When I was a young guy going through some arduous training, one of the things we spent time on, every few days, was an obstacle course.  It was challenging, and we were on the clock. It was always a pass/fail evolution.  Looking back on it, I realize how daunting some of those obstacles were for me.  Obstacles designed to force a human to commit to the required movement fully, or it was impossible to negotiate successfully. 

Why all of this?  Because time has shown that training to do a difficult task is essential, especially when the stakes are high, you know, life and death.

There were times when I had to fully commit to an endeavor to do my part in making it successful in life and death situations.  My leaders would have been inept, had they put me in a fight I wasn’t trained to the best of my ability, to win.  My leaders, taught by theirs and history, knew we needed to be physically and mentally capable to commit ourselves fully when the time came. The obstacle course helped them do that.

On Saturday, we will, with the help of some fantastic people, construct a K9 Obstacle course for the working Dogs of Roanoke VA, and all surrounding jurisdictions. It will be the seventh build/refurb that we have successfully negotiated.

These Roanoke Dogs need the opportunity to push themselves in a “safe” environment.  They need to feel confident when they commit to jumping through a window or over a fence while doing the difficult work we sometimes ask of them.  Are we giving those Dogs all the tools they need to be successful? I believe that my training on the obstacle course directly impacted my ability to perform at a high level in combat. I think these Dogs, who are not volunteers like I was, deserve the best opportunity to execute their mission.

One other corollary benefit to these builds is that we often meet the Officers and their families. The public, with proper personal protective equipment, can meet and speak with the folks they ask to protect them and meet the beautiful K9’s who work on their behalf.

The community benefits from the service of the K9. The community will come together for the betterment of the K9 Teams. Dogs will be better prepared to succeed in their work. Win. Win. Win.