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K-9 Beny was born in the Czech Republic and was already a few years old when I received him. He had no papers, but I was told he had been living on a farm since he was a puppy and was pretty much just left to his own bidding. I requested a ‘green dog’ meaning, a dog who was not trained, and boy did I get one. Beny was barely leash broke and would sometimes have a fit and roll around on the floor like a cat trying to get his collar off. At other times he would buck like a wild horse. It was quite comical at times. But Beny took easily to training. Once we developed a good bond of trust and mutual respect, he was so eager to learn and because of his maturity, learning seemed accelerated.
Beny loved tracking and quickly earned a reputation as street sweeper. Police officers who requested our unit, were quite confident that Beny would locate their suspect. He had big shoes to fill coming in off the heals of K-9 Cisco. For several weeks I rode both dogs around in the police car. I let Cisco run the more severe or dangerous calls, while Beny gained experienced on misdemeanors or property crimes. Eventually Beny started handing more and more calls.
The department was adding a new handler and it was decided that I would train the new handler and team him up with Beny. Through a slow transition, the new handler would take the leash of Beny and to say it was a match made in Heaven would be an understatement. In a few short months the new team was routinely catching criminals for every imaginable crime. It was nothing short of a pleasure to watch the new team work and clean the streets of predators who may have otherwise escaped if not for the K-9 team’s talents. Even after I left to take a job as a K-9 handler for another agency, I would still listen to radio to hear Beny at work. The words I heard often were, Radio, K-9 Five is 10-7 (onscene), and soon after, Radio, K-9 Five is 10-95 (prisoner in custody). I was so excited and frankly, quite proud of Beny and his new partner. Beny’s reputation as a formidable crime fighter stayed with him through out his career and every officer knew that if there was any chance of the suspect getting caught, it was when Beny arrived on the scene.
Beny retired after a very successful career as a police dog. He stayed with his new handler who would care for him throughout his life. I was lucky to be able to ‘dog sit’ Beny anytime his handler and family went on vacation. I was also fortunate to be able to go by the handler’s house and pick up K-9 Beny and ride him around at night to keep his spirits up.
I was able to be with Beny when the vet gave him medicine to end his suffering from having a stroke. I will always hold Beny and his wonderful crime fighting talents close to my heart.
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