Thursday, May 15, 2008

National Peace Officers Memorial Day - May 15

Today is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. First signed into law by President John F. Kennedy, National Police Week is every May and yet we rarely year about this special acknowledgment of our hard working men and women in law enforcement.

Nor do we often hear about their K-9 comrades. Do we ever stop and consider the important work that these incredible canines do? Police dogs are a huge part of law enforcements efforts to keep law abiding citizens safe. They do amazing things and perform great acts of heroism and yet are often overlooked in their valor.

Police Dog Training

Every time I see a K9 police car I smile. I know how special these dogs are. Not any dog can become a successful police dog. I know mine wouldn’t pass the test.

When I volunteered at the local shelter we’d have people come in to test the dogs to see if they had the characteristics necessary for police work. It wasn’t a difficult test. I remember so clearly one time a man coming in with a yellow tennis ball. He held the ball in front of each kennel and see what the dogs reaction was. If the dog focused on the ball intently it would be taken out to the play area for some more interaction. What a great way to save these dogs from an uncertain future! There are so many unwanted dogs and training some for police work is a much better result than the alternative.

While we celebrate the protection that officers provide us every day, let’s take a few moments to also honor their K-9 partners. They work, sacrifice, and give their lives in the line of duty.

“The Working Dog”

My eyes are your eyes,
To watch and protect yours.

My ears are your ears ,
To hear and detect evil minds in the dark.

My nose is your nose,
To scent the invader of your domain.

And so you may live, my life is also yours.

Author Unknown

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