A man’s best friend

© 2018-Bridger Valley Pioneer

“Trust in me, my friend, for I am your comrade. I will protect you with my last breath…. Together we will conquer all obstacles, and search out those who might wish to harm others…”

EVANSTON — They say dogs are man’s best friend, and the saying rings true for a recently retired partnership in the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit.

In 2012, Deputy Jarrod Asay met his canine partner Chuck, a chocolate lab, for the first time. The two quickly became friends and used their individual skill-sets to make a formidable team, certified in narcotics-sniffing.

Together, Chuck and Asay are one of 50,000 K9 teams in the U.S., according to an estimate made by the North American Police Work Dog Association, and made up the only K9 partnership in Uinta County.

The two completed 91.8 hours of maintenance training and 340 training and deployment searches in the year 2015 alone. Each year the team was also required to earn their certification, a series of 13 different tests that examine the ability of the dog as well as the ability of the handler. Chuck received his first certification as a drug-sniffing dog a year before uniting with Asay, and has earned certification ever since.

Asay explained what an average day on the job, with Chuck by his side, looked like.

“He came to work with me every morning…” began Asay. “He rode around in my truck with me and if I saw anything suspicious, a suspicious vehicle that I had reason to believe was in possession of illegal drugs we would do a search.”

Asay continued. “We wouldn’t train everyday because it wears the dog out, but a couple a times a week we would train by putting out what we call hides, these are either actual drugs or scented towels, to confirm that the dog is doing what he is supposed to be doing.”

“Chuck looks for drugs like any other dog would look for a ball,”explained Asay. “So when we went out to work it was like a big game for him.”

Unfortunately, the duet no longer work side-by-side.

Pictured is Uinta County Sheriff's Deputy Jarrod Asay with his partner Chuck. COURTESY PHOTO/Jarrod Asay

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