Putting talents to good use

Ah yes, the ball. Fewer things hold a higher place of honor among dogs. For many, chasing a ball is a great way to pass the time. For a select few, ball chasing becomes something more than merely a way to play. It’s a cold fetish. An all-consuming obsession. "Please, gimme’ the ball, ball, ball, ball, BALL!"

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Dogs like that should consider a future in law enforcement, since "ball drive" is the primary ability a dog needs to become a drug sniffer. Here’s one of Best Friends’ shining examples. Cedar’s (Pictured right with Sharita) world revolves around chasing balls. No day is gloomy so long as a ball is involved. When Sharita Odom came to Best Friends to find a possible police dog, Cedar rose above the crowd.

Her husband, Officer Darwin Odom, trained Cedar himself. Darwin had originally intended to train Cedar for another officer but when Cedar turned out as good as he did, Darwin just had to keep him for himself.

Just how talented a drug sniffer is Cedar? During his recent certification test, he was given nine minutes to find three different drugs – marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine – in three different rooms. Cedar found all three of them in three minutes flat! That’s six minutes faster than necessary. And after only three weeks on the job, he’s already made six drug busts.

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Officer Darwin (Pictured left with Cedar) is thrilled to have such a superior drug sniffer as part of the family. (Cedar sleeps in the bedroom and everything.) A happy ending indeed for such a talented guy. Way to go Cedar!

Sharita came to Best Friends and found Cedar through the Hurricane Katrina Training Partners Program. To learn more about the program, please click here to visit the Best Friends Network website.

Written by David Dickson. Photos by Troy Snow. Embedded photos by Cedar's family.