Secret Service Dog Dies from Fall

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I hope it was the dog’s fault. I hope for the handler’s sake the dog made the decision on his own.

Making mistakes while training or handling is common. We’re human, we’re all about imperfection.
We make mistakes in judgement, technique and timing. But we’re seldom if ever faced with a mistake
that takes the life of our dog.

The idea of making a mistake that sends our partner, friend and family to it’s death is almost too horrifying to contemplate. In this case I dearly hope the dog made the decision which led to his own death. I hope the dog disobeyed, or mis-read, or simply made a bad decision to investigate.

I believe it’s possible the dog jumped over the concrete wall of the parking garage, thinking it was a barrier. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever get that information as the general public wouldn’t understand or be interested in the finer points of training dogs, so it’s unlikely to make the news.

The barriers used in military style dog training are often vertical panels which resemble the walls of parking garages. This is a mistake of recognition a dog could easily make. The handler might have directed the dog to check near the wall or the front of a vehicle only to see the dog sailing up, over and out of sight. If that was the case, the dog would have expected to land on the other side of the barrier.

I make training and handling mistakes all the time, everybody does. In fact, making mistakes paired
with the ability to be honest about the results enables us to learn.

I however, can apply my mistakes and gained knowledge to future benefit.
That is redemption, it allows us to forgive ourselves for being human. We can make up for whatever harm we might have caused.

This handler is faced with a nightmare with no redemption, the worst possible kind of mistake. This man has lost a partner and a friend and he has no way to make it all better. So for his sake, I hope it was the dog’s error.

My sincerest condolences.

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