January 16, 2011

The nose knows

  Jimmy Cooper is a deadbeat dad who hasn’t sent money home for nearly a year. He owes over $5,000 in child support. We already know he’s hiding out somewhere in New Jersey.
  This day the cops have tracked him to Egg Harbor where he’s living in a flea-bag hotel with his girlfriend. Two detectives, warrants in hand, knock on the door but get no answer. After hearing a window fly open they kick in the door just in time to see Jimmy climbing down a fire escape wearing nothing but undershorts and a pair of socks.
  There’s a wooded area two blocks away and that’s where Jimmy seems to be headed. The detectives call the Breakers Hotel where, luckily, there’s a convention of K-9 cops at a training session. The K-9 teams are from all over the East Coast. Jimmy really picks the wrong place to hide out — so close to dozens of bloodhounds that love nothing better than to go sniffing for fugitives.
  Soon two dog teams are at the edge of the woods where Jimmy was seen last. Matching Jimmy’s scent from a pile of his dirty laundry, the dogs quickly strike a trail. Tracking dogs have cow bells attached to their harnesses so police handlers can keep track of where they are.
  Both of these dogs are a combination of Redbone and Bloodhound. That special breed gives them tremendous stamina (Redbone), plus an incredible ability to detect odors (Bloodhound). These dogs have a far greater sensitivity to odors than any human can detect. These dogs have some 300,000 sensors on their wet nose.
  It doesn’t take long before the dogs have Jimmy up a tree, literally. They’re barking and baying at him like he’s a treed raccoon.
  Eventually the medics at the emergency room sew up the cuts and treat the abrasions Jimmy got running half naked through the woods.
  Next he’ll face a family court judge to answer a charge of “contempt of court.” This episode will cost him at least a year in jail. That won’t help Jimmy’s children, but it’ll make the “system” feel better.
  What about the dogs? Will they get extra points in the weekend competition for catching a real, live fugitive?
  “No points at all,” says a K-9 officer. “The competition and training is more for the officers. The dogs are natural born experts at catching bad guys.”

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