GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We've been following the journey of Rae, our 13 On Your Side Paws With A Cause Puppy for over a year. 

From her at the Saginaw Correctional Facility, to her return to Paws With A Cause. During that time there was always one command she just couldn't master, how to sit still for longer than two minutes. It made us wonder if maybe Rae was deciding to do something different. And we soon got the news that Rae, had indeed decided she wanted to do a different type of work.

After her prison training Rae returned to Paws With A Cause for evaluation. "Placements other than an assistance dog is something that we've always done," said Mike Hannah with Paws With A Cause. 

Paws with A Cause always put the dogs first when it comes to placement, "Where can that dog go to take it's abilities and it's skill to the highest level that it's capable of where is it going to be happiest where is the relationship between the human and the dog going to be the most beneficial for whatever that work may be," Hannah went on to say.

Turns out for Rae, that work is being a detection dog, "Placements other than an assistance dog is something that we've always done," Hannah explained.

Nick King and his detection dog training facility Vonderking Kennels has a nearly 20 year relationship with Paws, "Rae has a genetic reciprocity to want to go out and explore the environment and be a little more inquisitive. And that suits her style better. So by no means did she fail she just found something she's better at and enjoys more." 

Nick trains dogs in detection work, from border patrol to the TSA and police work. Rae's independence, determination and enthusiasm are exactly what he looks for in a detection dog, "She did very well in all the testing she was social she was environmentally stable she had a quality in her prey drive a quality in everything that she did which is very expected when we come out here to Paws."

And Rae loves to work, King said "These dogs live for what they do. They are fulfilled by what they do. It's one big game for them. They think we hid something. They get to find it and then get their reward."

It's important to understand that detection dog work is not dangerous, "It's very very safe. The dogs are highly highly trained and receive tons of maintenance training. When they actually find something they sit there. And we take them away and let somebody else handle it."

We had a short visit with Rae before she headed back to Georgia to continue her training at Vonderking Kennels.

Rae will train for about six more months before she is placed with a detection agency. We hope to be able to let you know her final destination soon.

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