Simplify Your Life and Protect Your K/9!
We old K9 handlers don't know everything but we do have a couple of tricks up our sleeves. As K9 handlers you have taken on many extra responsibilities. At work besides your regular duties you have also taken on the extra workload that goes along with K/9. Now add to that the responsibilities in your personal life and we have a very, "Full Workload". So think about making your life a little simpler while helping to protect your K9.
Over the years I have seen many K9 handlers, first aid supplies buried in the bottom of their K9 equipment. The fact is most of us don't go tracking or working our dogs with a full K9 first aid kit on our person. So when there is an emergency out in the field we will most likely be away from our vehicle. That makes it necessary for us to depend on another officer to get our first aid equipment and bring it to us. Also there are times that we may need non emergency items during training for grooming and maintenance. The problem is that there are numerous bottles of liquids that can get turned over and leak when carried in an equipment bag or vehicle trunk.
This is an idea that I used and it worked for me, it may just help you. Go and purchase an inexpensive plastic toolbox, similar to a, "Homer Box" from Home Depot. The box is already bright orange in color, which will be easily located in your K9 vehicle. Write with a dark marker, "K9 FIRST AID" on the outside of the box. Now when someone else goes to get your first aid kit in an emergency, it will go much smoother. Take the inner tray out and give it to your kids as a gift! Divide the box in half with a piece of shelf wood cut to fit. Put in a couple drywall screws thru the boxes front and back to hold it in place. This will give you two deep, "well areas" in the box. I was able to put my first aid supplies into two, one gallon zip lock bags. I placed both of them together on one side. The other side I was able to fit all my grooming and maintenance supplies. This would include numerous items, some that were liquids in plastic bottles. This box holds the bottles upright to help prevent them from leaking. If by chance one did leak, it will not get on your first aid supplies as they are in plastic bags. If leaking did occur you only have to empty the plastic box and then rinse it out.
In our northern winters possible freezing of the liquids can be an issue. I used to bring my box in the house with me during the really cold months. I used a gun belt snap keeper and attached my vehicle keys to the handle. This way I never left the box at home when I went to work or training. Our lives have become extremely busy especially as K9 handlers. But our K9 partners should not suffer due to this. I have seen police dogs develop serious medical issues because handlers did not keep up on routine maintenance. Possibly if the supplies were at hand these issues could have been prevented. It goes without saying that in an emergency you better have the right supplies close by. Note: always get with your veterinarian for a list as to what to include in your box.
So from this old guy, I hope this helps you, "Simplify" your years in K9.
Remember being a K9 handler is the very best part of any Officers Career!
NAPCH Master Trainer