Steph's Friend

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Finally Finished The Dog Handler Course

The day has arrived when the 17 of us have become dog handlers...no longer a trainee anymore. All of us were posted to various places. For me, I am posted to an airbase with three others. Hopefully the work shift there will be manageable.

What kind of dog will I take in my new unit? Hopefully it's a dog which likes me. I can't imagine prowling with a dog who hates you. Especially if it lasts for around 6 hours. From what I heard the dogs there only see their handlers. This will cause the dogs to be suspicious of other humans which is what a guard dog must do. However, when a dog handler reaches his ORD date (it is a day when a national serviceman completes his national service and goes back to the civilian world), the dog will be passed on to the next handler (which in this case happens to be me). So the old handler must familiarise his dog with the new handler for the dog to adjust to its new owner. Hopefully the dog won't have any problems adjusting to me.

My job will be much harder now due to the recent London bombings...security has been tighten and well...dog handlers will be even more busy than before. Most of the times, we are the unsung heroes of the night. We prowl and protect the base from any intruders at night while the others are sleeping peacefully. What I heard is that the Dog Wing guys are now pushing for a "Dog Hanlder" badge in recognition of the service given by dog handlers nationwide. Hopefully it will get through approval.

Looks like it's going to be a new phase of my NS life...a dog handler in Tengah Air Base.

As for Britney (the female Malinois that I handled in my course), well...I am going to miss her. The course ended on Friday (15th July). When I went for kennel duty (It's just cleaning the kennels and feeding the dogs) the next day, Britney was awfully quiet. Normally, she would jump around and greet us (my buddy and me). But this time, she was just laying in one corner. I had a hard time feeding her too. I guess she must be sad knowing that her two handlers are leaving soon. My friend's dog, Daisy a female Malinois also, had a difficult time eating too. I guess the dogs must be all sad. Imagine after bonding with their owners for two weeks and now it's time to leave...hey...it's sad man. But I guess it's inevitable...soon Britney will have another owner taking her. I hope that he will treat her in the same way if not better like we treat her. When I left the kennel, she was again alone in her corner...it's so un-Britney.

Hope that you will have a better handler in the future Britney.

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