Cain — Law Enforcement / Arson
The mission of Spectrum Health’s Police Authority K-9 Team is not much different than that of public police departments: to serve and protect. Our dogs accomplish this in addition to helping the communities we serve using a different approach: the health and healing approach. They help make our commitment to “improve the health of the communities we serve” not just a motto, but a reality. This is why I feel Cain exemplifies the title of Hero, and why he should be selected as an American Hero Dog.
Cain is a 4 year old GSD who patrols Spectrum Health and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospitals in Grand Rapids, MI. One minute, he’s snuggled in a hospital bed with a child, eliciting a long absent smile. The next minute, he’s running to a situation in another part of the complex.
I’ve seen firsthand the positive impact that Cain makes on patients, staff, and visitors as we patrol together. Many parents have cried tears of joy after Cain tenderly cheers up their child. I have seen a man who was unable to move, reach up and stroke Cain’s head, causing everyone to break down in tears during that moment. I have also witnessed tears of absolution by patients who know that Cain’s visit may be their last. Cain knows this too, and is gentle to the end.
However, don’t let Cain’s soft exterior fool you. Not only is he able to deter issues before it starts, he is also able to apprehend criminals and detect explosives. In the end, he is a hero every day in the eyes of those he meets.