My Other Life: Shari Finger trains search and rescue dogs

Her “Darlin” Is A Do-Gooder . After viewing a news story on search and rescue dogs, says nail technician Shari Finger, “I knew right away that this was what I was meant to do.” Along with her golden retriever, Darlin, Finger is a member of the Illinois Search and Rescue K9 Rapid Response Unit. “I researched K9 training every way I could. I considered all different breeds, from border collies to German shepherds, but I came back to my favorite breed every time—the golden retriever,” says Finger, who owns Finger’s Nail Studios in W. Dundee, Ill. “I started training her at seven weeks. She’s so smart she can learn anything. When she was only nine months old, we applied to Illinois Search and Rescue.” Finger and Darlin train twice a month so they can handle any situation—from natural disasters to lost hunters. They even practice searching for cadavers. “I know. Yuck. But the faster you can find a person, the faster the family can have closure and the police can gather evidence,” says Finger.


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