Growing into care and protection.

Today is the first birthday of Gianni, my puppy. As I look at him and reflect on the way he has grown and how much love I have for him, I can’t help but think about all of the working Dogs out there. They started out as little tiny puppies who were born with a set of abilities that made them suitable for us humans to use in our world. These puppies didn’t volunteer for that role, but they are bred and trained to perform in difficult, sometimes deadly circumstances.

These Dogs serve the US Military, the Federal and State and Local law enforcement communities, the State Department, the BLM. the US Forest Service, FEMA, Fire departments across the country, and many other organizations that use them to help accomplish duties that benefit their human pack.

We need to take care of these amazing animals and we need to do so at a very high level. These Dogs deserve proper food, water, exercise, preparation and training, medical care, and the absolute best equipment we can provide to them to keep them safe and efficient in the duties we ask of them.

As you go about your normal day here in the US of A, think about the Dogs that are out there working on your behalf. Think about how they came into this world. Think about what we ask of them and then think about helping them in any way you can.

We are grateful for your support. Because of you, our supporters, we have accomplished much, but we’ve barely made a dent in the US working K9 population.

We need an “all hands on deck” moment to get as many K9s as possible under our umbrella of care and safety.

Please help us by donating here, or sharing our mission with your friends, both face to face and on social media. Please reach out to your local law enforcement and EMS services to see if they have needs for their working Dogs. Please let them know that we are here, waiting for their “ask” so that we can help take care of these amazing and precious resources.

Thank you-

jimmyh


New members of the Spike’s K9 Fund Team!

I want to officially welcome two new members to the Spike’s K9 Fund team.

Chloë Akers and Evan Nolte-Cross are both fresh off of their first few months of evaluation and both are serious assets to the Spike’s K9 Fund Team.

Evan is a newly retired Special Operations K9 Medic. He has taught several of our “Spike’s School” courses and he brings a large amount of personal experience and a dynamic manner of teaching to our crew. We will use Evan primarily as an instructor and our schools’ coordinator, he will also help out with social media and spreading some of the good emergency medical treatment information that he has acquired over his time in the US Army and on his multiple combat deployments with the Special Operations community. We know that there is a huge need for medical proficiency in the K9 community. Evan will help our team try to fill that need. We are very fortunate to have a man of Evan’s caliber joining our team.

Chloë is our executive assistant and social media content asset. Her hard work and creativity are keys to our growing mission and we look forward to her broadening our media quality and content with her creativity and excellent writing skills. She is Emily’s right hand and will learn all of the various facets of executing our mission so that we can have some redundancy within our crew. Chloë is a talented young woman and we are grateful to have her.

I want to thank our supporters for helping us to grow to a point where we can bring on new team-members to help us reach more K9’s in need.

Now, get back to work!


Thank you, again.

Today’s blog post is simple. Thank you. Over the last 6 years, you, our supporters, our “Spike’s Pack” have been generous with your time, your resources, your kindness, and your enthusiasm. With those gifts, we have been able to positively influence the lives of literally thousands of working K9s.

We are fortunate and grateful.

Happy Friday-


Honolulu Happy

I’m waiting in the airport, to board my plane back to the mainland and I am reflecting on the amazing trip we just had. Because of our donors, we were able to size 2 Honolulu PD K9’s for their K9 Storm custom fit ballistic vests, and we also helped build a K9 agility course for them. The trip was very good for many reasons, but the thing that most impacted me was the professionalism and camaraderie I witnessed while working with them. The whole group of SSD officers were in great shape. They had actually come in early, on a Saturday, before their build, and worked out. Their Dogs were awesome and healthy, and for a bunch of Dutchies and Mals, they were wonderfully calm. The handlers and the other SSD team-members were all super-positive and very kind. The “Aloha” spirit is no joke. Their collective mindset and calm demeanor is contagious. They talked the same to each other as they did to us and the media and the guests who came to take part in the community event. I’m not sure I have the words to describe the impact that this trip has had on me but I know that it has been significant and I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity, through Spike’s K9 Fund and our donors generosity, to be a tiny part of making their lives, and the lives of their K9’s, a bit better. I would recommend that any LEO group who needs an example on how to run their organization, take a visit to the Honolulu PD and especially the SSD team, to witness a great example of a professional police force.


Human Remains Detection Class

K9 “Jessie” and yours truly, looking for human remains in the lake.

Last week, in the lovely Ohio countryside, we were, because of our generous supporters, able to help more than a few HRD (human remains detection) K9 Teams attend an amazingly complex course in finding human remains. I remember a few years ago,looking at a photo of a K9 in a boat like the one pictured above and being amazed that Dogs could actually locate human remains that were underwater.

To actually watch the Dog Teams who do this as their vocation, was absolutely amazing. The course is run by a group of FEMA K9 handlers under the name of “CFTE” which stands for “The Center for Forensic Training and Education.” It is a resource and work-intensive class that provides real-life training scenarios with full bodies, bodies who were donated by individuals who understood how important it is to train K9’s for this difficult work.

I watched as the staff guided the various K9 teams, from all over the country, people as far away as Seattle and Florida, and Massachusetts , and as I watched, I saw the similarities in their and my training. Although I was, in my previous life, looking for humans that wanted to kill me and my crew, and these K9’s were looking for dead humans, the need to understand our respective Dogs and the way they communicate is invaluable. Clues like a quick head turn, or the more obvious Scooby-doo sudden change of course, are indicators that something is of interest.

The obvious discomfort when dealing with an entire human corpse is something that both the humans and the Dogs need to overcome to accomplish their mission. This is no small thing and one of the biggest reasons that the training provided by CFTE is so important.

In the end, I came away from the week of work with a new-found respect for the serious SAR community. As in any type of vocation, there are different levels of expertise. With the CFTE folks, we were introduced to many of the “varsity” level K9 teams in the SAR world and for that, I am grateful.

Thank you to our generous supporters who help us help these amazing K9 teams and thank you to the staff at CFTE for showing us your work ethic and significant commitment to the work of finding lost humans, be they alive or not.


The Wolf

In 1994, the movie “Pulp Fiction” was released and became a classic. There was a very cool character in that movie, played by Harvey Keitel, called “The Wolf.”

Essentially, The Wolf was the guy you went to when you had a serious issue that needed to get solved. We have one of those here at Spike’s K9 Fund. His name is Jason Lewis and he is the chairman of our board. He does many things for us and has been a supporter since our conception. Presently we are in Ohio working with the Center for Forensic Training and Education, helping out several SAR K9 Teams from across the country. Jason (The Wolf) created this relationship and he has helped us open a door to a significant part of the working K9 family. These K9 teams are largely self-funded and they work very hard to provide a resource to the nation. Being able to find a lost person, be they live or deceased, is a difficult job and because they are largely self supported, it is important to connect them with our amazing supporters.

In addition to Jason’s resourcefulness and insight, he is a great father and husband, two things that never get enough recognition.

Jason is a great American and a huge asset to all who find themselves in his sphere of influence.

Ok, now I’m finished kissing his butt!

In all seriousness, we NEED people like this helping us execute our mission. We need more Jason’s to reach all of the K9’s who need our support.

I hope you have a great week and that as you go about your days, remember that there are people and Dogs working very hard to protect you, your family, your community and your nation.


Gratitude NEVER gets old

All working dogs start out as puppies!

Over the last 2 weeks, we have accomplished much in supporting the working K9s! We, with the help of the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, built a K9 obstacle course for the New Haven Police Dept. K9 Unit in New Haven, CT. I was fortunate to have a few of my Yale classmates come out and help as well. After that evolution, we traveled to Long Island and conducted a mission with the “Spike’s School” campaign. We provided a trainer and supported the training in hard-surface tracking and trailing, in very busy urban areas. It was an exceptional opportunity to help great K9 teams get better at the work we ask of them in their support of our communities.

All of this is possible because of the support we receive from you, our donors. My gratitude for that support is beyond being described in words. I am on this earth typing out this blogpost because Dogs saved my life on multiple occasions. It is very impactful that others share my passion for caring for this amazing creatures who, unlike us humans, do NOT volunteer for the jobs they have been given.

Thank you 1000000000 times. I can’t wait to show you what we do with your generosity.

With respect and love-

Jimmy.


Old School Dog Poem

I quite enjoy poetry. It is tough to find good poetry that talks about Dogs or where the poet writes as if they understand Dogs at all.

This is a good one by Weldon Kees. It is an old one as well:


Again, Gratitude.

I must express my gratitude to our supporters.
Yesterday, Emily, the intrepid Director of Operations, cc’d me on an order for five heat alarm systems from Ace K9 for K9 teams in several states.
That order represents several thousand dollars or many donations from many people. The K9’s that receive the heat alarm system now have a different kind of armor, armor against the #1 killer of Police K9’s: Heat.
Mechanical failure of a Police Vehicle is not uncommon, and a K9 can perish in a few minutes in a hot car.

When we started Spike’s K9 Fund, I had no idea what the real needs were, but when I talked to people in the know, I was shocked at the number of dogs killed by heat. Because of you, our supporters, we can help K9’s with these essential heat alarm systems and other items, like ballistic protection or GPS trackers, or medical cost assistance. Now, we are helping to educate handlers in emergency medical care and further beneficial training for their K9’s as well.

So THANK YOU to our supporters and Thank you to the K9’s out there doing work to protect our communities and us.

Happy Friday-

Spike and me and a few others. 2005 Iraq-