She passed away this week at the age of 14.
A little bit about a super cool dog:
Before I ever met Henny, she'd already had a storied start to life. She was born in Smithtown, NY to the Guide Dog Foundation as they hoped she would become a seeing eye dog. Well, Henny had many awesome traits but waiting patiently under a table or not chasing some smart-ass cat across the street were not some of them. She was quickly fired from that job. Before getting canned however, Henny's first year of life was spent with a super loving family in NJ. They took Henny to many awesome places like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks.
ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) quickly grabbed up Henny in the hopes that she could make it as an Arson or Bomb dog.
I first met Henny in February of 2006 in Front Royal, VA. We would spend the next six weeks living and working together to become an "Accelerant Detection K9" or Arson Dog Team. At 13 months old, Henny was the youngest dog in her class of 8. She was small and full of "The Crazy". The first night we spent in our motel room was a bit rough. She kept taking my shoes or socks and jumping up onto the table... She soon became accustomed to sharing the bed with me. When my future wife Michelle first came to visit us, Henny decided there was no room on the bed for her, kicking her in mouth and wondering when she'd be going back home...
Henny and I made many life long friends through the ATF program. Henny excelled at class and graduated with no issues (except that she was still crazy). During the graduation ceremony she ran so hard towards her friend Tony that she almost yanked me right out of my chair! Her puppy family even made the trip to our graduation to see their girl one last time.
Henny and I flew home to Seattle where her life widened to include a brother dog (Red) and lots of work friends.
Henny worked in the Fire Investigation Unit of the Seattle Fire Department for just over 5 years. In that time she investigated over 110 fires. She did this work not only for the Seattle Fire Department but also for our friends and coworkers all over Washington State. Henny always loved going to work and never refused to get out of bed when somebody called and needed her help. She was the important resource, I was just her driver and leash holder.
Henny bounding through the field like the crazed girl she is.
Henny wasn't just a good worker but she was also a great friend and family dog. Being a lab, she was always always hungry, always under foot and always in the kitchen. She never missed a family moment .
She was good with everyone and everything. Flying on a plane, riding in a car, swimming in a lake, meeting a class of kids... Henny was up for all of it.
She also loved gaining a human sister (Jill) in 2008. She was always wherever Jill was, and Jill's first word was "dog."
In her youth Henny would never miss an opportunity to chase a ball, frisbee, or an unlucky cat who would cross her path. One night she eyed a cat in the alley, broke through invisible fence and chased that dude for several blocks before I was able to catch her bad self.
Jill's first word was "Dog", and yes I still have that spatula. If you get bored
and need to see a dog, skip to the 44th second on this gem.
Henny making the best of a Pacific Northwest beach while on vacation.
Henny and Huck tearing up the yard!
In her retired years, Henny just kept going like an energizer bunny. She got a new dog brother in Huck. We took her to Florida, Oregon and California on vacations.
In her final years she became the face behind "FireDogPhotos", helping me with deliveries and letting me use her likeness on the logo.
I'm very lucky to have had such a great run with Henny for over 13 years, but also to have had so many awesome opportunities because of her. The people I met and worked with along the way were really terrific. ATF and Seattle Fire gave me a great gift and I'm forever grateful.
If all these photos weren't enough for you, you can see ALL of them at this page: https://arsondog31.smugmug.com/Steves-Stuff/Hennys-Collection/
Black Dogs Rule!