Today I was invited to go on a field trip at my school. I’m not sure about you, but when I was in grade school the field trips were the most placid places we could find. We’d either take a ten minute drive to a boyscout camp or go to Plymouth Plantation where we’d look at a rock and churn butter for four hours.
I was expecting the same. When they told me yesterday where we were going I heard “Grundschule” or the equivilant of elementary school. So, I was gearing up for a boring afternoon. Instead, to my surprise, we ended up going to a “Hund Schule”, or dog school. This is the place where they train police dogs to maim and scare the crap out of people.
Now, I’m one for adventure and pushing the limits a bit, but the kids we were with were about 10 or 11. I can only imagine what the over-protective soccer moms would say in the states.
“You want to take my kid where? Over my dead mini-van.”
I love dogs, and actually have experience with police trained dogs. When I was 16, I asked for a puppy and got a four year old german shepard with police training. She was a great dog, but not something everyone could get along with. My dog, Denny, thrived off of fear. One of my friends had the unfortunate quirk of being scared of dogs. Whenever he came over to my house he would eventually have to use the bathroom and wouldn’t come back for about an hour. When my friends and I eventually found him later Denny was happily sitting and staring at my friend who was being held in a corner. Needless to say, I sure as hell wouldn’t take thirty ten-year-old kids to a police dog training school. It’s asking for trouble.
We pulled up to this very discrete location where the teacher next to me informed me that this place “used to train the special police in the G.D.R. Now they only train dogs”
We then unloaded the bus of about 30 students to a welcome sound of pistol gun fire and the scariest women I’ve ever seen. Here she quickly informed us that,
“if a dog is running at you, stand still, and for the love of God, don’t look it in the eyes.”
I didn’t quite understand this. If a hundred pound attack dog runs at a human, than the natural reaction is to look at it, scream, run, and pee oneself – not necissarily in that order. The last thing a person would do is look up and stand in place while the dog runs at them.
The tour was really cool. We got to see the dogs run through their drills and attack some guys wearing some body armor glove. The only real moment of anxiety happened when they let all the students pat one of the dogs. The dog seemed pretty calm, but they were testing gun fire on some of the other dogs, to make sure they still obey orders with loud sounds. Well, the dog we were petting wasn’t quite used to this yet and quickly freaked out and almost took off about ten kids heads.
Overall, it was a fun trip, but I think the Germans have a different concept of field trips than we do in the States.