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Saturday, August 03 2013


Some things pay for themselves with just one use. You sink money into something in hopes that you never really need it, but when you do . . .

As a crime scene investigator in a major metropolitan city, I am fully aware of how quickly summer heat kills. I've seen it. It's ugly. It terrifies me. And so it was that today when Other Half dropped the phone and ran, I almost burst into tears. 

I waited in silence, telling myself that she'd be okay. That's what the Hotdog system is for - to save lives. 

And today it did.

When I couldn't wait any longer, I called him back. He was on the phone with his Captain. Aja was alive. The system had worked. (And THAT'S why they bought it!)

While Other Half was inside an office doing a report, Aja waited patiently in her air-conditioned police truck. Fortunately Aja is owned by an agency that pays for the Hotdog system. If the temperatures inside that patrol car rise above 83 degrees, the windows will roll down, a fan turns on, the lights and siren on the truck activate, and Other Half gets an alert on the Hotdog pager that he wears on his belt. I was on the phone with him when he heard the alarm go off. He ran. Aja's air conditioner had failed. In this heat, minutes mean death.

Thankfully, the system worked. He rescued her, contacted his supervisor and explained that he was taking Aja home where she'd be safe. The truck can go into the shop on Monday. The system isn't cheap, but it paid for itself today. These police dogs average about $7000, but losing a dog like this isn't about the money. It isn't about the manhours of training lost.

It isn't about the loss of an officer.

It's about the unthinkable. It's about the unbearable.

It's about this . . .

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 05:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  10 Comments  |  Email
Where is the "like!" button? So glad she's okay.
Posted by EvenSong on 08/03/2013 - 06:58 PM
Posted by Eric on 08/03/2013 - 07:09 PM
I'm so glad to hear she is OK. It sounds like they should have that Hot Dog system for all police dogs! I just got my first German Shepherd four months ago (year old male- on his way to the dog pound) and I absolutely LOVE this dog. I don't know if its a breed thing, or I just got lucky, but he is really smart and so special to me! I've never gotten so attatched to a dog, usually just to my horses:)
Posted by karen on 08/04/2013 - 01:08 AM
Wow! Glad all ended well.
Posted by clairesmum on 08/04/2013 - 10:11 AM
Karen, you won't regret rescuing that German Shepherd. They are special dogs!
Posted by Foremsicfarmgirl on 08/04/2013 - 12:01 PM
Thankful that the Hotdog system is available and used for police dogs ... BUT! I simply don't understand why dogs are left in cars. Period. Explain to me why these valuable beings aren't indoors in crates (crates don't take up all THAT much space) &/or under the desks of K9 officers. They are well-trained dogs; there's no reason for them not to be allowed inside an office building. In addition -- why pollute the air and waste gas to keep the car running to provide A/C? None of this makes any sense to me. Even if there are several/many dogs and some are DINOS (dogs in need of space), it shouldn't be hard to come up with a crating solution.
Posted by Terri's Pal on 08/04/2013 - 12:45 PM
...continued ... One hot day years ago, I had to do some banking; for some reason I had my Lab with me. Rather than leave her in a car for even a few minutes, I brought her into the bank. Nobody batted an eye. "Dogs stay with their officer inside or out" should be the policy of every police unit.
Posted by Terri's Pal on 08/04/2013 - 12:46 PM
Karen, it's a combination of luck and the breed. Shepherd dogs make me smile.
Posted by Eric on 08/04/2013 - 03:33 PM
I was fine (ok I was holding my breath, maybe) but the tears didn't start until that last picture. That really does say it all, doesn't it?
Posted by Virginia on 08/04/2013 - 05:32 PM
Many times officers try to keep their canine partners with them, but sometimes because of regulations or safety issues the dog has to stay in the car. Juggling dogs in the heat is always a problem.
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 08/07/2013 - 12:17 PM

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