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MCLB working dog retires

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

MCLB-ALBANY -- In her years of service, Cindy has proven she has what it takes to serve her country.

Now she will get to live the life of a retiree.

Cindy, a Dutch shepherd who has served as a civilian working dog aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany for three years, was retired and adopted by her former handler Monday.

Cindy, a 5-year-old former explosive detection dog, was put into retirement after a training accident last year resulted in her suffering a broken leg that left her unable to continue her duties with the installation's K-9 unit.

While in rehabilitation, it was then determined that she couldn't go back to full service, according to Angela Dunwoodie, the base's kennel master.

In her time as a working dog, Cindy outperformed two odor detection machines at Camp Lejeune, N.C. during a Navy evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the machines in comparison to that of military working dogs.

She has also served on two security details for President Obama as well as several details for former President Jimmy Carter.

Cindy has now been adopted by Jon Reynolds, a military working dog handler at Camp Lejeune that served as the dog's handler before being re-assigned.

"I'm honored to get Cindy," Reynolds said. "She will have a nice place by the fire.

"As a dog handler, you have a lot of dogs that you handle -- but few of which you have a bond with. (With Cindy) it's not just a handler relationship. It's a bond."

When word got out that Cindy was being adopted out, there were a number of people interested in taking her. As soon as Reynolds heard of the dog's accident, he immediately put his name in the pot.

"My intent was to have her the week after I (started training with) her," Reynolds said.

Reynolds left Albany nine months ago. When Cindy was reunited with her former handler, it was as if they were never apart.

"(Cindy and Reynolds) have a long history of working together," said MCLB-Albany Police Chief Randy Jack. "Everyone in this community knows this dog will be taken care of."

Cindy is expected to continue her rehabilitation exercises, officials with the kennel said Monday.

In order to adopt a working dog, there is an application that the potential owner has to fill out -- and the dog has to be deemed adoptable by a veterinarian. There is another dog at the base's kennel that is expected to be retired and adopted out in the coming weeks.

Generally, MCLB's working dogs are adopted out when they are considered unable to perform their duties either due to training difficulties or medical reasons. For most dogs, this happens at 10-12 years of age.