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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Former handler adopts partner, civilian police working canine

By Marti Gatlin | | March 17, 2011

Relaxing on a couch by a fireplace will be one member of the Marine Corps Police Department’s Civilian Police Working Dogs Section’s new home after serving as a patrol and explosives detection canine here for at least three years.

Jon Reynolds, a former Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany kennel master, adopted Cindy, a 5-year-old Dutch shepherd, during a brief ceremony at the Base Corporal Dustin Jerome Lee Kennel, March 7.

The brindle-colored dog broke one of her back legs in June 2010 during a training exercise. A veterinarian at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, where the dog received her rehabilitation, determined Cindy could not return to full duty, according to Angela Dunwoodie, kennel master, Civilian Patrol Working Dogs Section.

Cindy went to rehabilitation last August and returned to MCLB Albany in December, Dunwoodie said, noting Reynolds will continue the dog’s rehabilitation at his home in North Carolina.

“She’s a lover,” Dunwoodie said as she held Cindy’s leash during the brief ceremony in which Reynolds adopted the canine. “She’s one of our (civilian patrol working dogs who) loves to be petted.”

Currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. as a civilian working dog handler, Reynolds served as Cindy’s first handler.

“Cindy is phenomenal animal,” he said. “It’s unfortunate about her accident. I am honored to be the one (who) gets to adopt her and take her home. She will have a nice place on a couch by a fireplace.”

In 2009 Cindy proved the worth of military working dogs by outperforming two odor detection machines at Camp Lejeune, Reynolds said. This test was part of a Navy evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the machines in comparison to that of military working dogs. Cindy has also served on two security details for President Barack Obama as well as several details for former President Jimmy Carter.

“Cindy and Jon have a long history of working together,” said Randy Jack, chief of police, Marine Corps Police Department. “Everyone in the community should know that this dog is going to be well taken care of because this dog has an affection for her former handler.”

Reynolds described the bond that developed between him and Cindy the moment he became her handler.

“As a dog handler and as your career progresses you have a lot dogs you deal with training-wise (and) handling-wise,” he said. “Every now and then you run into one that you just bond with. Almost like a mate - it’s a chemical reaction with the animal. We haven’t seen each other for about nine months and she still has this attraction toward me so you can see it’s far more than just a handler/dog relationship. It’s a bond and it’s going to last for a long, long time. She will strictly be a pet at my household.”

Not only will the canine have a nice place to relax she will also have two playmates - a chocolate Labrador and a Belgian Malinois.

“If she had gone full tour, maybe nine years in service and she was old and ready to be adopted that’s when I was hoping to get her, but now that’s happened a lot sooner, I’m very glad,” Reynolds said. “It was my intent to have her a week after I started training her. The bond was there a week after I had her.”