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    Buckeye: Serving the People

    On Thursday February 6, 2003, we were honored with a visit from Ed Hoisington an officer and instructor with the U.S. Customs Canine Program. The purpose of his visit was to evaluate our rescue Labradors for possible work with the U.S. Customs Dept. of the United States. After spending a few hours with our candidates, Buckeye, a rescue from Franklin County OH Animal Shelter (rescued by Lisa Wahoff, Director of the FCAS) and named for the Ohio State Buckeyes as he was rescued at the end of their National Championship Win, passed the initial testing and proudly wore his U.S. Customs collar and left with Ed to Virginia. From there, he will be quarantined and if his hip x-rays prove acceptable then his next step will be a 13 week training course. We are so very proud of Buckeye for his initial acceptance. Please check back and we will keep the site updated as to Buckeye's progress. We are proud to have BUCKEYE as a candidate to serve our country!

    Buckeye Update: 4/22/2003... All officers in training pick their 1st dog & are assigned a 2nd dog so that they have 2 dogs for training. Ed told all of them that there was 1 dog in the class that was too much dog for any of them to handle. He meant (w/out saying it) - Buckeye. After the 1st round, Buckeye was not picked - while all of the other dogs jumped @ the front of the kennels to be picked - Buckeye cowered in the back of the kennel w/tail between his legs. When going over the list of dogs to be assigned, upon Buckeye's name being mentioned, one former TX trooper spoke out, "He's not going to make it - he's going to fail this class - just look at him cowering". Ed spoke & said "That dog, officer, is more dog than you can handle and say HELLO to your new partner!!" Ed told me that on a scale of 1-10 - Buckeye is a 10!! He has won the heart of his partner - the former TX trooper, which Ed has confirmed is a perfect match. He now happily goes into his kennel to rest before the next round of jobs and tests. On a recent test on a 12 acre ranch - drugs are hidden about 3/4 of the way into the property. When all of the officers were awaiting their instructions w/dogs by their sides, the wind shifted. Buckeye's nose went straight up in the air & Ed told the trooper to unclip his dog. Another officer said "Watch - that stupid dog will probably find it 1st". Sure enough, our Buckeye made a beeline (w/out wavering) straight to the hidden drugs that were placed 7 ACRES into the ranch!!!! Ed was very proud of him! If he passes all tests, his projected graduation date will be May 22, 2003. And he will be the loyal partner of his TX tropper friend along the Mexican border. We will update information about Buckeye when it becomes available.

    Buckeye Update: 5/02/2003... Good Morning again. Just wanted to follow up on the updates. One thing I need to correct is that the officer working "Buckeye" is a former Texas State Trooper who was hired by the Department of Homeland Security, (AKA: US Customs Service). Every morning I come into the office and feed the dogs, (prior to the officers arriving), and review our training agenda set for that day. Every morning Buckeye is at the gate with his "game-face" on and is ready to play the game of hide and seek. Today we are headed for the Washington DC area. We will be training in and around commercial vehicles, (trucks & buses) most of the morning. Afternoon, a little obstacle course training and then a bath and grooming session.

    The formal graduation set for Thursday, May 22, 2003, at 10:00 am.

    Buckeye Update: 5/16/2003... Good afternoon, What a great day. Today "Buckeye" completed his final evaluation with hard narcotics. Buckeye was put to the test and evaluated by three different supervisors. Over the last two days, "Buckeye" was given a test to check his ability to detect narcotics under different conditions. Various amounts of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy were concealed in vehicles, luggage and freight. Buckeye did not miss a beat. He located everything with a 100 % accuracy. "Buckeye" is now a certified narcotic detector dog and will proudly wear his U.S. Customs Canine Badge as he and his partner patrol the South Texas border.

    Buckeye will be formally issued his badge on May 22, 2003 at 10:00 am during graduation.

    I want to personally thank you for allowing me access to your facility and the hospitality that was afforded me. You will be receiving a formal letter from the Director advising you of Buckeye's status, along with Buckeye's graduation photograph.

    I look forward to visiting your area soon.

    Thank you again.

    - Ed

    "Officer" Buckeye

    We are all very appreciative of Ed and his intuitive sense in seeing that Buckeye was a special boy. We are very proud of Buckeye's accomplishments thus far and pray that he has a long and successful career.

    Update 5/23/03... NBC4 in Columbus OH did a story on Buckeye the week of 5/26/03. Buckeye originally came to LAB RSQ via a call from Lisa Wahoff, Director of the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Susan M. Smith, Community Relations Manager, Franklin County Department of Animal Control thought Buckeye's story to be a great success story of one of their shelter dogs and called upon the press to recognize Buckeye. They will be getting a video of some footage of Buckeye "in action" and will show it at the time of the story.