Thursday, April 24, 2008

Love a K-9 Public Servant

K-9 recertification for explosives detection took place on my campus this week. Thirty-eight dog teams from the United States and Canada arrived on Monday morning for a four-day trial. A nice treat for a dog lover!



The dogs tested separately because the majority of them are unneutered male alphas who love a fight but these two seemed to get along quite well. Handlers became acquainted and enjoyed new friendships during their stay here.


While they waited for their call, the dogs lounged in the police cruisers and personal vans. Always in their alert mode, the parking lot was noisy enough to frighten a few students.


All of the dogs are trained in search and rescue, drugs detection, and personal protection, as well as explosives and like all other public servants, they need yearly recertification. Searching for bombs is a game for them and they do it very well. It’s their playtime!

Oh, how I would have loved to hug such remarkable, obedient dogs but we all knew to hold back and not interfere with a tense dog and its owner.


Most were German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers. I met a new breed this week - a Belgian Malinois, who resembles a German Shepherd but is smaller and sleeker and with a personality similar to a Jack Russell Terrier. A wild look in his eyes – this dog is focused and intense. He requires firm handling by his owner as this working breed is primarily bred for police work. Sharp as a tack, too. I kept my distance.


He didn’t quite qualify for seeing-eye but he did qualify for tobacco and alcohol. Now he’s up for bombs. Sweet.



A wide, open field is a playground for them and they linger only a bit, nose to the ground. Their task is to locate the black box. When they detect an explosive, they sit to confirm they found the prize and remain seated until the handler releases them.


Well done! After every detection, the handler gives praise and a favorite toy. No Bil-Jack liver treats for these dogs!


Relax. Down. Stay. Wait. Spoken in German.


Waiting for a shot at it...


Receiving last minute instructions.


Free to explore and roam but can be stopped and called back instantly. They obey, even on a rabbit chase. Hard to believe, isn't it?



She whispered and encouraged him to do well.


He flew from Montreal on Sunday.


Can you see the love? Need I say more?

Wonderful dogs and owners. They serve, protect, save lives, and love their families and homes. Couch potatoes? Sometimes, yes. Most of all, they love the work. It’s the work and praise they crave most of all.





Always attentive to her master,

and looking for a prize in the back pocket.


I came home from work to greet the Licker Sisters.

So, girls! What did you do today? Did you work hard?


We don’t have job descriptions.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Seeing these dogs in training makes me think about how I should do some training with Luna. However she is more like the Licker Sisters. She doesn't like to be bothered with training. She doesn't mind doing a sit or down for a treat tho.

It was good to see the Lickers.

Unknown said...

I absolutely looooooooove all those doggie photos. My favorite is the first of the dog and the female officer. It reminds me of my Lily with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth :-)

I'm with you and Lisa. My dogs are much more like the Licker Sisters. Doggie kisses are so sweet ~ especially after a long day's work!

beckie said...

Your campus does the most interesting things. Didn't you have some other police training a while back. I would have loved to have a lawn chair, to sit, and to watch all day. Wonderful post, Mary. It should make us appreciate the time and patience it takes to train these dogs in such a valuable service.

Can I borrow Chloe? I need some toad work done.

Carol Michel said...

It's too bad you couldn't get a little closer to those dogs... what would the lovely Licker Sisters have done if they smelled another dog on you?

Great pictures, great post, I love well-trained dogs like that.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Naturegirl said...

Mary I loved seeing these working dogs..I had the pleasure to witness one in action several years ago and yes their Masters are their teachers and love each other...Great closeup shots!!
ahhh yours have a job too and that is to melt your heart!!hugs NG
BTW..nice sexy mama ..your portrait photo!! xo

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Mary! I would have loved to have been present for this event. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures. I bet Bella and Chloe can do anything that those big dogs can do (if they wanted to)....LOL


Susan Gets Native said...

Dogs are amazing.
Some can sniff out explosives.
Some can sniff out termites.
Some can sniff out cancer.
Some can sniff out diabetic shock.
Some can sniff out seizures about to happen.

And yours and mine hold down the couch.

Debbie said...

Wonderful photos of the dogs and handlers, Mary! What a fun day that must have been watching them all in action.

I love your Liker Sisters...very cute.

PS-thanks for the camera info! :-)

Unknown said...

That is pretty awesome Mary.
Every time you post about the academy I think of my sister when she went to the state police academy here in PA.

Anonymous said...

Truly amazing!

The Atom said...

AMAZINGLY CUTE!!! though maybe it won't b d right adjective but all animals r cute n innocent 4 me!!

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

How wonderful! My dogs are currently unemployed as well, but they sure did enjoy the photos ;)

Jayne said...

That's so fascinating to see how well they are trained. Your girls have their own talents... ahem! :c)

Kerri Farley said...

Oh a Fabulous Post, Mary! Those dogs are awesome! And your dogs too, of course!

Peg Silloway said...

You did it again, Mary. Roped me in with your words and pictures of those wonderful dogs. Right until the end when I hooted and dissolved in a puddle of laughter. Wonderful post!

Elaine Cougler Author said...

Oh, Mary, I'm not a dog lover but your post is excellent. I'm going to send the link to someone who has talked about doing this kind of policing. Great pictures, showing the personalities of the dogs.

dguzman said...

Wow, those dogs are HUGE! The company I work for sells the "pseudo-scents" they use to train the dogs; the chemicals have names like "pseudo corpse scent" and "pseudo drowning victim scent" and "pseudo heroin scent"--hee hee.

Susan Gets Native, "holding down the couch" is an important job too!

Anonymous said...

Mary, The Licker Sisters do so have a job description, and that's "Show Business Personalities!" They sure do entertain all of us.

JeanMac said...

Mary, thanks for the lovely picks - showed my man. He still misses our Shepherd from years ago - he really enjoyed your post.

Cheryl said...

Wonderful dogs Mary...always a pleasure to see them training.

Still got a soft spot for those two boston terriers though!!!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Your campus does great work. The canine patrol on any force is important. These are beautiful dogs. Thank you. I do not think I have ever thought very much about the canine patrol units.
Your girls are too cute for bomb sniffing.... too dangerous. What if a bad guy was about? The girls need to be home to keep an eye on the hummers!
Love seeing what your weather is on your sidebar. Nice addition!

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! The pictures, of course, are great. There were some handsome dogs there. I wouldn't have been able to contain myself. I would have tried to pet them. Their handles were handsome too. Lisa

Rose said...

Bella and Chloe do have jobs--they entertain us!
I have seen a K-9 unit in action when they have come to our school for random drug searches. They truly are amazing animals

KGMom said...

Ha ha, Mary. Your dogs work? I don't think so.
Love the portraits of the working dogs, and the portrait of your girls.

Mel said...

Great post!
Those wonder dogs look amazing, but my favourites are Bella and Chloe, always!

Anonymous said...

Happy is our official squirrel patrol. Not a single squirrel can set foot on the premises without her knowing about it. Tito is training himself on bumblebee eradication. Doubtful that good things will come from that, but as long as he's happy, who am I to stand in the way of his career?

Nora said...

I never know where you will take me ...on what journey I will embark here at Mary's View...I loved this one of the dogs..beautifully written and great photos also...cheers.

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, great post. Beautiful dogs, hilarious ending. But isn't their job description to provide love and humor for Mary?

Sherry at the Zoo said...

These dogs make it look so easy. I love this post. It makes me think there is hope in potty-training Victoria.LOL!

RuthieJ said...

What a great post Mare! I loved seeing those dogs. It's a tough life for those dogs and the handlers with working and training every day. But those dogs are truly amazing.
But none of those dogs were as cute as Bella and Chloe and aren't you glad that you can hug and kiss them?!

PJ said...

Oh, that last picture says it all! Your Pampered pooches! Dog with jobs- priceless post! love it!