She’s intelligent, friendly and cuts an elegant figure. She’s also considerably smaller and lighter than many of her police dog colleagues, making her all too easy to underestimate.
Meet Police Dog (P.D.) Didi. A Belgian Malinois, her speed and agility make her superb police dog material. She can touch 33 mph and jump a six foot fence from standing.
A busy and sociable puppyhood has left P.D. Didi easygoing with the general public, children and other dogs. A secondment to Portsmouth has lent her a touch of swagger. Her steadfastness and amenable personality are a great foundation to progress within the police from a general role into a more specialised area.
Her handler, P.C. Stacy Beale has worked with her for two years. They cover the Petersfield area as part of their overall patch, which takes in north and east Hampshire.
P.C. Beale, talks to Kate Fairweather about her abilities, their relationship and what it takes to make it in the police dog world.
And, in case you were interested…they also discuss how you become a police dog handler.
School can be daunting when you’re four, especially if you struggle with reading or are a bit shy. Sometimes all you need is some encouragement from a friend, who sits with you in the school library.
In the first edition of our new series, Dogs with Jobs, meet Acorn. He’s a well known figure around Petersfield. Blond-haired, very large and very gentle, he works as a reading assistant at Petersfield Infants and Herne School.
On a chilly January morning, Kate Fairweather is charmed by Acorn, and hears about his caring career from his owner, Judy Bridgeland. He has provided support to schoolchildren and delighted hospital patients too, in Petersfield over the last four years How did Judy know he would be a success? She explains the qualities that have allowed him to shine in this role, and what it entails.
How do dogs become school reading assistants, anyway?
Pets as Therapy (PAT) is a voluntary organisation that matches volunteers and their dogs with caring settings, such as schools and care homes. If you think your dog might make a good PAT therapy dog, get in touch via its website or contact Patricia Bland, regional coordinator for the Petersfield area, for more information.
Do you work your dog?
If you would consider participating in Shine Radio’s monthly Dogs with Jobs podcast, why not get in touch with Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org. Caring dogs, service dogs, sporting dogs – the more varied the better! She’s interested in them all and would love to hear from you.