The pair of dogs are a “class act”on their way to a well-earned retirement!
Fred, a 12-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, and Rogue, a 10-year-old long-haired German Shepherd, signed off in style at the police office near 136th Street and Millard Avenue. The retirement celebration came complete with peanut butter-flavored dog cakes, huge bones, loads of flavored treats! The dogs also got lots and lots of hugs, and belly rubs.
“They definitely thought they died and went to dog heaven today,” said Sgt. Matt Manhart. “They deserve everything they get because they’ve had long, hard duty.”
The double letters at the start of Ffred’s name is a designation used by the Transportation Security Administration to emphasize that he was named after a 9/11 victim.
The awesome pair of dogs were initially trained by the TSA at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio andthen donated to local law enforcement agencies.
The OPD dogs’s jobs include patrolling Eppley Airfield, College World Series, NCAA sporting events, Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting, concerts, and VIP visits.
Officer Chris Thompson,Ffred’s handler,boasts that his partner was able to work until age 12 — 84 in human years. He said many police dogs begin to lose interest around 9 or 10.
“Ffred is such a personable dog and loves being around people,” Thompson said. “I think that’s part of the reason he lasted as long as he did.”
Rogue’s handler, Officer Dusty Purcell, said the German Shepherd was slowing down. Hopping in and out of the truck has become hard, the cold has started to bother him, and fatigue sets in a little earlier in the day.
Both officers are adopting their dogs. It’s rare when a handler doesn’t adopt a dog, Manhart said.
FFred and Rogue received plaques honoring their service from Eppley Police Chief Tim Conahan before digging into their bomb-shaped cakes. Dr. Kathy Stevens –who has cared for the dogs since they arrived in Omaha—said, “Both of these dogs are really personable and very well trained.”
“They are great to be around,” she added.
Thompson and Purcell will be going to Lackland Air Force Base again to pick up new dogs.
“All of the dogs that follow are going to have some pretty big paws to fill,” Purcell said. “Rogue is special.”
Image and article source: Omaha World Herald