Spin was an unusual blue collie, born with blue eyes, and a blue-ish grey coat. She and handler Mick Guy graded with SARDA England in 1992, and they worked alongside Chris Francis’ dog, Tarn, in Keswick MRT for 7 years, making 3 finds. She retired early with acute spinal arthritis, but pottered on gamely, passing away in 2004, at the age of 15. She, (along with other Keswick MRT Search Dogs), was laid to rest in the Search Dogs Graveyard in Whinlatter, close to one of the current training areas. Mick went on to train Mist as her replacement.
Mac, a border collie, was adopted by Elly after being found abandoned and half starved on a beach when he was young. He was a real gentleman and loved playing with his fluorescent frisbees. Elly and Mac started training in March 2005 and began their assessments in Summer 2006. Elly and Mac graded at Coombe Ghyll in March 2007. During his career Mac located several people, but his most memorable search was on Skiddaw in a full winter storm where he found an elderly woman close to death. He retired in 2010, and passed away in 2015 after a long illness.
Mick started training Mist (known as ‘The Ratter’) in 1999, grading 18 months later. Although she sustained a spinal injury this diminutive collie/terrier cross was a stalwart of the SARDA teams and attended many callouts over the years – resulting in some very successful finds. She worked for a while with Ginny, her replacement, in a duo known as the “Gruesome Twosome”, because of the noise they could generate between them. Retired in November 2009, Mist then had a secondary career of destroying squeaky training toys when Mick was assessing! She died of heart failure in October 2013, aged 15. Ginny took over as Mist’s replacement.
Mike and Comet graded as a team in the Winter of 2000, following a final assessment in white-out conditions in Coire an Lochan (Cairngorms). Comet, a red Border Collie, began his training with Mike whilst he was a member of Dartmoor MRT in 1997. During the years, Comet made many finds and was also known as ‘lucky’! Mike was the Training Officer for SARDA Lakes 2004-6, and went on to train Moss. He is now the Team Leader of Patterdale MRT.