BARKER Larry Allen
“Crickett”, AFFA, May 12, 1947 – March 18, 2017.
“Our furry friends never leave us; they just stay on our shoulders to guard and protect us. And when too many of them are gone and they weigh our shoulders down, it is time for us to go be with them.” (Jim Tsitanidis, Spirit Ridge K9 Training & Rescue)
Larry was a variety of things to many people, but most will remember him as “the dog man” due to his long-time involvement with dogs. It began in the U.S. Air Force as a sentry dog handler in Vietnam, continued through being a 4-H Dog Care & Training leader for 25 years, and segued to being involved with canine search and rescue, as well as training others and becoming a certifying official for “L.E.T.S.” (Law Enforcement Training Specialists, Inc., a national canine certification organization). Along the way, he also raised several litters of Leader Dog puppies, taught puppy classes as a member of the Southern Michigan Obedience Training Club, and was a founding member of the Tri-State K-9 Search & Rescue Team. He was a mentor to many, considered to be our own “dog whisperer”, and was always willing to lend a helping hand or offer advice.
Larry was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and lived in Waterford at the time of his passing. He worked for Pontiac Motors for over 30 years, and spent his retirement time with his beloved dogs, doing search work, attending and teaching at canine seminars, working on cars, and reflecting back on his many years of being involved with (and at one time racing) motorcycles. He was also proud to be a life member of the Avengers Motorcycle Club.
The family wishes to thank those who were there when needed, often when we didn’t realize we needed help, as well as the staff of The Medical Team/Hospice Division.
Larry has finally crossed the Rainbow Bridge to join the 4-footed family members that were patiently waiting. He leaves behind his wife, Deborah; sister Patricia; a nephew and nieces; and their children; as well as the last “good shepherds to watch over him”.
Family will receive friends Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 3:00-5:00 and 7:00-9:00 PM at our SASHABAW LOCATION.
Graveside service Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 2:00 PM at Great Lakes National Cemetery, Holly.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Leader Dogs for the Blind or Tri-State K-9 Search & Rescue, 4232 Clintonville Road, Waterford, MI 48329.
James Stewart, O.D.
Dear Debbie, and Larry's family and friends. I am saddened by the loss of our brother Vietnam dog handler. I have fond memories of our times together.
Larry you will be missed. You left some big shoes to fill in the dog training community.
Rest In Peace Larry. You have taught & touched so many SAR handlers. May you run free with your K9's at Rainbow Bridge! ???????
Deepest and most heartfelt sympathies on the loss of this wonderful man.
I am so grateful for the chance to have met and worked with this legendary trainer. And tho this dog world has lost a great teacher those that have gone before us will celebrate a great reunion with their human-dog friend.
Thank you for all you did for us here, Larry.
BARRY AFFA DETROIT
TOUGHTS & A PRAYER 4 U, FAMILY, FRIENDS, BROTHERS.
GOOD MAN 4 SURE!
CYA ON THE OTHERSIDE.
Philip A Marcil, Capt (Ret) Muskegon Co SO
Debbie and Larry's family I am saddened to hear of brother Larry's passing. We served together at the Cat in 1968 in the K9 Section. Please accept my condolences.
Nancy M vonKoehnen
Larry will be remembered by many as he touched so many in many ways. I am proud to have called him my friend for so many years. My truest and deepest sympathies to his family.
Larry...you were one very special human being. Over the years, you were more than a mentor and instructor to me. You were a friend. You will be dearly missed and I'm grateful for wonderful memories of dog work with you. With much love.
Melinda and K9 Peter
Larry, thanks for all you contributed to SAR.... I remember many good times training dogs and sharing sweet memories of K9's past and present. I know you are with your K9 partners waiti
ng at the Rainbow Bridge...and I bet all the dogs you have helped train are happy to see you again..??????
Kathy and Danny Holbert
Fair winds and Following Seas to you Larry, you have earned your place at the Captains table.
Rest in peace Larry! I will always remember our time together in Vietnam! K9 always!
Still waters run deep. Always kind and so generous in helping others. You earned a special place in the hearts of many! We will miss you forever and again. RIP.
My condolences to the family and loved ones. Larry had a big heart and will be missed, RIP my friend.
Oklahoma Heartland Chapter of the AFSFA
And Now We Say Goodbye
Great sadness fills our hearts today
as pipes and drums, in slow march play.
A comrade’s fallen by the way,
And now we say goodbye.
This hero to the very end
Was more than just a casual friend,
Who would a stranger’s life defend,
And now we say goodbye
But we shall cherish, all our days,
The character this life portrayed
With sacrifice so freely made,
And now we say goodbye.
The hand salute, o’er Stars and Stripes,
And distant skirl of highland pipes,
Give last farewell with hero’s rights,
And now we say goodbye.
While here on Earth, you gave your best.
Now in the Master’s arms you rest.
T’is by your memory we are blessed.
And now we say goodbye.
Howard Garrison Yates
@ July 2006
To Debbie and family: I was proud to have met and to have been "trained" by Larry. He always had great patience working with Kramer, Micah and me. He taught us more than anyone else ever did. I'm sure he is with them now, sending them on a track. He was a great guy to know. I will miss him.
Larry will be missed more than words can express. He was there any time he could be for those that needed him.
Debbie, I'm so sorry for your loss. Larry was a huge influence in my K-9 career. He gave everything he had for dog training. I enjoyed being able to bounce ideas off him, and valued his opinions all these many years later. He has left such a legacy, I think we will all feel his presence for years to come. He was special, and we all cherished him.
Cindy & Maggie Lundquist
Debbie, we are so saddened by your loss. Please know our thoughts and prayers are always with you.
The Search and Rescue world lost a friend,and partner, a mentor, a dog lover, a teacher. Thank you Larry for always treating me kind, you were a good man.
Thoughts and prayers to all the L.E.T.S members, they are considered Larry's family.
My condolences go out to his wife Debbie and his family.
Ron Swalwell Jr
RIP Cricket, prayers for your family and friends at this difficult time.
Dear Debbie and family,
Larry was my partner in dog training for many years. He taught me so much about dog training and dog behavior in general. Working with Larry was so enjoyable because he was so passionate about what he was doing. I have been missing him at class. Often I would ask myself, "what would Larry do/say?" He will be missed here by many two and four legged friends. RIP Larry.