Over the last thirteen years, puppy walker Lynda Parlour has looked after 33 potential police dogs for the Force!
She volunteered to join the puppy walker scheme in 1991 and hasn’t looked back since.
It was her husband, Insp John Parlour who first told her about the scheme which places 7-week-old puppies who have the potential to be police dogs with carefully chosen puppy walkers for one year.
Many of the dogs given to Lynda over the years have been bred especially to be police dogs and are intelligent, playful and strong-willed. However, it is the gift dogs given by members of the public that have proved to be the most problematic owing to previous owners having no idea of the work involved in looking after a boisterous German shepherd.
Lynda’s way of handling these powerful young dogs however is quite simple: “You encourage what you want and discourage what you don’t want.”
Lynda has successfully managed to juggle both a young family and young pups over the years and is a firm favourite among the dog handlers.
Seeing a puppy turn into an operational police dog gives Lynda a lot of satisfaction, but as she says herself: “These dogs are not mine, they are foster dogs and belong to the Chief Constable."
In fact, Lynda received a certificate of recognition from the Chief Constable and a plaque of a black German Shepherd on behalf of all the police dogs and their handlers in October 2003.