In 2009, things were not looking too good for Joe – he was unwanted and surrendered to a dog shelter. Fortunately at the same time, Phil Shaw was looking for a canine addition to the Avisure wildlife management team to help out GC airport with bird strikes. So dog trainer Craig Murray taught Joe to chase birds in return for playing chase with a ball. Joe got a second chance at life and Avisure got a unique new work mate.
Joe quickly became a much loved and reliable member of the Avisure team, and he became a very special mate to his partners Martin Ziviani and Catherine Austin. He was determined and focused, he chased birds fast, he chased balls fast and he ate his food very very fast. He was friendly to all humans and few dogs, loyal and obedient to those who knew his language, and above all very intelligent. Joe gave 100% when directed to disperse birds, despite having no interest in them, he only wanted his reward – a ball to chase. He was very good at the job he loved and a joy to work with.
Joe was the first bird dispersal dog to work on an Australian airport, he went on to successfully disperse thousands of birds and patrol many kilometres of grassland and creek banks. Joe quickly became a duck specialist, he not only loved doing the work but got a bonus swim along the way, and of course a chase of the ball at the end of a job well done.
After over 7 years of loyal service with Avisure, Joe has chased his last ball – he died suddenly on Sunday, a great loss for his partners and their families and all his other mates. He will be sadly missed by us all.