get it.  This was not only a dog, this was an actual Police member; his title was Police Service Dog (PSD). Other cops on the street trust these dogs with their very own lives without ever giving it a second thought.  There are many calls that police members make where they will not proceed without a dogman backing them up.”

Caesar was shot while attempting to help police members subdue a distraught, apparently suicidal young man armed with a shotgun on the grounds of Bishop Savaryn Catholic Elementary School.

Fortunately, although it had been a planned outdoor fun day at school, most of the students had gone back inside for lunch because of hot weather. A man pointing a shotgun was spotted wandering around the perimeter of the sports field that was surrounded by three separate schools. The man refused repeated police requests to drop his firearm and instead fired shots into the air. Police services turned to Caesar for help. Read the rest of this entry »