As our food arrived, Hans began to relax and open up to us…To my distinct surprise, Hans ordered a Cobb Salad with walnut vinagrette dressing.
GSA: Hans, you seem to dabble in a lot of different training and K-9 disciplines. Don’t most K-9’s specialize in one or two of them? Are you overloading yourself?
HANS: That’s a bit of a myth…many Patrol dogs are trained in multiple disciplines. Understand that we ARE specializing…in Scent work. I’m not cross-trained in attack work for patrol use, and we’re not pursuing explosives work either. Training for bomb detection is really limited in it’s availability…
GSA: I see…so you’re concentrating on Tracking/Trailing, and taking on cadaver and narcotic scentwork…
HANS: That’s right. Dad and I do Personal Protection work, but it’s because it’s fun to do a beatdown on the sleeve, or some chucklehead in a bitesuit…Oh, something else we completed recently, detection of spent ammunition for evidence work! We spent some time with Ken Westpy at AimHi shooting gathering a bunch of different calibers of spent ammo. Each caliber has a different scent signature…If you are near New Albany, AIMHI is a great shooting facility.
GSA: Lets back up Hansie…Tell me about your puppyhood on the Omorrow farm…Do you hear from your littermates much?
HANS: Not as much as I’d like, but everybody is so busy! My sisters are all real beauty queens, Sydney is around Facebook some, (He got the Long-hair that the babes love so much). For the first 3 or 4 months we were very close. But then, you spend a couple of months swimming around in amniotic fluid with 6 other puppies, and you’re bound to get close!!!
GSA: Thanks for sharing that…How about life in the whelping pen?
HANS: My Mom, Cinder, was great! We were her first litter, and she did a great job! Of course she wasn’t alone, Grandma Rhonda and Aunt Tara, and Grandpa Brian and the whole family at Omorrow helped us thru those first 8 weeks of life. We were socialized from the very beginning, with kids, adults, and other Omorrow dogs! We even went in the house to play! Grandma Rhonda had our veterinarian out to visit us, and we had the best care!
GSA: That’s important! What other memories do you have of that time?
HANS: Lots of warm puppy piles! Later on, my littermates and I would wrestle around with each other, run amuck in the barn, and just explore our world. We were kept safe, somebody was always watching us…Then, people we didn’t know started showing up to visit us! I remember meeting my human Dad when I was less than a week old! He picked up each of us in turn, and took pictures. This went on with a bunch of people for 5 or 6 weeks! Then, one day, my Dad showed up to meet with Grandma Rhonda and played special games with me and my littermates. We played chase the ball, Follow the Leader, and Daddy made alot of noise with pots and pans. I guess he was testing us…Well, it was 2 weeks until we could leave Mom for our new homes, but when Dad left that day, he gave me my name! And he left me a big warm fuzzy towel to cuddle in!
GSA: And how was your first day in your new home?
HANS: The first couple of weeks at home were very special…I met my new people-Mommy that I love to pieces! She takes such good care of me! At first, I treated her like a littermate, and I kind of used her as a chew toy…They trained me from that pretty quick. Mom was greatly relieved. She also taught me where to go potty, and I only had ONE accident the whole time. Mommy is very good with puppy lessons…They gave me 2 weeks of “Just Be a Puppy” time, while I got used to my new home. Daddy made a special “Wolf cave” out of my crate, and it’s still pretty cool! I still curl up in there to sleep at night, it’s got a cool fan for summer time, and it’s warm in the winter! After two weeks, Daddy gave me a real collar, and a new leash. He let me wear around for 3 days, and then we learned how to walk together out in the park! We went to ball games and other places where we met a lot of different people! Daddy always told people about Omorrow puppies, and how good our temperament was!
GSA: Let’s look ahead now Hansie…What do you plan for the future?
HANS: I’m really excited about the third annual Omorrow Reunion coming up in September! I hope my brothers and sisters can be there! Also, Daddy is teaching me different stuff for the Competitive Tracking Association!! We will have an introductory seminar on May 13th…That will be fun!
GSA: How about long-term plans?
HANS: Well, that’s a guess right now. Mom and Dad want to relocate back to Northern Michigan…Daddy has a plan! We’ll continue to train and work, and Dad is becoming a pretty good Handler. He’s thinking about a another puppy from Omorrow as well. In a few months, after I have my OFA certification, Dad and Mom want me to start a family too! I also have a “Bucket List” of personal things I’d like to do…
GSA: Really? Like what for instance?
HANS: I’d really like an opportunity to put a bite on Al Gore and Michael Moore, even though I imagine that Moore tastes like old sweat sox and rancid cabbage.
GSA: Whoa big fella’! This is an apolitical website…even if that WAS funny. Well, Hans…Thank you so much for taking time to talk with us all!!
HANS: Can I have my orange floaty toy now?