WATERTOWN — City police officer Michael S. Maney has another partner with four paws.
Veteran K-9 Officer Maney started going on patrol with a new partner, Jochie, a Dutch shepherd dog who trained for months in Pennsylvania before the puppy started his new job last week.
Jochie replaces Nico, a beloved K-9 crimefighter who retired his badge in December.
The two new partners are still getting acquainted with each other.
Jochie knows what to do, while Officer Maney still has to pick up the dog’s signals when the puppy is on a leash, he explained. He’s just got to get used to the 18-month-old puppy.
“He’s very much a young puppy,” Officer Maney said. “He’s got a lot of energy.”
Before starting the job, Jochie and Officer Maney spent six weeks training together at Shallow Creek Kennels in Pennsylvania, a place known for training K-9 dogs. He’s been trained in obedience, target odors for drug investigations, handler protection and bite work.
But already Officer Maney has noticed that Jochie “is a people person. He likes people. He’s a very happy puppy.”
A group of residents stepped up and donated thousands of dollars to help the officer find his new job partner and with getting the training that Jochie needed. The North Country Kennel Club also provided an outdoor kennel and house for Jochie.
Meanwhile, Nico is enjoying retirement at the home Officer Maney shares with wife Christina, a beagle bulldog mix named Bailey, and now the new K-9 partner, Jochie.
Nico’s active life and work as a K-9 dog has changed.
Officer Maney can tell Nico misses going out on the road with him. Nico gets excited when the police officer is getting ready for work and has to be kept occupied until the officer leaves.
“He’s still a bowl of energy,” Officer Maney said. “It’s going to take time.”
The 9-year-old German Shepherd and the police officer were partners for eight years before Nico hung up his badge. Nico was involved in hundreds of drug busts and other police calls during his career.
Nico excelled in drug detection, working often with the Metro-Jefferson Drug Task Force.