In Memory of
Richard "Mike" Sergeant
A veteran of Southeast Asia, Mike began his work training attack, narcotics and search and rescue dogs for the U.S. Air Force. Since his honorable discharge, Mike has spent the last 40 years of his life training service dogs for the disabled. He was instrumental in establishing Southeast Guide Dogs, Inc. and over the years, Mike quickly became one of the most respected experts in the service dog world. Mike’s lifelong dream was to establish a non-profit organization and in 2011, his dream was realized. Mike was instrumental in founding K9 Navigators Assistance Dogs, Inc. and was determined to provide service dogs to our nation’s most deserving population – the veterans who gave so much defending the freedoms we enjoy today.
Mike committed his life to this cause and we are deeply saddened by his passing. Our friend and colleague had a tremendous purpose. As it says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. As an organization, we will continue Mike’s work through K9 Navigators Assistance Dogs, Inc. In this moment of great tragedy on that fateful day of his passing, we want to remind you that Mike was not alone in his dream. Our organization remains dedicated to our founding principles as it says in James 1:17 that "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming from the Father in heaven, who will never change”. As an organization that is deeply saddened by Mike’s loss, we want to remind our industry partners, supporters, recipients and friends as we continue to move forward that our vision is the same. Our Service Dog Training department has been incredible. Mike was dedicated to forming relationships and always trying to bring people together. Our other service dog trainer with K9 Navigators has stepped up tremendously and we are fulfilling our continued service commitments to our recipients for the remainder of 2016.
With the outpouring of support from individuals who loved Mike as much as we did, we are in the process of continuing Mike’s dreams of expanding our training department. Mike was a visionary. Always looking towards the future for K9 Navigators Assistance Dogs, Inc. and we are looking forward to continuing his vision!
"Patience is key! K9 Navigators believes the person is to be the Alpha Leader of Team Concept matching a Dog with humans. The dog must always realize the master is in charge. This makes for a happy, well controlled dog that willingly performs tasks for the master. We believe repeat, repeat and more repeat, patience, and love and with just the right amount of humane discipline are the proper way to train a dog. We initially use food training to motivate a dog and then as the dog learns, praise is the motivation."
- Richard "Mike" Sergeant