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NEWS AND ARTICLES :: GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG NEWS AND ARTICLES
NICK THE DOG
October, 12 2007

He is the newest member of the Port Arthur Fire Department and he's an expert in detecting explosive devices.

He has a nose for crime and is originally from Holland. Nick the dog is a one and a half year old German shepherd.

"Nick is certified to detect about a dozen explosive odors ranging from dynamite, c-4. He can detect these odors from a great distance 100 feet away. He's nailed these odors."

"He hasn't even peaked in his ability," said Sastre

Nick's handler, best friend, and fellow firefighter Mark Sastre spent a month at the Global K-9 Training Academy in San Antonio training and familiarizing himself with Nick.

Sastre says taking on Nick was a full-time commitment since the k-9 lives with him.

"Every week we spend about 4 hours of training, running patterns, to keep his skills sharp," he said.

The two are required to return to San Antonio every year for a week of training.

Sastre says the two workout together everyday.

He said, "His physical health is just as important to him as it is to us."

Nick replaces the Port Arthur Fire Department's canine Ivar, who died suddenly in June from an illness.

Firefighters say they didn't have the money to buy another canine until members of the Port Arthur Industrial Group, which includes Motiva, Chevron Phillips, and Huntsman, pitched in the $10,000 to buy Nick.

They say it was the least they could do.

"Very important we had to call the fire department several times to come out and help us, random checks, we always had that as a resource," said Todd Monette from Motiva.

While Nick's expertise is sniffing out bombs, Sastre says at the end of the day Nick's just one of the guys.

"Nick is a real laid back mellow dog, he's kind of shy around new people but once he gets to know you he will want to go play ball with you," said Sastre.

Nick joined the department two weeks ago. Firefighters have ordered him a badge and bullet proof vest.

Credit : Nicole Murray


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