Dora and I were called around midnight
last Thursday to a Church fire down the road. When we got there, I noticed
several hay bales on fire next to the church. The fire was quickly
extinguished, however I determined the cause to be arson. Our local Fire
Investigator notified the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to
respond to the scene, along with several other Atlanta agencies. Prior to
their arrival, my Captain asked me if Dora might be able to track a scent
from a warm vehicle in the parking lot and see which direction the track
led. I was hesitant, as I really didn't want Dora and I getting in over
our heads, seeing as we just started tracking together earlier that week,
but I agreed to attempt it while we awaited the arrival of the ATF. Well,
needless to say, when I put Dora in her vest and gave her the 'find'
command, she tracked from the car to a house across the street, all the way
to their front door. A Sheriff's Deputy and I knocked on the door and
asked the occupant if they had just been across the street to which they
replied, "Yes, I just parked my car there and walked home." It turned out
to be the same car that Dora tracked from. He was able to give us a
description of a person he saw in the parking lot just minutes before -- and
we now have a suspect in the fire. I think it's safe to say that Dora is
well on her way to becoming an excellent SAR dog, I was so proud of her.
The ATF is giving our department a commendation for handling the case so
well, and getting a suspect within 24 hours. Every major news agency
covered the story, and Dora and I were even caught by an unsuspecting news
camera. Well, we're off to do some training. . . .
-- K9 SAR Dora's Handler, Jon Kempler; 11/06/00
Dora has proven herself a quick study in obedience and tracking fundamentals. She is trained to AKC CD level obedience
and is solid in functional commands such as crate, kennel, leave it, pfui, shush, wait, and more.
Tested on sheep at 6 months of age, Dora demonstrates natural herding instinct. We asked Brandy Burton-Tarantino to share her
observations of Dora's first time with the sheep, and these are her unedited comments:
"Dora was introduced to sheep at the tender age of 6 months at
Joe Kapelos Ewe-topia Herd Dog training facility in Roy, WA. The stock utilized for introduction are of various cross-bred
varieties, primarily heavy bodied (Cheviot/Dorset/Merino types). These sheep tend to be quite "heavy" though they can
be split with a hard dog and/or an inexperienced handler. They are dog-broke. Dora exhibited immediate interest in
the stock and strong herding drives with a particularly strong desire to gather (many young dogs will become fixated
on one particular sheep and run it in their initial excitment). She works loose-eyed and upright as is natural for
the breed though there was limited evidence of eye... this can be encouraged through handling. Dora shows a good
wearing pattern and good connection to her working partner. All in all she has the makings of a very nice herding prospect."
|Dora is well-socialized, having been exposed to a variety of everyday
environments and some unusual ones from urban to wilderness, including retail stores, heavy land-moving machinery and farm equipment,
amusement park, domestic pets and livestock, fireworks display, children in active play, bodies of water with
bridges and docks, high-traffic parks and trails, loading docks, thunder and lightning, gunfire, emergency sirens,
water sports and swimming (she's a fish in water!), busy urban traffic intersections, construction and
demolition sites, regional and international airports, and more.
Relaxing at the park
Up close and personal with her favorite people
|Dora is not dog-aggressive and is
at ease with domestic livestock, children, and adults. She is highly responsive to
and demonstrably affectionate with her handler, and calmly observant of and at ease with strangers. She travels
beautifully and is confident in any social situation. Quite simply, Dora has it all together.
- PHOTO GALLERY (click on thumbnail to view full size image)