A Man's Best Friend
Police and their pups are partners in crime (fighting)
Photos by lawrence davidson
Business partners and best friends, deputies and their dogs share a unique, intricate and unbreakable bond.
They are the endless games of fetch, the bark alerting us when something is awry and the furry faces that are always happy to see us. They are our dogs. If you own one or ever have owned one, you know that the bond shared with a dog is irreplaceable.
Now imagine spending 24 hours, seven days a week with your dog. That bond further deepens and strengthens to become unbreakable. For the officers of the Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Department, this tight-knit dog-and-handler relationship is a reality.
The six canines featured spend their shifts accompanying officers on patrol, tracking scents in order to find suspects and using their keen sense of smell to detect narcotics, firearms and explosives. Once their workday is complete, they flip the switch and return home to a bowl of food, a frolic in the yard and a relaxing evening curled up next to their handler’s family. It is the mingling of characteristics such as concentration, determination, agility, even-temperedness, high-energy and sociability that combine to balance these animals’ work and home lives.
The career-span of a dog within the K-9 unit is anywhere from 7-10 years; but the bonds that are formed between dog and handler are eternal. In these dogs, the officers gain a colleague, a companion, a protector, a partner and, most importantly, a best friend.
Tallahassee Magazine talked (and barked) with K-9 units of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Tallahassee Police Department to gain insight on the lives of these local heroes. ↓