You give her a best friend, a sibling, and a protector.
You give her someone to run through fields with, an opportunity to learn how to speak some German or Dutch, and someone to teach her respect.
You give her a unique sort of friend to hang around with on summer nights.
Police K-9's are a different kind of dog. They aren't like normal family dogs, just like the parents that are their handlers are not like normal parents.
They have a job unlike anything else in the world, how could they be "normal"?
Like normal dogs, they live with the families of their handlers until they retire after years of dedicated service. Sometimes they stay after that, too, and get to transition from the fast-paced lifestyle of their youth into gentle retirement.
These dogs have personality beyond belief.
While they share very similar characteristics in regards to their jobs and basic needs, they are all different from each other in their own ways.
Each dog you meet has a distinct air about them. They have a favorite toy, treat, way to be rubbed or brushed, specific meal times, and slightly different commands.
They can be gentle giants, loving even the smallest of cats, stubborn in the best of ways, funny, and overall wonderful dogs.
Their handlers know every quirk about them, they can tell the difference between their barks or whines. The relationship between a handler and their dog is closer than the bond between human companions in a lot of ways. They truly are each other's partners for life.
When you give a girl a police K-9, you give her a new lens to view the world through, and a truckload of new things to learn.
You teach her to see that same speed at which these dogs chase after a Kong is the same speed that they slam into an escaping bad guy.
She learns that they really enjoy indestructible orange balls that they can't fit their jaws around, especially when they can play with them in the snow.
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That as a matter of fact, if it's indestructible, they will love it relentlessly.
That you can easily get them riled up with shouts of, "Go potty! Go potty! Get your ball! Where's your ball? Find your ball! Who's a good boy! Who's a good boy!"
That they tend to whine about not getting their dinner at the right time, the change in their demeanor when they get to show off for crowds of onlookers at safety fairs, and that they will only take their medicine if you hide it in a hot dog and sometimes not even then.
They are the best of both worlds. They are trained professionals inside of a fluffy and honed exterior. They can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
When you give a girl a police K-9, you give her one of the best gifts of her life.
Here's to all of the brothers I have had in my lifetime,
Happy hunting, boys.