Foxydogteam’s 1st Blog
My first blog…… This is all a bit new to me and hopefully I’m not treading on my mate Jame’s toes. He has done some wicked blogs and after chatting about the world of Twitter and Tumblr and all things technical, we thought we’d throw a few more dog tales into the mix! So here we are, Graham and canine colleagues and more so friends, Abbi and Neo!!
A bit about me and the role I carry out in Sussex Police. I joined Sussex Police in 2000 after serving in the Royal Navy since leaving school. I served in the RN as an Operator Mechanic and loved my role on board Hunt Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels. I could very easily do a whole blog on my time in ‘The Mob’!
I digress… Since joining Suspol, I have always worked in the East of the county, starting in Hastings and subsequently Rother, incorporating Bexhill, Battle and Rye. This was mainly as a frontline response officer and had much fun there. I did do a stint on the Secondary Investigation Unit (BCU - Beat Crime Unit for the older servers amongst you and RIT - Response Investigation Team to the more recent cops out there)!
My successful application to the Ops Department, saw me start my career as a dog handler in 2004. I was probably destined to be a foxydogman, following in my old mans footsteps. He too was a Sussex Police Dog Handler for over 22 years! No pressure for me to succeed then! He’s been a font of knowledge and advice for me. Cheers Dad :)
My first pup, Brook didn’t quite make the grade and he quickly took up home with a young family. Hes had a happy life I’m told! PD Ellie (GSD) was my first successful General Purpose Police Dog and we sailed through a 13 week in force initial course. I went on to have a fruitful partnership with the ‘Elsmeister’. She was a ‘rough diamond’ but the bond between handler and dog is very difficult to describe but fair to say I was a broken man when her heart eventually failed her and she laid to rest.
Lets move on… Quickly… In 2009 I started working a second dog who is a specialist search dog but I’ll come onto him presently!
I had to bounce back from Ellie and quickly. I was working with other dog handlers, helping with training and generally trying to keep busy. I still had Neo my search dog which saw me very busy in assisting colleagues forcewide with search warrants and the like. In December 2011, I rehandled PD Abbi from Steve, one of our top experienced handlers who was entering retirement. I felt for him but I vowed to continue the good work he had done with Abbi.
Abbi is a General Purpose Police dog and is trained in numerous skills ranging from tracking after suspects to searching for a missing persons. She is trained to detain persons, if required to and to find property discarded. She is very agile and very quick!! Abbi has an add on to her role and that is a Firearms Support Dog. This is a role that encompasses a range of skills and as the title hints at, we work alongside the force Tactical Firearms Teams in a supporting capacity.
My 2nd Dog - How greedy am I!
Neo is an English Springer Spaniel and is trained as a Pro-Active Specialist Search dog, trained to a high standard also. Neo is trained to locate and indicate Drugs, Currency and Firearms. He is 7 years old and entering his last year of service with Sussex Police. I took Neo on a couple of years back from another dog hanlder. Naturally, I am biased but I think Neo is a phenomenal search dog and I fear I could go on and on with superlatives in relation to him. A true superstar who is off to to live in quieter surroundings when he does hang up his expert nostrils! Serving at London 2012 Olympics was one tour of duty that will stay with me forever. I’m so pleased it was with Neo. He earned that little trip!
Then I start afresh with a new Search Dog, and I have no idea which dog I will be given but fear not, pictures and updates will be duly posted! Exciting times ahead but I am really going to miss Neo. Lucky for me, he’ll be living close by meaning I can still drop in and take him for walks. I do hope my next search dog is also a springer spaniel because I love their work ethic and drive to want to work. If he or she is half as good as Neo I will be over the moon.
Anyway, it’s been emotional… It was almost an autobiography! Thank you for reading. I’ll be back soon(ish)! #followthepaw