Today’s guest is Deputy Mattie Cobb, one of the protagonists in the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series. She’s here to share her opinions on dog care and talk about a very special dog in her life, her partner Robo. You can find Deputy Cobb in the pages of the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series by Margaret Mizushima. HUNTING HOUR is the third book in the series.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DOGGIE EXERCISE
It’s hard for me to talk about myself, so I’m going to talk about dogs today—and specifically about my K-9 partner, Robo.
Robo is super handsome. He’s a German shepherd who’s mostly black with brown markings, and he’s a big boy, weighing in at around one hundred pounds. He’s one of those dogs that handlers and trainers call a high drive, alpha male—full of energy and always ready to roll. Because of that, we begin almost every morning with the same ritual. We rise an hour before going to work, and we run.
Our jogging path usually takes us to T Hill, a foothill on the edge of town here in Timber Creek that has a T built out of rock and stone on it, whitewashed each fall by the high school’s incoming freshmen. Robo and I take turns using the path or running beside it in the rough, which strengthens our joints and conditions both of us to watch our footing. This is the type of terrain we’re often sent into to search for missing persons.
Giving Robo a forty minute jog each morning keeps him from getting antsy and misbehaving at work. This makes all of us happy, my colleagues included, because a tired dog is a good dog.
Police dogs typically have an energy bomb inside of them, and it doesn’t take much to light the fuse. While many of these dogs can be quite dedicated to their handlers and are well socialized with children to make good family pets, some can be mean by nature and difficult to handle. K-9 officers sometimes call these dogs “land sharks.”
I once saw a dog from this last type in action at a group K-9 training. He didn’t want to work and when his handler reprimanded him, the dog sprang at his handler and bit. And when a police dog bites, he doesn’t let go. These dogs are trained to bite and hold a fugitive, and that’s what they do. Someone had to choke the dog until he passed out to get him off the officer. Robo’s trainer, Sergeant Jim Madsen, took the dog into his kennel for retraining with play techniques, and the last I heard, it looked positive that he could be rehabilitated.
Fortunately, Robo belongs to the first type of dog, those with good social skills and obedience. We’ve formed a solid bond and are completely dedicated to each other. He’s saved my bacon more than once, and I’d do anything to keep him safe and content.