National K9 Veteran’s Day
Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Where would we be without our dogs? They are the most amazing animals that show nothing but love for their owners. They are loyal beyond measure. We care for their needs, and they love us unconditionally.
Now let’s think about the working dogs. You know the ones on duty for various purposes: search and rescue, explosives detection, narcotic detection, apprehend criminals, and many more specialized tasks assisting their human partners. These K9s are amazing. They have personalities and quirks that make each of them unique.
Today is National K9 Veteran’s Day. This day is dedicated to the working K9 working dogs who give of themselves to search for lost loved ones, search out drugs or explosive devices or protect their partners with their last breath if necessary, all the while giving back love and companionship to their two legged sidekicks.
I was fortunate to have two K9 partners in my career: Gretta and Rowdy.
Gretta was my first four legged partner and had a personality and character that will never be matched in my mind or heart. She could go from zero to full on combat mode in an instant then just about as quickly return to being a face-licking fur ball just wanting attention.
We tracked down and apprehended a homicide suspect one day where she had to jump in front of me as the suspect lunged at us. He quickly thought better of it and Gretta was called off just before making contact with him, standing by while he was taken into custody. 20 minutes later, we were in a 3rd grade classroom full of children where I was scheduled to do a K9 demonstration with her. She was back in play mode that quick and having a blast showing off her talents and playing catch with the kids.
Rowdy was an amazing partner in her own right as well and spent many years tracking down suspects and locating drugs to be taken off the streets. She had a softer soul but was willing to give her all to keep me safe as we worked the streets of Laramie County.
I also served as Sergeant and lead trainer over the K9 program for many years, working with the teams to ensure they maintained peak performance.
As lieutenant over the K9 program, I maintained the division's budget and worked on increasing the number of K9 teams serving the community. I also helped select the new K-9s that were to be paired with their handlers and soon to be best friends.
These wonderful partners protect and serve with heart and loyalty. They usually live with their handlers. This creates a very strong bond between the handler and the K9. The Sheriff’s department has had and still utilizes K9s to do tasks humans can’t do. Along with this post you will see several of the Sheriff’s K9s along with their partner.
Credit for all picture: Laramie County Sheriff's Office