ONE ON ONE | Scott White Police drug dog is partner's best friend, Bar none
While you're on light duty, Bar isn't able to work either, so what does an out-of-work drug-patrol dog do to keep busy?
I'm still able to throw drug toys for him.
Do you hide drug toys at home for him to find?
Bar's an aggressive, indicating dog, which means he scratches and bites to get at the source of the odor. I hide stuff in places I don't mind getting banged up.
So you wouldn't put something in your couch?
No. No. (laughing).
You generally refer to yourself as Bar's daddy and him as your kid -- did you expect to feel that way about him, to have that close tie?
Yes. Your day starts with the dog and ends with the dog.
He really is your partner, isn't he?
(White's answer was momentarily interrupted when another officer came in, noticed Bar, and commented that he looked like a big rug).
Yes. Years ago police dogs had that image of being vicious and unapproachable but now sociability is one of the most important things. He understands when it's time to work.
Explain how he gave you that shiner.
I put him in a muzzle to groom him. You know how dogs will play with a garden hose and bite the water? Well, the forced air tool that blows the undercoat, he was trying to bite the air so I put him in a muzzle to save [my] skin and his head snapped up and he whacked me. It comes with the job and I wouldn't trade my job for the world.
Can you think of a serious episode -- some place you and Bar were at -- that included a funny moment?
He found a guy in a dryer downtown, that was a good one. He's found people in all the weirdest places.
Do you think the bad guys are as afraid of Bar as they are of a gun?
They're not afraid of a police officer because in their mind a police officer can only do this, this and this. With a dog they know the result. People don't want to get bit.
How is he sociable?
I have him around kids. My niece loves him to death. He can go from searching for someone hiding, get done with that job and one of the guys here can walk over and start petting him. He's very stable.
What's his reward when he finds drugs?
A piece of hose, hard rubber, PVC pipe. Playing tug of war, throwing it for him.
What do you do in your off time? Hobbies? Cook? Macram & eacute;?
Train dogs. I love it and I hunt. There's a dog club in Lowellville it's called Schutzhund -- it means "protection dog" in German.
Do you think there will be more dogs in police work?
Since 9/11 there's been a tremendous upsurge in the demand for the dogs, detector dogs and patrol dogs. The olfactory capability in a dog is phenomenal. They used dogs to check the Alaskan pipeline for leaks. The best way I can explain it, the way you see things in color is the way dogs smells things. If you smell vegetable soup, you smell vegetable soup. A dog smells the carrots, barley, celery -- all the individual smells. They have the ability to break things down.
So they'll be used more to fight terrorism?
A lot of bomb dogs are being trained and for accelerants and narcotics. The bottom line, these dogs save lives. They save police officers' lives and they save citizens' lives. He's saved my behind.
Did he get a Scooby snack?
Oh, no. He doesn't get treats. The only treats he gets is ice cubes. He loves ice.