Sir Burke, also known as Burkes, is a yellow Labrador Retriever, recently accepted from the Southside SPCA of Virginia into our Forked River shelter. Burkes is not just any Lab — he is a trained service dog. He has boundless energy, a true focus and a desire to work. However, when Burkes developed problems with his hips, he was unable to work.
When we heard of his plight, we wanted to help. As a result, a volunteer from the Southside SPCA drove Burkes up to our Forked River facility, sharing our hopes of finding him a home and a job. We have already X-rayed his hips again, confirming the same problems found earlier. Burkes is now being evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon to see what the best course of treatment will be. We will post additional updates to the web site as we know more about how we can best help Sir Burke.
Below is the article that caught AHS’ staff’s attention:
Working Dog seeks Employment:
Sir Burke’s story - Sir Burke is a yellow Lab who came to us as a 6-month old puppy from a woman who said he was just too much dog for her. Alert and active, he went into the SOS-PenPals program and earned his Canine Good Citizen award. He was selected for training as a service dog by the prison system, and had his hips X-rayed prior to entry. After several months of training he developed a limp and was returned so we had him X-rayed again, both of his hips were not in their sockets properly.
Poor Burkes is a working dog, he's not your average family pet. He's focused and ready to work. He doesn't bother with the fu-fu - love me, love me behaviors - he's serious. He has boundless energy, and we're hoping there's a place for him somewhere that can put him to work - if his hips can handle it somehow. One of our volunteers shared this experience about Burkes - it was just too amazing to ignore!
"Burkes was his usual self at PETsMART Sat 3/17/07. He lay alert and calm in his crate, just waiting for his call to duty. He would come out of the crate and act so anxious we thought he had to potty; instead he wanted to work the parking lot. I walked him around the cars and he showed a slight interest in one car (paws up on the bumper) but moved on quickly. Then, at the end of the row he froze then sat perfectly still at the corner of a new-looking Blue Kia Spectra. He definitely said `there's something right here.'
"I went inside and told the other volunteers Burkes just signaled drugs in a car. A woman filling out an application said "Not a Blue Kia?" and looked worriedly at her husband. I said, yes. She explained they had just bought the car, and her husband is retired law enforcement. If there were drugs in it they wanted to know! So he and I walked Burkes through the rows of cars again. Same response, slight interest in the one car (paws up on the bumper) but moved on quickly, finally coming to attention at the exact same spot by the Kia. He opened the trunk and said to let him in. Burkes jumped in (on top of a ton of purchases and some wrapped gifts) and in the corner where he had stopped he pawed at an old plastic container.
"The ex-postal inspector said it was an old homemade first aid kit. He opened it and started showing items to Burkes, a sterno can, small stack of gauze in a bag with a brown bottle (iodine?), scissors, etc. Burkes seemed most interested in the bag of g auze, by not touching it. He explained that this first aid kit was put together years ago by a friend who they knew had been "dabbling" in marijuana. Fortunately no big drug bust in order (what a relief!) Not bad for a rookie nose with an untrained handler!"