The skinny, flea-ridden, worm-infested puppy that found a loving home with seven-year-old Devon Robinson and his family last year (Important new career for Kai, April 2) has done more than simply show promise as a drug dog.

Kai (reportedly short for Kaikohe, although gaining four kilos in his first 13 days with NZ Detector Dogs has some wondering if it doesn't have some reference to his appetite), was a star, Janet Williams said last week.

"Kai is looking very promising," she said.

"He's highly intelligent and he's loving the training. I would say he looks like one of the best dogs we have ever recruited."

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Now in his second week, he was "way past" where most dogs were at the same stage.

"I think he was just a dog who needed something to do, and now he has found his calling he is away," she said.

Initial scent association training would take eight weeks, followed by operational training.

Ms Williams also had the highest of praise for Devon Robinson and his family, who had not only taken Kai in when they found him in Reed Park in Kaikohe, and were unable to find his owner, but had made the decision that he needed a more rewarding life than they would be able to give him.

"That speaks volumes about the kind of people this family are," she said.

"They could have had him put down but they didn't, and they must have been tempted to keep him but knew that he deserved better."

The cattle dog-cross that she described as "stunning, absolutely lovely," was about six weeks old when the Robinsons found him. No one seemed to want him, no one had reported him missing to the pound, the SPCA or the local vets, so they kept him, until his owner turned up. No one ever did, "so we adopted him and loved him," Toni Robinson said.

Some six months later, having decided that their four-legged friend needed more than they could give him as a pet, she advertised him on Trade Me, where he caught the eye of Janet Williams. The rest, as they say, is history.

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