Storied police dog put down at 13 - WNEM TV 5

Storied police dog put down at 13

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Joaquin Guerrero is having a day no one wants to experience.

“He woke up that day, yesterday, there's no way he could move,” Guerrero said.

The former Saginaw police offer had to put down his 13-year-old best friend and partner, a German shepherd named Rookie Two.

“It's just not a life for a dog to have to go through,” Guerrero said.

But Rookie Two was more than just a pet.

He worked side-by-side with Guerrero as his K-9 partner, part of the Saginaw Police Department's narcotics unit.                

“Rookie Two was kind of funny, he could go up to them, start barking at them, and put his nose right on it and sure enough there in the guy’s pocket or down his pants or he'd start pawing at the shoe,” Guerrero said.

Rookie Two followed in the steps of Guerrero's first K-9 partner Rookie One, who was a real hero.

The two responded to ground zero after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to help search through the rubble for victims. Rookie later died of cancer from exposure from that search.

Guerrero said Rookie Two was just as brave.

“He had some big shoes to fill, and he filled them. I mean that dog saved my butt a lot out there in the streets, up until my last day he was there for me,” Guerrero said.

After Guerrero and Rookie Two retired from the police force, the pair traveled to schools for a program to keep kids away from drugs and gangs.

“I mean he loved children. He was always trying to be around them,” Guerrero said.

Losing an animal is something many of us are unfortunately familiar with.

But losing Rookie Two, Guerrero said it's almost like losing a hero in the community.

“It's tough when you see that pink juice and that cocktail and you're looking at your partner there,” Guerrero said. “You just know you don't want to do it but you have to. And they're looking at you, and you don't forget that look in their eyes because they're just sitting there and it's hard. It's very, very hard.”

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