Eight-month-old golden retriever "Bretagne"—called Britt by her handlers—showed the students of Bill Rumaker’s Wood Technology IV classes just how much she has learned at her own school.
Accompanied by Pat Kaynroglu, Britt arrived at West Deptford High School from the Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia.
Britt is a member of the center’s first class of detection dogs in training—all of which are named after detection dogs who served during or in the days after 9/11 on ground zero. As a member of the class, Britt has been brushing up on her agility training and obstacles skills—all of which Kaynroglu explains are imperative for dogs who may one day be deployed to disaster areas.
With the help of junior Jaclyn Bird and senior Matt Blood, Kaynroglu demonstrated Britt’s ability to walk through tight dark areas, cross desks on a narrow plank and locate a student hiding in a box. All props for the obstacles came directly from Rumaker’s classroom.
After talking with Penn Vet volunteer and high school aide Patricia Baud, Rumaker will employ his two woodshop classes to construct wooden obstacles to donate to the center. In addition, Kaynroglu and Baud also encouraged students 18 years and older to volunteer their time with these detection pups in training.
Kaynroglu explained to the class that the Penn Vet Working Center will give these detection dogs in training the fundamentals they need in order to go into a specialized field of detection. While bomb-sniffing and drug-sniffing are most common, she explains that detection dogs are now being used to detect possible seizures, cancer and even salmonella.
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