Thanks for your service, Rik

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

During the year 2017, the  LaGrange Police Department’s K9 dogs were used three times to take down assailants. At least once in 2018, one of the officer’s K9 dogs helped bring down an alleged suspect following a six-hour search.

Countless other times, K9s were on the scene to search for a missing person or to sniff out drugs. Like a great offensive lineman in a football game, much of their contribution doesn’t always show up in the box score.

Through all these countless hours of working together, the handlers and their K9 companions form an extremely close bond. The animals know exactly how to react and when something is wrong with their handler, they are often the first to know.

It was touching on Tuesday, listening to Sgt. Clayton Bryant talk about his K9 dog Rik, who was forced into retirement by a recent cancer diagnosis. Rik went from acting fine to being very sick in only a 48-hour span, leaving Bryant to wonder if he was going to make it.

Thankfully, Rik has been responding to chemo shots and is acting like his old self. On Tuesday, it would’ve been impossible for the casual observer to tell he was sick at all.

He’ll retire at Bryant’s home and hopefully has many years ahead to just be a dog.

The City of LaGrange has stepped in to pay for Rik’s treatment, which we think was the right call. The dog has served us all in many ways. The least the rest of us can do is fund his treatments and hopefully give him some time to truly enjoy retirement.