What is it about Golden Retrievers that make them so special? They are the only dogs that are chosen to be Comfort Dogs and now it is coming out that one of the nation’s leading cadaver dogs is also a Golden Retriever.
Scupper is from the Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota area. He and his handler/owner Mike Knorr are quite a team. Scupper just happens to be one of our nation’s top-ranked human remains detectors.
In a recent human remains proficiency training exercise, Scupper ranked second. Amazing, considering that only two dogs tested at 100 percent proficiency; no mistakes when it came to detecting human remains.
When the pair is not working, they are training. It takes a lot of training to be able to do this very important task. The training is necessary for Scupper to keep up his skills between jobs.
The job does not come without risk. Scupper suffered from a work-related knee injury resulting in surgery. He has a plate installed in his leg. It took nearly a year for him to heal and get back to the job.
Scupper is four. Careers like his only last for a short time. Larger dogs only work until about the age of eight. He likes his job and considers it a type of play. Although Scupper enjoys his task, it comes with deadly results.
Scuppers job is totally opposite of the Comfort Dogs, but both help people in their very own ways. The Comfort Dogs have also been in the news quite a bit lately, what with Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon, the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas and finally, the large tornado that touched down in Moore, Oklahoma. The dogs are invited in to assist the individuals left after the disasters occur. They can work at their career until they are about 10; a much less dangerous career.
Part of the reason that Golden Retrievers are chosen to do important tasks like the two mentioned above is because they are intelligent and maintain an eager-to-please attitude. They are also extremely good workers. The AKC site actually lists them as being known for their search and rescue abilities.
These abilities are the reason that Scupper has been involved in such famous cases as the missing Kira Trevino from St. Paul and Kurt Johnson, the North Dakota State University researcher whose head he located in Cooperstown, N.D. in the basement of convicted killer Daniel Wacht. Their caring attitude is why the Comfort Dogs are always being invited in to help people all over our country.
As you can tell, Golden Retrievers are very special dogs with very special abilities. People in the United States are very lucky that these dogs reside here and are willing to help all those in need.