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12/15/2022 12:41:24 PM · #1
Some of you may have remembered my challenge entry of the police dog and his partner that I recently entered. Here is the full story; Chip (the dog) was trained to sniff out electronic devices (hidden cameras, usb drives, cell phones, external hard drives, etc) to combat child pornography. (Get his name? Chip!). They are a part of the ICAC-Internet Crimes Against Children.

Anyway, I had a Senior HS client whose mom asked if I would be willing to take photos of her husbandís police dog partner as he was recently diagnosed with heart cancer and her husband (his partner) wanted a nice photo of him. So, I said; sure, bring him to the session, no charge we can grab some quick shots right before the sonís senior session not a big deal.

When they arrived (in separate cars) I quickly grabbed some photos of them. There was some guy smoking pot standing nearby. I asked, ďwith pot legal how did they untrain dogs to not pick up on that?Ē. That is when he explained he was not a drug dog (I assumed-never a good idea). Anyway, I had never heard of such a skill. <mind blown> .

I knew I wanted to give them a special gift. Well, it arrived last Friday and we delivered it on Saturday. I have a couple clients coming this next week and I almost held on to it to show them this photo as it was my first framed canvas, but I couldnít wait, because I LOVE giving gifts. My husband went with me to meet Chip and we found out Chip had just returned the day before from the ER where they removed liquid around his heart and he was feeling pretty good. The excitement when we came in with this large wood sided crate (literally had to bring a drill to unscrew it to access it. The husband had NO idea, I had kept the wife in the loop that I wanted to do something for them and had sent videos of the canvas being lacquered, etc.

This morning, I received a text that Chip had passed last night. I am so very thankful that I was able to see him one last time and deliver the canvas I had made for them. I know it will bring them comfort while they navigate life without Chip in the house, and for the husband as his partner. Lifeís timing sure is perfect some times!

Here is the daughter (and her neighbor friend) with the canvas!

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12/15/2022 01:38:18 PM · #2
Oh what a beautiful, sad story.
I loved that picture.
Its interesting how life sometimes lets us be at "the right place at the right time".

Dogs noses are amazing. I train an (amateur) nose work class. We have left 1 clove (the spice) out in my garden for 3 weeks and the dogs could still find it! Once they understand that we want them to use their noses they have so much fun doing it.
12/15/2022 01:44:16 PM · #3
Originally posted by kasaba:

Oh what a beautiful, sad story.
I loved that picture.
Its interesting how life sometimes lets us be at "the right place at the right time".

Dogs noses are amazing. I train an (amateur) nose work class. We have left 1 clove (the spice) out in my garden for 3 weeks and the dogs could still find it! Once they understand that we want them to use their noses they have so much fun doing it.


Arenít they amazing? What scent do you think an electronic device puts off? I just canít imagine what that is?
12/15/2022 04:29:52 PM · #4
Originally posted by ErinKirsten:

Arenít they amazing? What scent do you think an electronic device puts off? I just canít imagine what that is?

Kind of an ozoney thing I'd imagine?
12/15/2022 04:38:34 PM · #5
Originally posted by ErinKirsten:

This morning, I received a text that Chip had passed last night. I am so very thankful that I was able to see him one last time and deliver the canvas I had made for them. I know it will bring them comfort while they navigate life without Chip in the house, and for the husband as his partner. Lifeís timing sure is perfect some times!


It's amazing how we as photographers get to be a part of some of the most incredibly special points in life for others.

It's inexplicable and the most incredible feeling ever.

Good on you, Erin.
12/15/2022 04:38:39 PM · #6
Actually, I'd guess that what the dogs are picking up is the characteristic smell of epoxies used in the fabrication of boards and components. They do have a very unique smell, and one that humans are quite capable of detecting if the boards are warmed and there is enough area exposed.

I can't imagine the officer's loss at this moment. He must have had a very special relationship with that dog. That family will treasure your canvas for a very long time.

Message edited by author 2022-12-15 16:40:21.
12/15/2022 05:04:17 PM · #7
In equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. But you gave them the perfect gift.
12/15/2022 05:19:21 PM · #8
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by ErinKirsten:

This morning, I received a text that Chip had passed last night. I am so very thankful that I was able to see him one last time and deliver the canvas I had made for them. I know it will bring them comfort while they navigate life without Chip in the house, and for the husband as his partner. Lifeís timing sure is perfect some times!


It's amazing how we as photographers get to be a part of some of the most incredibly special points in life for others.

It's inexplicable and the most incredible feeling ever.

Good on you, Erin.


Not going to lie Jeb - I cried knowing I would never get to see him again, had no idea it would be so fast. I just find his particular talent/skill so moving and his partner saying he has had other police dogs, none with this talent, but that it was going to be the hardest loss for him.

Funny side story, he had his chemo treatment the day of the photo. I said, he is so mellow. And his partner said: "well, he is high as a kite right now", he is a good boy when it comes to doing his job, but at home he is a bit of an a$$hole in following instructions". I said, off duty is off duty!
12/15/2022 05:20:36 PM · #9
Originally posted by kirbic:

Actually, I'd guess that what the dogs are picking up is the characteristic smell of epoxies used in the fabrication of boards and components. They do have a very unique smell, and one that humans are quite capable of detecting if the boards are warmed and there is enough area exposed.

I can't imagine the officer's loss at this moment. He must have had a very special relationship with that dog. That family will treasure your canvas for a very long time.


I hope they do, I feel like they will. The wife even said 'this will be the first piece of artwork of Robert's that won't be relegated to his office'. My husband may have laughed a bit too hard at that.

The epoxy idea is interesting, I just don't understand when they are 'off' how they emit a smell, but that is why I'm a photographer and not a dog trainer.

Message edited by author 2022-12-15 17:23:28.
12/15/2022 05:22:04 PM · #10
Originally posted by tanguera:

In equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. But you gave them the perfect gift.


I agree - when the department got him - he was the 7th dog in the nation able to do what he does (5 years ago); Chip was 7 years when he passed. Now there are quite a few more apparently. I hope I hear from them when they get another.
12/15/2022 05:22:27 PM · #11
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by ErinKirsten:

Arenít they amazing? What scent do you think an electronic device puts off? I just canít imagine what that is?

Kind of an ozoney thing I'd imagine?


There goes Bear tossing around those technical terms again!
12/15/2022 09:48:40 PM · #12
Wow -- how incredibly special to be a part of something so incredible! Life wouldn't have it's sad parts if their weren't wonderful people and animal (which are obviously people, too!)
12/15/2022 10:41:44 PM · #13
What a great story Erin, to be a part of something like that is so heart warming, esp what the dog was trained to do, anything that helps to combat evil is a GOOD thing.

Thanks for sharing it with us.
12/15/2022 11:18:17 PM · #14
Originally posted by ErinKirsten:


Arenít they amazing? What scent do you think an electronic device puts off? I just canít imagine what that is?


I don't know, and I won't even start to guess :-).
I sometimes use "money" (paper notes) for the dogs to find. We have tried to figure out what they actually search for, I don't know, it may even be the scent of "hundreds of people". We have used foreign notes to see if it is the ink/paper (all handled with plastic so there is not any scent of me on there, and we use notes from different people, so person 1 "hides it", but the scent comes from a note out of my purse and the dogs still find it (its to make sure they don't look for a particular person's scent). I always tell my students its my favourite class to teach and I should actually pay *them* for the privilege, not the other way round :-).

Just to clarify, our dogs are amateurs, so we train them to "match" scent. We give them a scent to sniff and they look for the matching scent. Professional dogs are trained to find specific scents only, but obviously do so much faster and much more accurate. I sometimes train with a lady who trains our dogs at the airport to detect rhino horn and lion bones (anti poaching). Those dogs are just mind blowing.
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