12/12/04 - 6/5/22
Sheera retired from US Customs & Border Protection in 2012 after working for several years at the CA/Mexico border. She was retired to her handler, but he was unable to keep her. He tried several homes, but it wasn't working out. Mike, another handler who works with her handler, stepped in to help find her a home. She was dog aggressive especially with little dogs. She was sassy, stubborn, and not an easy dog.
I was ecstatic to be chosen for Sheera's retirement home. She was my first Belgian Malinois and my very first retired working dog. I spent a lot of time slowly working with her to get along with other dogs. At times she was a handful, but she was my sidekick, and we became best friends. She would follow me everywhere and would always be found by my side. I would often ask myself how I could be worthy of such
I started realizing how many more of these dogs were out there that needed a place to retire. So I started a retirement home and took in a few retired working dogs that had medical and behavioral issues which made them less likely to be adoptable. I wanted to give them a safe place to go after years of working. Because of Sheera, I started K9 Hero Haven, a non-profit working dog rescue in August of 2015. Through Sheera's legacy, we have adopted over 350 retired working dogs into homes. We were able to save close to 500 retired working dogs between the retirement center and the kennel.
Sheera became one of the best ambassadors for K9 Hero Haven. We visited schools, churches, and nursing homes. We attended so many events in the 10 years of her retirement life. She slept in bed with me and loved going on outings while her health was good.
Over the last 10 years of her life, she survived spindle cell cancer of her front leg, had a perforated ulcer in which she became septic due to the medication form the cancer, survived bloat, and also had 2 surgeries for tumors. She fought and beat everything. I have never seen such strength. She was a true fighter. It was why I always felt there was nothing better than a female Belgian Malinois for strength, endurance, and protectiveness.
Towards the end of her days she had her physical and her lab work was good but nearer to the end, Sheera started to deteriorate. She started with neurological issues with her back legs, difficulty holding herself up, and she was unable to stand on her own. The call was made on June 5, 2022 to let her pass with dignity and grace as she was starting to struggle.
She passed away in my arms looking at me. I wanted to be the last person she saw after spending 10 retirement years together. I couldn't believe she was 17.5 years old and even with her medical issues, the only thing that seemed to calm her was to lay by my side.
Thank you for your service K9 Sheera and for being my best friend for the last 10 years. Fly high above the clouds without pain. You were dearly loved and will be greatly missed by everyone who knew you, especially me. I promise you that you will never be forgotten. May your legacy live on.
You were a good girl.
Rest easy my sweet, beautiful girl.