SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — They have names like Dino, Sampson and Falco, and they are part of the Border Patrol’s ever-growing K-9 unit.
Friday morning, a new batch of dogs and their handlers graduated from a specialized seven-week Border Patrol training that involves law, procedures and canine behavior.
“It’s very stressful and long but very rewarding in the end it’s amazing,” U.S. Border Patrol Agent Cary Parsoneault said.
The 20-year agent said she’s always wanted to work with a dog and considers her achievement a dream come true.
“I always had a passion for animals, especially dogs, and I always thought it was such a cool concept to be able to work and train with dogs. You can take them to work and you’re always together, that’s like magic to me,” Parsoneault said. “A four-legged partner is better than a two-legged partner in my mind. For me, you get to know your dog, and they get to know you it goes both ways.”
The dogs are trained to sniff out narcotics and to protect the agents’ lives. Parsoneault said she can’t wait to start working with her dog along the San Diego-Tijuana border region.
“With time, we become a team to the point — I know it sounds crazy — but not only can I read his mind, but he can read mine. And the dog gets to come home with me, he’s my family and becomes a pet when he’s home. We’re always together. I spend more time with him than I do with my husband,” she said.