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Explosives detection canine retires, begins life of luxury

By Marti Gatlin | | March 24, 2011

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Her daily life changed from one of work to one of being a “best buddy,” March 17.

Boda, a 10-year-old German shepherd explosives detection dog, was adopted by her handler, Cpl. Tonette Gezzi, during a brief ceremony at the Corporal Dustin Jerome Lee Kennel, here. Boda developed cataracts and was medically retired from active service.

A civilian police working dog, Boda was first assigned to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in June 2003, according to Angela Dunwoodie, kennel master, Civilian Police Working Dogs Section, Marine Corps Police Department, MCLB Albany.

From March to September 2004 and February to March 2007, Boda was deployed to Iraq, Dunwoodie said.

During her service here, Boda also used her detection capabilities at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C.; at several Presidential security missions, Vice Presidential security missions and several missions in Plains, Ga., for President Jimmy Carter. Most recently, in Columbus, Ohio, Boda and Gezzi were assigned to Team One for President Barack Obama’s security detail.

Boda has had seven handlers since she’s been here and three of them were active-duty Marines, Dunwoodie added. Boda and her handler have been together since Gezzi was assigned here in July 2009.

“Boda is a really sweet dog,” Dunwoodie said. “She has a very good disposition. She likes to talk. She likes to bark.”

As Gezzi petted Boda during the ceremony, she described her relationship with her 63-pound canine partner.

“She’ll be my best buddy from now on,” the handler said. “She’s such a loving dog. I honestly cannot imagine walking into these kennels every day and not see her here, but fortunately it will be a rush to go home to see her and stay with her.”

“She’s a phenomenal dog not just with her explosives capabilities, but her relationship with other people,” she said.

Gezzi continued, “She’s got an amazing nose. She’s darn near close to 100 percent with her detection.”

Gezzi will continue to work with Boda on basic obedience, Dunwoodie said.

Gezzi, who has been a handler for three years, thanked the personnel in her department as well as Marines on base for loving Boda.

“It pleases me when we are able to adopt out one of our dogs to a handler. She does a very good job. She’s also been instrumental in actually finding some weapons, ammunition in vehicles,” said Randy Jack, chief of police, MCPD.


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