Mountain rescue dog handler pays tribute to loyal pet

AN OLDHAM Mountain Rescue Team dog handler has paid a heartfelt tribute to his pet Jed, who died recently at the age of 13.

Dogs help the mountain rescue team find vulnerable missing people in the wild and remote places, among other duties.

Jed was named after the late OMRT crew member John Edwards and born in Scotland, just over the border between Hawick and Jedbrough.

Tony Tombs, who has spent all of Jed’s life with him, said: “The breeder had contact with one of the trainers in SARDA (Search & Rescue Dog Association) and so I went to visit.

“I described the characteristics I wanted in the dog and she said she understood exactly the requirements and, as it turned out, she was spot on.

“The qualities the breeder said would be there in Jed were present in abundance. He was bold, independent, tenacious and would work all day if you let him.

“I needed a dog with a spontaneous loud bark and boy did I get that! His indication (the bark) could be heard across the valley and fellside and wouldn’t stop until me, Jed and casualty were all united!”

Jed had a difficult start to life with a joint condition, which required two separate operations on his shoulders.

But he defied the odds and developed a strength which enabled him to cover all terrain.

“Jed graded in 2015 in the Brecon Beacons with a masterly performance in his assessments,” Tony added.

“I retired him a few years ago as the anticipated arthritis in his shoulders started to become apparent and also following a significant fall from a crag in the Lakes while training.

“Jed will be my last search dog, but what a privilege to have spent 13 years with him! RIP Jed… still on the hill.”

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