The United States of America and the world welcomed President-elect Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America after a hard-fought election.
While the world will be getting to know Biden as President Biden here in T&T there is someone who knows him very well and played an important role back in 2013, when he paid us an official visit as then Vice President.
Her name is Penny, she is a 12-year-old, English Springer spaniel who served in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service canine unit.
Author and journalist Debbie Jacob, who has been studying and working on the history of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Canine unit for the past ten years, has developed a bond with these canine officers, in particular Penny.
“In 2013, when Joe Biden visited Trinidad and Tobago, two dogs from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Canine unit who worked with handler Kiff Singh and Jed, who worked with a handler, the late Sherwin Cedeno, were on duty to do bomb sweeps from the airport to the highway, to all the venues Joe Biden would pass through or stop, they were so important to the security of Joe Biden at the time and they did such a great job, they actually got little medals from the Secret Service for outstanding work”, she said.
She said, “who would have ever guessed that Penny would be involved with Joe Biden and the election”.
Penny is now retired.
Jacob stated that the Canine standing order has been reworked to include retirement for police dogs in much the same way that officers are allowed to retire.
“What we are trying to do, I think, this is very important, is that police dogs should be retired as police officers directly through the Commissioner of Police.”
Penny is now enjoying her retirement at the home of Veterinarian Dr Kriyaan Singh.
“Penny being a former explosive detection dog for that calibre of environment, you talking about President and Vice Presidents in our nation, without a doubt she is a hero to us. Seeing her where she was and she comes to now I think, yes, she got a medal for work, but I think if President Biden saw her now, he would give her medal just for where she has reached now. As well, still being same old Penny willing to work, excitable, willing to do any job, she still has that and she is the oldest dog we have, but the fittest, so without a doubt, she is a hero to me”, Dr Singh said.
He added that Penny still works at times.
“Any electrical work you do at home she will still run and point to it, she knows any strange wires she sees around she will let you know, electric tape, she will let you know and she will run to it and point to it. She still has her training, there it’s not an issue. The only issue was her pacing and she got out of that training and it is more a recreational pacing now.”