K9 URL died last week. (Pronounced “Earl.”)
“URL was not bred to be a service dog, and instead had a very rough start as a pound puppy. He bounced through two different animal shelters and one foster home within the first few months of his life. Initially URL was deemed to be untrainable due to his behavior, but the Central Indiana Labrador Rescue & Adoption (CILRA) recognized URL’s unique talents and drive and intervened and committed themselves to finding URL a proper home.” Eventually becoming an Electronic Storage Detection K9, URL was the 4th K9 trained and certified in the US charged with a new mission to protect children from sexual exploitation.
URL and his handler, Detective Cameron Hartman, executed over 2,000 search warrants obtaining countless pieces of digital evidence leading to arrests and prosecution of many child sex offenders.
What you think is your weakness is the key to your greatest strengths. URL’s beginnings were less than comfortable, and he was discounted by many. Maybe URL didn’t fit the mold or maybe he didn’t model the ideal dog’s behavior. But the staff at CILRA saw beyond that and recognized that URL had purpose and value. I don’t know the details of URL’s story, but I doubt it was much different than my Lulu’s. K9 Lulu was bred to be a service dog but failed out at the very last minute. What do you do with failures, coulda-been’s, and never-were’s? I know I've certainly felt like I was unredeemable.
Thankfully, there are people like those at CILRA and Jordan Detection K9 who see beyond these dogs’ checkered pasts and recognize these dogs are gifted in other ways. And while those weaknesses may have initially led to failure, they paved the way to a different kind of success. One where rather than helping one person, these K9s protect and seek justice on behalf of millions of children.
I know someone reading this is constantly focusing on their weaknesses wishing them to go away. I know you’ve tried to do everything in your power to turn it around. But what if accepting your past turned out to the be the key to success and fulfillment beyond anything you could’ve ever imagined?
From the inception of the ESD K9 program with K9 URL, Jordan Detection K9 is preparing to put out their hundredth dog this year. All of them failures in one form or another. All of them sharing URL’s past of rejection and many even having been deemed unredeemable and lacking all value.
Thank you, K9 URL and handlers, for your service and for being a living testimony that our failures are never final.
If you're ready to learn how to reframe your weaknesses to strengths, book a virtual coffee with me here.