VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver’s poet laureate is going to the dogs. Police dogs, that is.
In her first work of non-fiction, Rachel Rose explores the relationships between police dogs and their handlers, finding out they’re not just colleagues but often can become like family to one another.
“You know, they’ve seen everything,” Rose says. “They’ve seen people on the worst days of their lives, they’ve intervened with victims, they’ve arrested suspects, and they have all of these powerful experiences that nobody really hears about.”
She’s the first to admit it’s an odd fit, but it turns out a family connection is what brought her to the subject.
“My partner is a doctor for the RCMP and I kept hearing about the rescues and the different things that the police dog units did and I was immediately intrigued.”
The author explains it’s the relationship between dog and handler that kept her going.
“What would it be like if you have that deep bond and you’re spending all your time with your dog but you also depend on them to save your life. So, I was curious and that was really what led me into it.”
In order to write “The Dog Lover Unit: Lessons in Courage from the World’s K-9 Cops,” Rose says she had to get access. “It was hard to get permission, they tend to be sort of wary of outsiders and journalists, even though I am not a journalist, I was interviewing them. And so it was really hard just to even get my foot in the door.”
But once she got it, she found it difficult to know when to stop.
“So, I did connect with different units in the US and also in France and England and beyond!”
Rose is also determined to pay it forward: five per cent of the profits from books sales will go to PADS, which trains dog to work with the disabled, and also provides support dogs to crime victims and children who must testify in court.