Bill Kinney: Jack Russell ‘Rogue’ makes for an unusual drug dog
by Bill Kinney
February 12, 2012 01:04 AM | 1798 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Kinney
Bill Kinney
It’s not every day that Marietta Rotarians are greeted at the door of their weekly Wednesday meeting at the Marietta Hilton Conference Center by an energetic and friendly Jack Russell terrier. But that was the case Feb. 1 when Blake Blomquist of west Cobb — that day’s speaker at the club — arrived early with his dog, Rogue. Rogue, you see, is a K-9 drug-sniffing dog. And unlike most of his canine counterparts, he is a “civilian,” not a police dog. Another distinction is that Rogue is a small dog, not a German Sheperd.

Blomquist is founder and owner of Discreet K9 LLC, a company that provides K-9 drug-sniffing services in cases where, for understandable reasons, the client does not want the law involved. Cases like when one suspects a family member might have a drug problem, or an employee, or students at a private school, to cite three scenarios.

Blomquist was introduced to the club by MDJ Associate Publisher Jay Whorton, and proceeded to give his talk while Rogue calmly gazed out at the crowd from the lectern. We’ll let Blomquist take over from here:

“When a very close friend lost a child to drug abuse I saw a need that was not being filled within the community. My friend told me that he suspected his daughter was using drugs, but never could find hard evidence or enough proof to make a strong and effective intervention until it was way too late.

“I got to thinking and asking some questions and doing some research. I found that most parents, spouses and business owners just don’t know what to do when they are confronted with the suspicion that drugs are present in someone’s life that they are close to.

“I found through my research that over 70 percent of all workplace accidents are drug related. I found that 80 percent of all drug transactions happen either at school or at work.

“I was amazed, not just at the statistics, but at the fact that there is little or no resources for a parent, spouse or business owner to detect, verify and deter the presence drugs and drug-related items from their home or businesses.

“I learned that business owners were held 100 percent liable not only for the presence of drugs on their property but that they are responsible for injuries that result from their use or presence. In other words, insurance doesn’t cover drug-related accidents and they happen every single day and most fall into this category!

“Blake’s friend explained that when he first had suspicions of his daughter’s involvement with drugs, their relationship was at an all-time low in terms of trust and closeness. There were so many feelings of apprehension about cornering her and forcing her to take a urine test that it just wasn’t in the cards for many reasons. What if the test came back negative? What little trust that is left will be gone for good! What if the test isn’t accurate? No urine tests are 100 percent accurate! What if it comes back positive? What then?

“My daughter could tell me it was second-hand smoke from someone who got in the car she didn’t know, etc., etc. The bottom line is that a strong and effective intervention is almost impossible without proof that drugs are or have been present, without real evidence!

“I was driving down the road thinking about it and BAM! The idea just popped into my head: a non-law enforcement K-9 drug detection service would solve these issues and perfectly fill a void that was seemingly impossible to fill! “

So, the search began for a dog, and a trainer.

“Eventually I ran into a guy who I refer to as the Caesar Milan of the East Coast, A.J. Vargas of Custom K9 Unlimited. This guy was an independent trainer of police and security K9s all over the world and held a DEA license. When I told him my idea, he was on board 100 percent and committed to helping me with the concept!

“We found Rogue, my long-haired Jack Russell Terrier, and off I went to get my DEA certification.

“Now I am the only civilian in Georgia with an actual DEA certification and the only civilian who owns small-breed drug detection K9.

“I train with and assist in the training law enforcement officers from all over the world and when they see Rogue and me working, they are nothing short of amazed!

“I’d put him up against any dog, any breed, in any drug search situation!

“The rest is history. Discreet K9, LLC has helped hundreds of families, businesses, schools and government agencies in a way that no other service can!”

Rogue showed after Blomquist’s talk that he knows his stuff. The audience was told that a small amount of marijuana had been hidden in the room, and Rogue easily sniffed out its hiding place — a small backpack that had been unobtrusively placed beneath the chair of club member Dan Flynn, Marietta’s police chief.

Flynn played along perfectly, reacting in mock horror. But Blomquist — and Rogue — had made their point.

Bill Kinney is associate editor of the Marietta Daily Journal.
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