Buddy & Taylor, best friends

Hi Folks,

This month we have another exciting interview with the Punta Gorda Police Department’s newest canine officer, Chance! The 3 of us, me, Buddy & Sunshine, very much appreciate all the time Lt. Davoult and Chance allowed us to ask our questions.

A little bit of background: We interviewed K9 Officer Sadie in August of 2020. She is doing a great job on the force; her job is to locate drugs, and track missing and endangered people. She really knows how to use her nose!

In March 2022 the PGPD announced that Chance, a Beagle-mix pup, was going to join the force. He and his handler, Lt. Justin Davoult, had to attend college first. They started working on the force in July 2022.

Our Interview with Chance

Punta Gorda Police Department's K-9 Officer ChanceTaylor: Rrruff wuff and welcome Officer Chance! Thanks for speaking with us today!

Chance: Hi guys! Thanks for this opportunity to talk to you! By the way, Finnis and Stormin told me that the Cats n Dogs store has the best toys and treats in this area.

Taylor: Hehe, thanks. So – let’s get started, do you know why the PGPD decide they needed another canine officer?

Chance: As I understand it, some 4-pawed residents in Punta Gorda suggested hiring a new police dog. Chief Pamela Davis and others decided that a Therapy Dog would be useful for the Department. So, to Finnis and Stormin, thank you for funding my move to Punta Gorda and for our training!

Sunshine Kitty: Where were you born Chance? How did you get your start?

Chance: I was born in Brevard County FL. I had a good life with my family there until they had to put me up for adoption. I was very sad at the rescue home. However, there is a program with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office to give Rescues the opportunity to serve. Because of my age (I’m 18 months old right now), I wasn’t chosen at first to attend the classes. But I made good friends with one of the trainers in the Sheriff’s Office. She really gave me the chance to try. And that’s how I got the name Chance!

Buddy: What kind of training did you take? How did you end up in the field of Therapy?

Chance: First, I went to a 3-month school given in Brevard County. That’s over on the “Space Coast” where the rockets go off. I learned basic obedience from certified K9 trainers. Inmates at their jail helped me do my homework. I just loved all I was learning and all the people I worked with, so they decided I was a perfect fit to be a Therapy Dog!

Chance (in the middle) with his family Finnis and StorminThen, came the decision of where to serve. Punta Gorda had put in a request for a therapy dog. That’s how I met Lt. Davoult! I just call him LT. I live with LT and his family, including my new best friend Juno, a furry friend who tells me she is a basset hound.  I also like to hang out with my new bestie Aspen.  She’s a Labradoodle.  We love to run around the backyard together and chase lizards.

Before I could serve in Punta Gorda, LT had to go to classes too. We did class together. I go to work every day with LT. I’m off-duty when he is off-duty. He likes to go swimming – uhh, I don’t. LOL, ok – I know HOW, I just don’t care for it. I do like a good chewie though. Nylabones are my favs.

Sunshine Kitty: What do you do when you are working?

Chance: Great questions you guys! I have the best job in the world! My job is to make people happy. LT and I go to schools, nursing homes, meetings, and hang out with city staff.  I even get to work with some Veterans.  I LOVE to see Humans smile. You know those studies that show petting a dog can de-stress Humans?*  Well, I know they’re true – I live those studies almost every day!

One day when I was at the Vet for a checkup, a little girl was there in the parking lot. She was crying because her dog had just died. I went over to her and asked if she would pet my head. She did and she told me her story. She told me how much fun her dog was and how he used to sleep with her. I just listened. Pretty soon she was telling me some funny stories about her dog. She laughed… I wagged my tail. I know she’ll still miss her dog, but I was glad she could remember some of the good stories about him too and I am especially happy that I was able to make her smile again.

LT & I also learned how to deal with someone in a post-traumatic stress episode. That’s a more serious side of our work.

what makes a good therapy dog  Illustration: Catherine Song. © The Spruce, 2019

Taylor: Wow Chance, that’s pretty amazing. I heard you say that 2 furry friends in Punta Gorda donated to your training and move here. Should we ask our friends to help out too?

Chance: Oh sure! The City Police Department has a donation account set up specifically for K9 expenses that are not covered by the city budget each year. For instance, Chief Davis, LT, and other K9 handlers attended the Statewide Regional K9 Trials in Gulf Breeze, FL last March with donations from the Gulf View RV Resort.

Buddy: Thank you Chance for answering our questions and for serving in Punta Gorda! We’ll be sure to give you a salute when we see you out and about. And we invite you, Juno and Aspen to come to the store. We have some amazing chewies that we think you will like!

Pet Product Trends to Watch:

Pet Insurance, Subscription Home Delivery, and Plant/Insect-based Foods. We’re going to have to watch just how trendy these are though.

Well – that’s it for this month. Hope you enjoyed!

With a Wuf Wuf and a Meoww Meoww,
Taylor, Buddy, Mango & Sunshine

Joke of the month

Q: What kind of construction work are you good at?

A: Roofing

That’s a good profession to be in right now!  Cats N Dogs store hopes you and everyone you know are safe and that everyone has a warm, soft bed to sleep in!

Buddy Laughing, Cats n Dogs Stuff

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