By Pamela Roy, Recreation Therapy Aide, Good Samaritan West Highland Centre
Good Samaritan West Highland Centre residents and staff welcomed Constable Braylon Hyggen from the Lethbridge Police Service to their care home, along with police service dogs Myke and Bridge. Residents got a hands-on demonstration of how the dogs are trained, as well as how police service dogs work alongside human officers to keep our communities safe.
Both PSD Myke and PSD Bridge are Belgian Malinois, a breed commonly found in police services around the world. While Myke is an 8-year veteran of the force, Bridge is only nine months old and still completing his training. Because police dogs typically retire after 9 years of service, Bridge is effectively training to take Myke’s place in the K9 unit.
West Highland Centre residents were delighted to watch as Constable Hyggen demonstrated how the dogs detect contraband substances. PSD Myke showed resident his uncanny ability to follow a scent around the room, and was rewarded with a spirited game of tug-of-war with his toy afterward. Meanwhile, PSD expertly sought out washers hidden by Constable Hyggen, and was rewarded with treats for his efforts. Constable Hyggen also highlighted the tools officers use to communicate with the animals, as well as the tools given to the dogs themselves (such as collar flashlights) to help them perform their duties. Both police dogs demonstrated their calm, friendly demeanours as they interacted with residents and staff alike throughout the afternoon.
The afternoon was a wonderful opportunity for residents to meet members of the Lethbridge Police Service. Thanks to Constable Hyggen, Myke and Bridge, our residents got a great opportunity for the to meet valued members of the community they normally wouldn’t get to see.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2023 issue of the Journey. Read this and other issues of the Journey here, or sign up to be the first to receive the Journey online or by mail.