Mia Sharpe had a doggone great time Wednesday at the RCMP’s Police Dog Training Centre in Innisfail.
The nine-year-old girl from Leduc received a certificate, a stuffed dog and a photo of Kammo, the puppy she named as part of the RCMP’s Name a Puppy contest, at an event attended by almost 700 people.
“Community policing is what we do — it’s what we love, and it’s our bread and butter,” said RCMP Insp. Akrum Ghadban. “To see the smile on Mia’s face is priceless.”
Sharpe said she and a friend came up with Kammo and submitted it to the annual contest through their school.
The name certainly caught Ghadban’s eye.
“I love the name. It’s one of my favourites. The entire staff here had a great time opening up the entries from across Canada, and that (name) really stuck out,” he said.
Sharpe said accepting the award and touring the training centre was a lot of fun.
“The day has been pretty amazing.”
Watching dogs sniff out drugs and seeing the puppies were the best parts of the day, she added.
Sharpe’s parents, Mandi and James Sharpe, were happy they came down to Innisfail for the day, they said.
“It was really cool … A parent is proud when they see their daughter get an award,” Mandi Sharpe said.
James Sharpe didn’t expect there to be such a big crowd on Wednesday, he said.
“I thought it was just going to be a handful of people where they say, ‘Here you go, here’s the award, now go home.’ I didn’t know it would be such a huge event,” he said.
Seeing his daughter in front of that large crowd made him proud, he added.
“It was pretty exciting seeing her get up in front of everyone because usually she’s pretty shy,” James Sharpe said.
Being able to bring the Sharpe family to town was a lot fun for everyone involved, Ghadban said.
After Ghadban awarded Mia Sharpe with a certificate, a stuffed dog and a photo of the puppy she named, the puppies at the Police Service Dog Training Centre had a brief demonstration of what they can do. The older dogs had a demonstration prior to Sharpe being awarded a certificate.