K9 Rik passes away

Published 8:40 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

K9 Rik has passed away, just a few days after officially retiring from the LaGrange Police Department.

Rik was diagnosed with cancer in February, but he had been responding well to treatment, according to his partner, Sgt. Clayton Bryant with the LPD. On Wednesday, Rik’s story was featured in The LaGrange Daily News.

Rik, a Belgian Malinois, worked with the LPD for six years, including four with Bryant. He helped the department in many ways, including sniffing out narcotics and searching for criminals and missing people.

“It’s just incredible the relationship that is built between the handlers and these dogs and our families,” Bryant said Wednesday. “There’s an amount of trust when my pager goes off in the middle of the night or my wife’s pager goes off in the middle of the night. I know and our families know that they would sacrifice their lives for us.”

Rik started undergoing chemo shots to treat his lymphoma and he was responding well. On Wednesday, he played fetch with Bryant outside the LPD office.

“It’s very hard as a human to learn to trust an animal, but you spend so much time with him. We humans are almost always the weak link when it comes to a K9 team,” Bryant said Wednesday. “Just time and time again, he came through to the point that I trusted him as I would trust any human or more so. No matter how far behind we were, no matter how bad the weather was, no matter how bad the deck was stacked against us, he would never quit. He just never quit.”

Rik was nine years old.