Tucson Medical Center will greatly miss Ax, our 95-pound sable shepherd who served as a member of the K9 Unit since 2009.
Ax was all business when doing what he was trained to do: serving as an important security function on TMC’s 116-acre campus.
But when he was released from that role, the 9-year-old shepherd served as an ambassador for the hospital, charming patients as an unofficial member of the pet therapy team. He also was an ambassador in the community, accompanying his handler, TMC Security Supervisor Jim Myers, on career days at local schools.
Ax died last week of a stomach ailment.
“Ax was not only a wonderful addition to the security team at TMC, but was part of our extended family,” said TMC Security Director William Fleming, extending condolences to Myers and his son, George, for their loss.
“We also want to thank Jim for his hard work, love and dedication to his partner. There is a special bond that comes with this work that only a select few have the opportunity to experience – but that is also what makes this a particularly difficult time.”
Ax came from the Czech Republic, and his commands remained in that language. And while Ax could become a blur of fur at a single command, he was a playful dog, who enjoyed a game of ball and would kindly defer to the mean cat at home who liked to be the boss.
He will be greatly missed.