I’ve said it before an I’m sayin’ it again: I’m One Lucky Dog! Evry week I meet a new, inneresting pooch pal and learn a buncha new stuff.
This week, for example, I met Murphy Young, who’s an agent with a County Sheriff’s Office’s Special Victims Unit. No Woof! We met at Murphy’s office an, while me an my assistant sat in the reception area waiting for Murphy an his partner, I was feelin’ a little shaky-paws. I’d met a few other dogs in law enforcement and they were all Big, Impressive, Super-Serious German Shepherds or Malinois or like that.
Well, the Official Door opened and in trotted this fluffy middle-sized white poocheroo, wearin’ a green uniform vest with a gold badge. He was very neat and had real good posture. Super-Serious he was NOT. He had a big smile and an even bigger personality, and came right up for the Wag-and-Sniff.
“It’s a pleasure, Agent Murphy.”
“Likewise! It’s Bonzo, right? Please call me Murphy. An this is my partner (an my Mom), Cyndi, she’s an Agent, too. We can yap back in our office.”
There were pickshurs of Murphy and clippings and impressive certificates on the walls an shelves. When we got settled, Murphy said, “I expect you wanna know exactly what I do, an how a pooch like me got a job like this.”
“First thing I really remember is, back in 2015, bein’ left at the county shelter. The humans there were nice, even though they didn’t know anything about me. I don’t mind admitting I was Worried. I’m real frenly by nature, but at that time, I didn’t have any friends, dog or human. Or even cat. But here’s the Cool Kibbles part: Around the same time, the Brevard Sheriff’s Office SVU was lookin’ for Just The Right Dog for their bran-new Therapy Dog Program. The pilot program, with a pooch named Primus Puggie, was a big success, an they decided to adopt it permanently. The new pooch would be assigned to a human SVU agent and they’d go through a special training course at what they call Paws and Stripes College. (That’s a whole ’nother story.)
Well, Bonzo, obviously I couldn’t look LESS like a law enforcement officer but, for some reason, Thank Lassie!, I got picked!”
“Pawsome! So, then what happened?”
“I was assigned to be Agent Cyndi’s partner (I call her that a work.) We went through training as a TEAM. We learned how to work together; an how we can help liddle humans and sometimes grown-up ones, too, who have had bad, scary stuff happen to ’em. My specialty is workin’ with the liddle humans. While Agent Cyndi talks to ’em, I’m right there bein’ frenly and snuggly, an giving ’em gentle little nose bumps. With older kids or even grown-ups, I ushully sit in their laps. Or on their feet. Pretty soon, they start pattin’ me, an they’re more relaxed, not so nervous or scared. We’re right there with ’em from the crime scene to the courtroom! Honestly, Bonzo,” he got real serious. “You wouldn’t buh-LIEVE what some humans do to other humans.”
“Woof!” was all I could say.
“I’ll never forget my first day at work,” Murphy continued. “It was super exciting. I got my uniform, an badge, and a OFFice, an I met my fellow officers. Mom says I can get along with anybody, which is why I’m good at my job. It just comes natch-ral. I still get excited the minute we turn into the parking lot.
“When I have a break, I make Daily Rounds. Everybody has snacks, an I know where they’re stashed. That comes natch-ral, too. Sometimes I catch a ride on the elevator, so I can check out what’s good upstairs. Come’on, I’ll introduce you!”
We took off down the hall at a brisk trot. (Well, not so brisk for me since I was carrying my notebook and pencil.) Every so often, Murphy’d stop and roll on the carpet. We popped into one office after another, and Murphy and Agent Cyndi introduced us to their fellow agents. All of ’em except Murphy was human.
He sure wasn’t woofin’ when he said he knew where all the treats were kept. “This is Megan,” Murphy said. “Watch! I’m training her.” He sat smack in front of a file cabinet and bopped the pull with his paw. Megan opened the drawer, reached in and produced a treat. Murphy wagged a thank you and said, as he munched, “Wug woo wike wud?”
“No thanks. I’m on the clock,” I said, following the happily munching Agent Murphy down the hall. We met Alan an Carlos an Amy. There were Saltines from Cynthia and low-fat snacks from Joan (after Murphy guessed which hand).
At the end of the hallway, we met Wolfgang and Harry. Murphy admitted he sometimes jumps into their laps during lunch. “They have the Good Stuff.” We stopped in the lunch room, which smelled duh-licious. (It was hard not to drool, which would’ve been unprofessional.) Everybody around the long table greeted Murphy. I’m pretty sure his tail didn’t stop wagging the entire time.
“What’s home life like?”
“I mostly just relax, snooze in the sun, play with my toys, chase the occasional butterfly (never catch ’em). And hang out with Mom an my big sister Perry, from Georgia. She’s an English Bulldog rescue. She wasn’t thrilled with me at first, but I finally won her over.”
“I’m impressed, Agent Murphy.”
“Thanks! I love my job. But we’ll probly be retiring in a coupla years.”
“Well, whatever pooch they pick to replace you will have big pawprints to fill,” I said sincerely.
Heading home, I was still thinking about Murphy and his very important job. Yep, those’ll hafta be Really Big Paws.
Till next time,