Golden Dudley is an arson detection dog owned by the Maryland State Fire Marshall. A most handsome Golden Retriever, he proves that good-looking dogs can also do the work! Arson dogs amaze state fire investigators by finding accelerants (things that cause fires to begin) too small for laboratory tests to confirm. They even can locate them beneath 12 inches of water or even ice. While humans have five million olfactory cells (used to smell), Goldens have up to 200 million cells.

Dudley has been working for the Maryland State Fire Marshal since April of 1989. He does more than the typical arson dog. He has been trained to detect drugs and also explosives and sometimes works with the police bomb squad. He is on 24-hour call, and goes to work daily in a fully equipped police cruiser. The entire back seat in the car has been removed. And, bedding and grates have been installed for Dudley's comfort and security. He lives full-time with his handler, Deputy Fire Marshal John Brazil.

In 1990, John's district sadly lost a full city block to arson. Dudley tracked the building where the fire began. Working in a foot of water, he searched for where the fire began (origin). John said he was shocked when Dudley dunked his head under water and pulled up a piece of soggy wood. And, sure enough, laboratory tests later confirmed an accelerant at the site of Dudley's hit.

John calls Dudley his "little Hoover" when he goes to work. This is because he turns on like a vacuum cleaner. You can even hear his nose working like a small motor. And, his tail rides high. When he's on to something, the Hoover sound grows stronger and his tail starts to wag.

Dudley was a rescue Golden when the Maryland Fire Marshal's Office took him in for training. The Maryland fire investigators went looking for an arson-dog prospect at the New Jersey Canine Training Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They were in luck as a woman had recently brought in an 11-month-old 75-pound Golden Retriever. Sadly, he had grown too big and rowdy for her and her two children. The Maryland agents looked at the wild Golden bouncing at the end of his leash, and then said to each other, "That's our dog."

We got to meet John and Dudley at work [April 1999]. What an exciting experience that was! Dudley was still working well along side his beloved John. Although 11 years of age and very gray in the muzzle, Dudley continued to love doing this important job.

March 26, 2000: We got some news from Dudley's human, John Brazil. First, he wanted to thank us here at the Land of PureGold for everything that we did to showcase Golden K-9 Misty's and her human Steve Hatchett's story. The big news, though, is that K-9 Golden Dudley was retired from active duty on March 17, 2000 at the grand old age of 12! Coincidentally, at the same time, John was put on light duty pending retirement due to an injury. Dudley is adjusting well to his new job of guarding the house. As soon as John can open the pool, he will forget about anything but swimming. Dudley simply loves the water, so we wish him lots of sunshine and splashing and fun in his retirement.

February 15, 2003: We just learned that Dudley had to be helped to The Bridge on February 11, 2003. Dudley was nearly 15-years-old at the time, and as we know with such advanced age, had suffered from multiple health problems. We can be consoled by the fact that Dudley had such a wonderful long life. Our heartfelt sympathy has been extended to John and his family.