Who are and/or what is #Caliberandme? We are simply a lady and her dog. I can hear you out there chuckling. Nothing about #Caliberandme could ever be considered simple.
I will begin with Caliber A.K.A. “K9 .40 Caliber” A.K.A. “Maligator” and the “Caliber of no friends” as known by his friends. Caliber; a three year old magnificent dual-purpose Belgian Malinois is my partner, my protector, my soul mate and the first half of #Caliberandme.
When John Mims breeder/trainer and owner of K9 Mims in Baton Rouge, LA handed Caliber’s leash to me in a gas station parking lot on Rt. 60 in Clearwater; a bond was formed. That day in December of 2013 we became #Caliberandme.
I am Angela, the “and me” half of #Caliberandme. As a private investigator, and Frank Burke’s partner in a successful investigative agency; part of our five year business plan was adding a service to provide our clients with the next level of due diligence against the war on drugs. Thereby reducing their liability and enhancing their safety programs.
Caliber was already highly trained in obedience and personal protection by John Mims; but I had additional, very specific training in mind. #Caliberandme were going to detect and prevent narcotics in our community. Yup, we were going to kick some drug dealing butt.
Before we even began I was told that certifying as a civilian narcotic detector dog team was unheard of. I was up against an age old paradigm that only police officers were eligible to train with and handle narcotic detector dogs. Not so.
As a licensed private investigator working for a licensed investigation agency I was eligible to train with, certify and handle narcotic detector dogs. Within a month of getting Caliber, on January 2, 2014 I began the exhaustive search for a trainer.
On April 21st a Retired Deputy Sheriff Canine Section Supervisor, Nationally Accredited Trainer of Patrol, Explosive and Narcotic Detection Canines said yes. Matt unwittingly agreed to the yet unknown huge task of training #Caliberandme in narcotic detection.
There were days we would both question my sanity. A 58 year old woman handling an enormous, highly driven (#7stitches) Belgian Malinois learning to search for drugs; What Was I Thinking? It was a tough eight weeks spent performing grueling, repetitive work, training in multiple conditions, difficult scenarios and in every environment imaginable. Our tenacity however; would prove to make this huge accomplishment even sweeter.
On July 2, 2014 Jan Scofield, Retired Titusville Police Department Detective, National Trainer & Certifying Official for the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association, Inc. tested and subsequently Certified #Caliberandme as a successful Narcotic Detector Dog Team for Marijuana and Cocaine.
Not to mention Caliber’s additional alias the “Drug Dog” and my new street name the “Drug Dog Lady”. Our work did not stop with certification; it had just begun. Belgian Malinois owners around the world will tell you “that dog needs a job”.
Like all skills personal protection requires consistent training therefore; we train. We travel to Sanford, FL for personal protection and situational training with Brandon Blake, Breeder/Trainer and owner of K9byBlake. Brandon trains with #Caliberandme for real life scenarios on the street.
Our primary skill; narcotics detection also requires consistent training therefore again; we train. We train All Over Pinellas County. In schools, behind supermarkets, restaurants, in vacant lots, around sewer drains, and dumpsters; anywhere someone could hide drugs.
So if you see a white car with a dog in the back, or what appears to be a homeless lady skulking under the bushes or shoving something up in a tree; don’t call the law. It’s just #Caliberandme