Sheldon, a black Labrador and golden retriever mix, flunked out of service training for people with disabilities because he easily got distracted by different smells. But now he’s using his talent as an arson detective dog with the Saginaw Fire Department in Texas.
When the canine’s training under Paws With a Cause in Wayland, Mich., didn’t work out, the State Farm Arson Dog Program took him on board and taught him to sniff out the accelerants and fuel used in arson fires.
As this video shows, Sheldon turned out to be a perfect fit for the job.
In 2019, he became the Saginaw Fire Department’s first accelerant detection canine and was paired with Lt. John Tadlock. They bonded instantly, and the working dog lives at Tadlock’s home, where he works on his training daily and is also a beloved pet.
Sheldon’s story reminds us that each dog has unique personality traits, talents, and skills — just like people. And just because someone fails at one task doesn’t mean they can’t achieve success somewhere else.