Last week we reported that one of our team’s K-9 candidates was scratched from the team. Now the search starts.
No,this is not a search for a missing person but instead the search starts for a new K-9 partner to start training. Newton’s family did decide to remain with the team and they started searching for a new dog. What happens now?
In their case, they already knew that they did not want a puppy. They preferred a re-purposed dog that would hopefully be around eighteen months to two years old. Knowing this the handler started asking around. We, the other team members, also started looking around and contacting other K-9 handlers to let them know of the search. It could take several months. It did.
There were many trips to the local animal shelter for dog evaluations. Often other team members would meet up and look at the dog in question to assist. There were emails back and forth and of course the use of Facebook for pictures and videos of dogs from states far away.
Finally, our team member was to the point were he was getting ready to drive to Texas or to New York. There was a Pitbull mix in Texas or a German Shepherd in New York. They had emailed, called, and watched videos of both dogs and were ready to make the trip either east or south to put “hands on” the dog and make the final decision. They decided to take a road trip to New York to look at the German Shepherd. I personally couldn’t blame him. To make things more interesting, a few days before they left, a dog of interest popped up in Ohio. So, they stopped there on the way.
You do what it takes. Yes, it seemed like a long process. Yes, it ended up in a long road trip. But, a search and rescue dog is something special. You don’t want the wrong dog.
To date our team member did make the jump and brought a new re-purposed K-9 home. But, you will have to wait for next week to meet the next K-9 candidate for our team.