After spending a decade — in dog years, that is — as a “Charger Pup” with the Los Angeles Chargers, Brisket has officially shifted careers, joining the Glendale Police Department as a facility dog, GPD recently announced.
Alongside his handler, Amy Tate, who works in the department’s community relations team, Brisket’s job is to give back by spreading kindness and positivity across the city. This will manifest by comforting victims and witnesses during interviews and court proceedings, helping people process grief and loss, lowering tension and stress of community members and staff after traumatic events, visiting hospitals and senior centers to boost morale, bonding with community and much more.
Because of his experience with the Chargers, Brisket is easily able to navigate loud noise and public settings, Tate said.
“He was used to being at the games with the big players in their uniforms, which is not too different from our officers who are also big and in uniform,” Tate said. “So he fits in easily and is very adaptable. It’s great seeing these big, burly officers get down on the ground and love on Brisket.”
Along with being popular with city staff, the 2-year-old yellow Labrador has begun bonding with children in the community.
Leading up to Horace Mann Elementary School’s “Kindness Week,” Brisket visited the school’s campus Thursday with Tate to interact with fourth- and fifth-grade students who are a part of Kiwanis K-Kids, a club for students to learn about leadership through service. Tate demonstrated how simple spreading joy can be as she and Brisket lit up the classroom, responding to various commands.
Students cheered as Brisket showed off his abilities to bark at different noise levels, taking his cues from Tate. Interacting with kids, cuddling and eating are among Brisket’s favorite activities. And yes, he does enjoy snacking on his namesake when the opportunity presents itself.
Brisket learned everything he knows from Canine Companions, an organization that extensively trains service dogs, pairs them with handlers and also trains those handlers. Canine Companions offers its services at no cost, providing veterans, people with disabilities or organizations like GPD with service dogs for free.
With 40 commands under his belt, Brisket is still constantly learning new things. Among his new tricks, he is helping do laundry for Tate, who has nicknamed him “the love dog.”
Tate said she looks forward to fostering community relationships and spreading Brisket’s positivity throughout Glendale.
First published in the January 20 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.