Search and rescue dog retires

POSTED: 11:45 PM PST Dec 23, 2013    UPDATED: 03:52 PM PDT Aug 11, 2013 
GOLETA, Calif. -

Santa Barbara County's Search and Rescue dog is hanging up his collar and leash.

12-year-old Blaze is retiring after several years of service.

The Border Collie formally entered retirement today at a ranch in Goleta where he trained with his handler Juanita Smith. Smith said, "I would like to say that I trained him, but he trained me."

Blaze started training for duty at the ripe young age of 10 weeks. He went on his first call at 2 years old. During his career, he assisted in 81 searches, in and out of the county.

His retirement leaves a big hole in the Search and Rescue Unit. The team will have to request search dogs from other areas, until Blaze's replacement puppy is up to speed.

Now that he has more time on his hands, Smith says Blaze is going to stay home and play with his toys.