Sparky — Emerging Hero
Weighing in at 15 pounds, Sparky was an unlikely candidate for Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines, a pro-active narcotics dog program used to keep schools safe. This mighty terrier took on work with vigor, but while he excelled at finding drugs, his specialty was connecting and creating bonds with the hard to reach kids. After a drug bust, Sparky would sit close with the distraught student and offer consolation. Often he would lick their hands and even jump up in their lap as if to say, “You’ll be fine.” Tears streaming, many kids would then smile. One day a rough looking teen approached us in the hall with a swagger. He looked intense. Sparky trotted towards him with confidence and the boy grinned when Sparky got closer. He dropped to his knees, cooing to Sparky who performed his signature back flop to get a belly rub. They had an eye to eye moment and then the young man told Sparky how he used to get high every day, but with Sparky coming to the school he was nervous he would get busted as well as disappoint Sparky. He said that he had quit using drugs and now wanted to go to college. He thanked Sparky for the help and told him he loved him. This is one example of many. For eight years, Sparky performed his tasks with a combination of skill and affection. When he retired from Sherlock Hounds Detection Canines, many of the young people he had inspired over the years regarded him as a hero.