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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Handler adopts partner, companion

By Marti Gatlin | | September 6, 2013


Romping around roughly four acres of land or just being a lazy 8- year-old Belgian Malinois became a new lifestyle Tuesday for one member of the Marine Corps Police Department’s Civilian Patrol Working Dogs Section.

Barros, a 60-pound patrol/drug detector dog, retired after seven years of service at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. Cpl. Christopher Gurr, one of his handlers, adopted him during a brief ceremony at the Corporal Dustin Jerome Lee Kennel.

Barros ruptured a disc in his back about four months ago and will have to take medication for the rest of his life. He was medically retired from active service, according to Lt. Angela Dunwoodie, kennel master, Civilian Police Working Dogs Section, Marine Corps Police Department, MCLB Albany. 

Following training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, Barros began his service here in December 2006. Only assigned here during his seven years, Barros conducted several narcotics searches to include random vehicle inspections, health and comfort searches at the barracks and local schools in Albany, Gurr said.

Gurr became the black, brown and gray colored dog’s handler in 2008 and portrayed his work partner, friend and companion as a “really good dog.”

“I have been a dog lover my whole life and being in the military working dog community you tend to get attached to these dogs,” he said. “You work with them all the time and they become more than just work partners. They become your friends and your companions. Barros was one of my first dogs I got to handle back in 2008, and (we) have really bonded over the years and grown closer to each other.

“For me to be able to take him home and allow him to have the retirement he deserves feels wonderful for me and my family,” Gurr added. “He’s going to be doing a lot of running around, being lazy and being able to be a dog instead of being put to work all the time. I’m excited and ready for him to come home.”

Day-to-day operations for Barros included being fed in the morning, working on random vehicle inspections, searching commercial vehicle gates as well as patrol dog training.

“Barros is what we like to call in the canine world a push-button dog,” Gurr said. “Barros knows his job to a T.”

Barros is not Gurr’s first military working dog adoption. A year and a half ago he adopted Brutus from here. Late last year Brutus passed away.

“Three people wanted to adopt (Barros and Gurr) had handled him the longest amount of time,” Dunwoodie said, noting that Barros was the last of the old crew of civilian patrol working dogs assigned here and in the past two and a half years, six dogs have been adopted.

Randy Jack, chief of police, Marine Corps Police Department, presented Gurr with a certificate for Barros’ distinguished service during Tuesday’s ceremony.

“Chris Gurr is one of our finest handlers and he has been with Barros for a long time,” Jack said. “(Barros) has earned his right to retire. Barros has been an outstanding Marine and has done his part to help keep us all safe.”