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Why Dog Jim? - The origins of the name

I've been asked - Why did you name your business Dog Jim Training?  So I thought I would give an explanation.  

When I'm out on a call operating as a Dog Handler for Staffordshire's Search and Rescue Team I am instructed and managed by a Search Manager who acts as our direct line to the Police Search Adviser (Polsa).  The Polsa works with our Search Manager by feeding in all known intelligence about a missing person to formulate a search strategy.  This usually involves searching large areas of countryside and rural areas and is based on statistics and probability of where the missing person is likely to be found.  In my experience, these areas are not always the nicest of places to be and are often very boggy overgrown and full of nettles and brambles!  They aren't always the idyllic countryside locations we think about when visualising Cannock Chase (Which is where many of our searches take place.   

As Search Dog Jake and I are often operating at long distances from the Search Manager (They plan and manage Search Operations from a Control Unit), we are passed instructions and information via digital encrypted handheld radios.  

All dog handlers in the team are issued radio call-signs which are an amalgamation of the word Dog and the Handlers first name.  Mine therefore is "Dog Jim."  (Or if I've upset the radio operator Dog James!).  When passing messages back to the radio operator in the control unit (pictured above) we start with our call-sign.  So I am often heard saying "Control from Dog Jim, message over..." and I am referred to as Dog Jim when messages are relayed back to me.  

Sue, (Or Auntie Sue as we fondly refer to her) who is picture above, has to be one of the most loved members in the search team and has the perfect radio operators voice.   She always manages to pass even the least welcome messages in a nice calm professional manner.  I often wonder if she smiles to herself as she calls "Dog Jim from Control, please can you proceed to the woodland at the following coordinates.  We have reports that the woodland is heavily overgrown and boggy in places and would be ideal for a dog team.."  She eminates such professionalism that you can't reply anything other than "yes of course, I can't wait to get such a lovely picturesque sounding place."  She is also the voice heard when asking you to return for a break so she makes up for passing instructions to head out to grotty locations, by recalling you back for lunch, where she welcomes us with a smile. 

So you see, being referred to as "Dog Jim" all day long sort of sticks after a while.  I didn't really need to think long before I came up with the name for my dog training business.  I feel it perfectly encapsulates my work as a Search Dog Handler,  a role in the team which has provided me with such fulfilment and is a most enriching experience.  

I hope that when I am training customers they too can benefit from the knowledge and experience that I've developed over the years as a Search Dog Handler.  

"Dog Jim, out...."

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