Bandit The Search and Rescue Dog

Bandit (Juel’s Thief of Hearts, SAR, CGC, TDI, OFA) is a search and rescue dog owned and trained by Rob Schrader in New Jersey. Bandit and Rob are true heros – they even showed their honor and patriotism at the World Trade Center/Ground Zero after the September 11, 2001 attack. Here is Rob’s story.

Hello, My Name is Rob Schrader and I am the President of the Liberty K-9 Response tem located in New Jersey. I have a special story for you. Bandit came to me by accident. Yes an accident. I was interested in working in the K-9 Search & Rescue because I work with FEMA Dog Manager, Mr. Joe Ward who is now retired Battalion Chief of the Atlantic City Fire Department. He told me that what I was missing was a dog.

So, I began my search. I wanted a German Shepherd as my SAR partner. So I started soliciting different kennels from around the country. Some kennels were looking good, but I did not feel right. Some felt OK, but didn’t sound right. Then out of the blue I received an E-mail from a Ms. Judy Grumdahl, from Juel’s’ Pinehaven Kennels, she said she had no puppies available, but she had an 18 month old white German shepherd male that she would give me as long as I provided a good loving home and worked with him. After some dialog and providing numerous references and without checking with my wife, I agreed.

 What I did not know was that Bandit was a re-run. A re-run you say, yes, a family that originally got him kept him for only a few short months. They wanted a dog who would just sit quietly in the kennel in the back yard. And that definitely was NOT Bandit!

So he came back to Juel’s. She then contacted a sheriff’s department in St. Paul, MN. and Bandit was then given to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department where he received the “Kings” treatment. He was trained in bite work, criminal tracking and some obedience. Given the best medical and dental care, but as fate has it, he failed at the shooting range. They could not have a K-9 Officer afraid of gunshots. (I was told he was a big baby).

So Bandit as they called him returned to his breeder again, Judy Grumdahl who found me. I agreed to take Bandit. He was shipped to me via air and I picked him up in Philadelphia International Air Port. That was where we met. Those brown eyes, I saw something in them. From that instant on, we have been together. My buddy, my partner, my friend.

I promised myself, Bandit and Ms. Grumdahl that I would work with Bandit, love him and honor him. In return, Bandit has reached the peak in SAR tracking /Trailing. We now belong to the Liberty K-9 Response Team located in New Jersey where Bandit has been on numerous searches. Fate is a small word that is gigantic in meaning. All those people that kept giving Bandit back to Ms Grumdahl, my e-mails, my work and Bandit came together for a reason. He has done his breeder proud, he has done his breed proud, he has made me what we are today, a team, partners for life.

- submitted by Rob Schrader