Teachin’ Old Dawgs New Tricks


State Police Academy.

Healthy, grown men and women. Twenty strong.

Freshly scrubbed faces. Neat hair. Clean BDU’s.

Seasoned officers. Veterans.



Twenty young dogs. Ready to go.


Shiny coats. Anxious eyes.

Tails wag.

Energy. Lots of energy.

Sunrise. Orange. Red. Yellow.

Play time. Meet new partner.

Licking faces. Wrestling. Games.

Bond is formed.

Training begins.

Running. Lots of running. Fast running. Distance running.

Running everywhere.

Hide drugs.

Dogs search for drugs.

Water break – for dogs. No time for people break. It’s all about the dogs.

Run. Fast running. Distance running.


Hide drugs.

Search for drugs.

Play time for dogs.

Water break for dogs.

Rest time for dogs.

People brush dogs. Fresh water for dogs.

Tails wag. Anxious eyes. Ready to go.

Run. Run. Run.

Lunch time. Break for dogs.

Water dogs. Brush dogs. Sit in shade with dogs.

Tails wag. Anxious eyes. Lots of energy. Ready to go.

Running. A little slower.

Dogs pulling leashes.


Sweating. Shirt soaked.

Hide drugs.

Search for drugs.



Dogs pulling hard. Want to play. Never tire.

Hide drugs.

Search for drugs.

Running…so tired.

Soaked clothing.

Feet hurt.


Tails wag. Anxious eyes. Lots of energy. Ready to go.

Can’t keep up.


Can’t see. Sweat in eyes.

Instructor yelling. Go!

Fast walking. So tired.

Rest for dogs, finally.

Thank God!

Feel like dying.

Maybe already dead.


Don’t want to go on.

Back hurts. Legs ache.

Hide drugs. Don’t care if dogs ever find drugs.

Water for dogs.

Consider fighting dog for one small sip.

Tails wag. Anxious eyes. Lots of energy. Ready to go.

Sunset. Long day. Orange. Purples. Reds.

Moon takes over shift.

Feed dogs. Water.

Tails wag. Anxious eyes. Lots of energy. Ready to go.

I drink from hose.

Sit in dirt. Tail dragging. Eyes tired. Energy gone.

End of first day.

Seventy-nine to go.

*     *     *

Author Terry Odell is giving away a copy of this fine book. Please visit Terry’s website for details.

4 replies
  1. D. Swords
    D. Swords says:

    Doggone it, Lee. That was a good story.

    I liked the sudden jump from “tails wagging” to “tail dragging” (near the tail end of the story.)

    I assume we are talking of a different tail.

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