Dominic J. Brittain, senior bomb-disposal officer, Hong Kong Police. Age: 38. Career path: I was raised in Surrey, England. After school, I joined the Royal Navy because I didn't want to be a garage mechanic in the Air Force and, besides, navy officers were more my kind of people - and the uniform is nice. I had already decided my career would be in bomb disposal. As a child I saw a bomb-disposal officer take charge of an IRA bombing incident and was so impressed that I was determined to do the same one day. By the time I joined the navy I had read everything I could find on the subject. The training was very complex: it was a good year and a half before they let me loose near a bomb. I became an internationally certified bomb-disposal officer but after six years I decided to move to Hong Kong. I joined the Hong Kong Police in 1984 and worked for five years as a policeman, while completing the mandatory four-year training to join the bomb unit. In February 1997, I became senior bomb-disposal officer and am now in charge of the unit and training. I am too young to be married. Brittain's day: There is a bomb-disposal officer on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Even as head of the unit, I am on call day and night every third week. During that time a mobile phone and pager never leave my side. When I am not on call, I come to work at about 8 am and leave at about 8 pm. There is so much to do and not enough of us: there are three trained bomb-disposal officers, including me, in Hong Kong. A fourth officer has nearly completed his course but cannot be deployed yet. I am training a further three officers - they take exams every six months - and four special bomb assistants, who must complete a two-year course. In addition, I have the usual department-head responsibilities, such as budgeting, administration, and so on. For about 180 days a year we run training courses for other government and police departments. So far this year other police departments have called us out 140 times to investigate suspicious objects - about three times a week. Calls are not usually false alarms. Most bombs found in Hong Kong are German, British and Japanese World War II Ordinances - these are found all over the territory and particularly on construction sites - but there are also fish bombs, home-made bombs, all sorts. This job is dangerous, but so is driving a bus. Statistics show that if you follow the rules you have only a three per cent chance of being blown up. We have the best bomb-disposal equipment in the world and this also reduces the risk. I love this job. When I retire in 2009 I will still be digging the stuff up in Hong Kong. Salary: None of your business. A miserable Government retainer. Ambition: Get all my guys through their training and never lose a man. Lucy, chief bomb-detection dog, Hong Kong Police. Age: six. Career path: I was born in England. My parents were pedigree springer spaniels from a 'working line'. I am not the most beautiful dog because I was bred specifically for my hunting instincts and willingness to work. Some of my siblings are probably working as gun dogs. In 1993, when I was about 10 months old, a handler from the Hong Kong Police Dog Unit came to Britain for a training course and then brought me to Hong Kong. I have been working with him ever since. I didn't cost anything because my breeder was proud to donate me to the Hong Kong Police. My unit is comprised solely of all bomb-detection dogs, male and female; the drugs-detection dogs are in a separate unit. I became 'top dog' after I found a revolver buried outside a house in a criminal case in 1995, even though I was not working with my regular handler. I gave birth to a litter of 12 puppies about 10 months ago, who may become the next generation of Hong Kong's bomb-detection dogs. Lucy's day: I live in my own kennel in the old Airport Police Station base at Kai Tak. My handler walks me every day. He feeds and grooms me and keeps me in top condition. Three times a week we spend a couple of hours training. The other dogs are on call when their handler is on duty, but because I am the best dog I am on permanent call and am used for all the big cases. I have been trained to track all kinds of explosives from modern plastics to old-fashioned gunpowder to fish bombs. The bomb-detection machine in the Bomb Unit can also sniff out explosives, but I am faster and can cover more ground. I was busy during the handover, when all the dogs in the unit were used to check out all the important venues. And when President Clinton was in Hong Kong this year his security team insisted that we dogs check out his hotel room and every venue he was to visit. They had more faith in us than in the police. And this month I was busy checking rooms and buildings before the arrival of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Salary: I don't have one. My big treat is when my handler plays ball with me. Ambition: Police working dogs are usually retired around my age, but I will keep working as long as possible. Handlers become attached to their dogs and I hope to be adopted by mine when I retire.