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Winda Vom Leerburg
December 31, 1999-March 28, 2014

Today I said goodbye to my canine partner of 14 years, Winda Vom Leerburg. She was an inspiring, highly motivated search and rescue dog with a career that spanned more than a decade and included many successful searches. She loved to search, and when she found what she was asked to, she loved to slam both front paws squarely on my chest!  She was a quick learner with a lot of drive. She showed me what focus and determination can produce. We shared a bond, and that bond produced a partnership like no other. Other search dog handlers will understand what that means.

Her most noteworthy search was following a 6 ½ mile track that was aged 24 hours to find a lost, hypothermic hunter. She worked that search for over 8 hours most of it in the dark, in snow and drizzling rain.

We shared a lot of adventures together along the way. Besides searching, we roamed the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness together. She was my backpacking, backcountry skiing and trail running partner. She was steady and trustworthy around all kinds of wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, bears and mountain goats. (Ok, maybe she wasn’t to be trusted around bunnies and squirrels!)

Winda received recognition for her accomplishments. She was featured in a cover article of Boy’s Life- Jan 2006, (, as well as an article in Magic City Magazine (May 2009). She got to meet President George W. Bush to receive an award.Winda, I miss you already. My heart aches. Free dog!