Those of you who know me or who have read this blog for awhile will remember Jesse, the funny, enthusiastic service-dog trainee we puppy-raised for Pacific Assistance Dogs. As dogs with character go, he has more than a heaping helping, but along with clowns come sad faces ... or so they say.
Just before Christmas we discovered that Jesse had flunked out of the service dog training program, which he'd been accepted into on a probationary basis. Smart as a whip, supremely self-confident and physically far more capable than your average Lab, he nonetheless has obedience issues (the kind where you have to chill out and hold a command) and getting-along-with-other-male-dogs issues. Not such a good temperament for placidly and consistently serving disabled people.
But wait! No sad faces here! I always suspected that with his energy, drive and super sniffer he might make a good narcotics detection dog, so I wasn't surprised to hear he'd gone to a training facility in Washington state after he was excused from the program. We were really looking forward to having him home for Christmas, but that was not to be. And then today I recieved this note:
Jesse travelled to Florida last week and is training with a company down there as a new type of detection dog for Florida prisons - a cell phone detection dog! Apparently the biggest contraband problem they're having in the prisons now is people smuggling in cell phones which prisoners use to keep in touch with their gangs on the outside and also to coordinate illicit activities on the inside, such as keeping tabs on where in the prison guards are positioned. The dogs search cells and inmates looking for these phones.There are currently only 2 trained dogs in Florida but the department of corrections is looking for more.
Remember: you heard it here first. I'm so proud of my tough guy! Fingers crossed.