Handlers tribute to Search Dog Meg

It is with much sadness that I lost my beautiful Search Dog Meg in early October 2020, she was nearly 13 ½ years old.

Meg was a pretty tri-colour collie girl with foxy pricked ears and spotty nose and legs, expressive amber eyes and a beautiful banner tail. She started her training as a search dog in November 2008 and to start with she would only bark for a dustpan brush wiggled on the floor though soon moved on to proper toys with balls and squeaky toys being a favourite. Meg graded in April 2011 in the Howgills and went on to work as a graded Search Dog and was a member of Keswick MRT for 8 years before developing arthritis and retiring in March 2019.

Meg attended 84 callouts with me, but on several occasions working as a team with Search Dog partner Bracken. Many of the callouts I remember were in the dark, wet, raining, windy, poor visibility searching for lost walkers, runners or despondent and vulnerable people. Training and working a dog in conditions like these build a bond and understanding that cannot be explained. In late 2015 she was tasked, along with Search Dog Ginny to find Pudsey Bear who had got lost on Catbells for a short film for Children in Need. She was quite taken with Pudsey’s feet which resembled very large fluffy toys in her eyes and tried several times to get hold and run off with them!

She was such a character, she was loving, fun, playful and cheeky and also stubborn, awkward and analysing-a real thinker who pushed my patience to its limit at times, but she made me laugh and I adored her. She was vocal with a “Woo Woo” which could escalate to an excited bark when playing. She loved water and would be down at the water’s edge of any lake or river waiting for a toy to be thrown in and would often swim alongside me.

She taught me so much as a search team partner and as a friend and companion and life is so much emptier without her. I am heartbroken to lose her and miss her enormously, she was always there, and life is very quiet. Time will heal and I have many good memories of all the good places we went and the things we did together, and she will always be with me.