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Pooches With a Purpose

Some of our community’s hardest workers do without smartphones, iPads, or power tools — relying instead on their animal instincts. Dogs can perform a variety of jobs, sometimes better than people.

Some of our community’s hardest workers do without smartphones, iPads, or power tools — relying instead (quite successfully) on their animal instincts. Dogs can use their canine instincts and powerful sense of smell to perform a wide variety of jobs, and sometimes better than people do.  With sharp minds, strong spirits, and fit bodies, dogs can get a lot done in a day’s work. They give unconditional, immediate affection to people who need it most. They use their acute sense of smell to locate people, bombs, illegal drugs, and even cancer. They act as eyes for blind people. Dependable, loving, and loyal, dogs work to please. And when you see them in action, it’s much easier to understand the phrase “working like a dog.”

Several of the campers at Camp Bow Wow of Bridgewater have a profession other than that of being a typical pooch.  The professions of our campers range from daily tasks, to weekly activities while others are on an as needed basis.   Some dogs benefit from having a task in which they need to focus, and perhaps include some physical activity.  As with people, it can give them a sense of accomplishment, as well as the opportunity to please.  Tasks can also provide needed mental and physical stimulation. 

Meet some of our campers and learn more about some fun and interesting doggy professions.

RIPPLE — Member of the Lavallette Goose Patrol Squad. Ripple meets up with other dogs that patrol the Lavallette parks working to minimize the number of geese that “hang out” potentially destroying the property. Ripple reports that all efforts are humane and no geese are ever in danger of getting hurt. Ripple and his crew rely on their bark, speed and agility to keep the geese away. 

SASHA — Herder. Sasha has spent many months training with her owners and another professional herder (yes, another dog) to herd sheep. Sasha has a keen eye and sense for a sheep that starts to stray, with speed like lightning to move the stray back into the herd. And with her intense focus, she is a star at herding sheep. If we didn’t know better, we might think Sasha enjoys being around sheep more than she enjoys being around other pooches. Her skill set has proven to be very useful with her little sister who has recently started walking.

REMO — Official Camp Greeter. Several times a week Camp Bow Wow Bridgewater requires Remo’s services to meet and greet new campers. Remo spends time with the new campers helping them feel comfortable in the new environment and showing the new campers “the ropes." Remo is always happy spirited, outgoing and full of energy (and that’s on a bad day). He also has a very gentle temperament that he displays when a new camper appears to be a little nervous when first coming to camp. In fact, Remo barks at the other employees when he sees a new dog in the Meet & Greet area to let us know he is ready to begin his work. And we learned a long time ago not to get in the way of Remo and his responsibilities.

PENNY — Ralph Lauren Model. Penny is probably one of the youngest models, beginning her flourishing career at 10 weeks old. One look at Penny and you’ll understand why she has been so successful in her modeling career. And we are happy that she enjoys coming to camp to help her keep up her sleek physique.   Ralph Lauren today…..Hush Puppies tomorrow.

BOONE, DANO and NEMO — Somerset County K-9 Police Officers. Boone, Dano and Nemo have all worked for the Somerset County Police department for several years. They each specialize in a specific type of police duty.  Boone uses his bloodhound nose to search for missing, lost or wanted people. Dano uses his keen shepherd senses to seek out drugs, while Nemo is great at sniffing out bombs and explosives. We feel honored to care for these special dogs and we certainly feel safer when they are around.

VARDA — Tail Waggin Literacy Listener. Varda visits a local library to sit with children as they practice reading aloud. She listens with patience and never judge’s a child’s reading ability. Instead of being terrified of making a mistake or being laughed at if a child mispronounces a word, they have fun reading to Varda.  And Varda loves the attention.

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