A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A DETECTION DOG IN LOCKDOWN
Sticking with the lockdown theme and having already interviewed our Director of Specialist Services and one of our Handlers, we thought it only fair (and appropriate) to check in on one of our detection dogs, to see what she is getting up to in a typical day on lockdown.
Holborn is a 13 month old, cocker spaniel that does explosives detection for her day job. Here is what she told us:
06:30 – I hear the bathroom light switch on. The human appears, opens the back door and lets me outside. He follows me round for a while with a plastic bag covering his hand. I complete three perimeter patrols of the garden, chase away next doors cat, water the new plant that arrived yesterday and then head back inside.
07:00 – The human puts on his coat and shoes. He picks up my lead and we are off to the park….woo hoo! Today we are going in the van. The human opens the back door and waits for me to get in. I know he has some tasty treats in his pocket (he always does!). He’s going to have to work for it, if he wants me in that van. Minutes pass, he eventually sprinkles a few treats in the back. I’m in the van like a flash. His conditioning is coming on, but needs a little more work, he will learn in time.
07:15 – At the park, the human lets me off the lead, and I’m gone in a flash. I can hear him shouting my name, but this is way too much fun…..look squirrel! As soon as I reach the furthest point in the park, my tummy rumbles and it’s time for a quick toilet stop. I can see the human hurriedly making his way over, frantically trying to get a plastic bag out of his pocket. Too slow, I’m gone. He spends the next 10 minutes searching on the floor, tutting and sighing.
07:25 – I strike gold and find a tennis ball in the bushes. I pester the human until he gives in and throws the ball for me. 372 throws later, he gives up. I need to work on his stamina, this is becoming a real problem.
08:15 – We are back at the van, he is quicker with the treats this time, my persistence is paying off.
09:15 – Start breakfast.
09:16 – Finish Breakfast and time for a well earned snooze.
10:00 – The human tells me I look a right state. He starts to drag a bristly thing with a handle through my ears. I quite like this, it makes me want to dance. I go round and round, up and down, much to the annoyance of the human. It takes him ages to finally admit defeat. As he walks away, I see a small pile of twigs and leaves on the floor. He really should tidy that mess up.
10:30 – The human is walking round the garden, looking in the borders. He has clearly lost something important. I decide to help him out and dig three dozen holes around his favourite shrubs. I can’t seem to find what he is looking for. Oh well, I will try again tomorrow.
11:00 – I need another snooze after all that digging.
11:45 – We are back in the garden. I can smell treats hidden in his pocket….sniff…..oh my, it’s hot dog sausage! I need them. The human wants to play a game of Simon Says. He starts with “sit”. I park my bottom faster than you can say “Leptospirosis”, one treat down. Next he says “down”. I like to make him work for this one, and stay put. Two “downs” later and I throw myself on the floor….”give me that sausage”. It’s now time to walk up and down next to the human. I find it hard to concentrate with this one. He puts the lead on and says “heel”. As he sets off walking, a small piece of hot dog sausage is wafted above my nose. I can’t resist and follow the sausage. As he turns, I see Squirrel Nutkins jump from a tree onto one of the fence panels, how dare he. Just as I’m about to go over there and sort him out, the delicious sausage is wafted in front of me. I’m not letting that sausage out of my sight, so I follow.
12:30 – The human sits outside with a plate full of food. It’s clearly for me, but he seems reluctant to hand it over. I make numerous suggestions that he should send it my way, but he isn’t listening. I know he will need to go inside soon. I just need to bide my time. I will wait here under the table. Off he goes into the house, like lightning, I’m up on that table troughing a full ploughmans. By the time he gets back I’m at the other end of the garden pretending not to look. I can hear shouting. I’m not sure what’s happened.
13:30 – I’m exhausted after that heavy lunch, he really should go easy on the mayo. Time for a nap.
14:30 – I can hear a quacking noise coming from inside the house. I run in to see what all the fuss is about. The human has got a hold of my favourite toy, Mr Duck. He proceeds to wave him around the kitchen. “Get off my toy, he’s mine”! I dive onto the human and pull Mr Duck out of his hand. I run to the end of the garden and lay down with him for a cuddle and a chew. How am I going to stop the human from stealing Mr Duck? I know, I will bury him next to these beautiful, prize winning roses. Job done.
15:30 – The little human comes outside to play. She sits on the floor and gives me cuddles. I like her and offer her some belly to tickle. This lasts at least an hour.
16:30 – All that tickling has made me snoozy, nap time.
17:30 – The human comes outside with something in his pocket. It’s a tennis ball…woo hoo! Play time. We play ball for a while, stopping every now and again so I can give it a good chew.
18:30 – Start dinner
18:31 – Finish dinner.
19:00 – The human fluffs my pillow and bed, there is an excellent turndown service at this Inn.
19:10 – Bedtime, wow what a day. Goodnight y’all!
PS: If I can’t sleep, I can always switch on my new Netflix account. Some of my doggy friends tell me that ‘Show Dogs’ is on at the moment and it’s supposed to be awesome…zzzzz