You’re no stranger to seeing your dog work for treats (will spin for a cookie!) But most pups aren’t technically employed 9 to 5—at least nothing like herding and hunting dogs used to be back in the day. Enter Working Like A Dog, a new book that gives pet parents a window into the world of modern working animals. From cancer-detecting canines to Avalanche rescue dogs to daily companions that keep their humans alive, the pups featured in the book have some incredible stories to tell. Here are four of the most inspiring ones:
The pup: Stevie
The job: Cancer Detection for In Situ Foundation
As part of the foundation that trains dogs to detect early stage cancer, Stevie can actually identify early stages of oral cancer by smelling patients' saliva. For other forms of the disease, she will scratch and then sit if she deems something askew with the sample. Every day, Stewie does between 50 and 120 runs and has an accuracy rate of 98 to 100 percent.
The pup: Riley
The job: Accelerant Detection for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department
That adorable face? It’s visited over 50 fires, many of them caused by arson, which have led to convictions of several arsonists. How does Riley do it? He can sniff out minute traces of accelerants (i.e. gasoline or lighter fluid) that may have been used to start a fire. In fact, Riley and his human partner, Capt. Orr, recently captured an arsonist who set three separate fires one evening in Santa Maria.
The pup: Zar
The job: Drug and Article Detection for the West Sacramento Police Department
Zar is a rescue dog that has cornered crooks, sniffed out drugs and put his life on the line for his Partner Officer Kinney and the city of Sacramento, California. The small but fearless police dog has assisted in arresting over 500 suspects, found drugs over 50 times and has won 96 awards in Search, Obedience, Agility, and Protection. Oh, and just look at that face, will ya?
The pup: Orbit
The job: Autism Service Dogs for Good Dog Autism
Orbit was the reason his humans founded Good Dog Autism Companions, an organization that helps pair families with children who have autism with service dogs. Orbit has helped their son, Elliot, by providing him with companionship, lending a sense of calm--and bringing awareness and acceptance to his autism to others.