Stray Dog From Jenks Now In Training To Save Lives

Friday, July 10th 2015, 6:26 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's newest search dog is young and small but his detective work is already earning him recognition and a legendary name.  

I caught up with the dog who's making the transition from searching for scraps to saving lives.

These are almost all the dogs that are part of K-9 Search Oklahoma, but one dog has an interesting story of how he's training to become part of the team.

There is Sherlock and now Watson who are both on the hunt for clues. They're tail-wagging best buds, as members of K-9 Search Oklahoma, but Watson has a different background.  He wouldn't be here if it wasn't for a Jenks Police officer eating lunch at a restaurant when he saw Watson and saw potential.  

"He was a stray, he was begging for scraps, apparently he'd been there for a while. He was real emaciated and he had knowledge of search dogs and just thought there was something special about him," said Nicole Arthur, K-9 Search Oklahoma.  

Now, Watson is training to trail what could be the scent of an elderly person who's missing, or a Boy Scout lost at a campground.  The trainer gives Watson a scent, from a piece of clothing or a pillowcase, and starts sniffing.  

"I was totally impressed with the way the dog naturally puts his nose to the ground and is following that trail. It was amazing to me," said Jim Moore, K-9 Search Oklahoma.

When he gets the scent, he does what puppies do.  

"He's kind of jumping on her and barking," said Nicole Arthur.

His mentor --  Sherlock, has been on the job for a decade. He's trained to sniff out a body or bones.  When he gets a scent, he tells his trainer.  The dogs train for about a year before becoming certified, then train twice a week.

The dogs travel across Oklahoma and Texas to help search, most recently in flood waters in Wimberley.

Watson is just getting started.  The trainers think he was made for this, and will live up to his storied namesake, thanks to that optimistic officer.

"He's just advanced so quickly, more so than some of the other puppies and dogs that we've had. He just gets the job," said Nicole Arthur.  

Visit K-9 Search Oklahoma's website to find out more about the dogs.