A few years ago we heard a funny story from a man who was receiving his new dog from overseas. "I was given a dog on a leash and told 'good luck' by the guy who imported him. I asked what language he was trained in and the guy started spitting out a bunch of different commands in various languages (German, Dutch, etc.). After a few seconds, the dog sat down and laid down. The guy looked at me and said, 'Looks like he speaks Czech.'"
So began the long relationship between Lenny, the dog in the story, and his new partner, police officer Patrick Maguire. "When I got Lenny home," Maguire said, "I Googled Czech dog commands and tried to get Lenny to sit, lie down, stay, etc. Instead, I was able to get him to cock his head and look at me like I was crazy. After Lenny convinced me that my Czech was no good, we decided he would learn to listen to me in English."
Lenny was about 18 months old at that time, newly arrived from Slovakia, and he and Officer Maguire went to Fort Wayne, IN, for several months for training. There, Lenny learned all he needed to know to become a police dog: how to track people, sniff for narcotics, and apprehend suspects. He was certified by the United States Police Canine Association.
Lenny spent more than eight years as Officer Maguire's partner, working 40+ hour weeks, doing what he was trained to do, and he loved it. He rode around in a car customized just for him, the rear seat area turned into a kennel. He spent a lot of time training, learning new skills and keeping old ones sharp, and got to compete against other K9 teams. We even did a Q&A with Officer Maguire about Lenny back in 2012 (see the second part of the Q&A here). Lenny spent his time off at home at the Maguire residence with his partner and family, which is where he lived full time after he retired a few years ago due to his advanced age.
In retirement, Lenny found himself "working" in a new role as a full-time family pet, remaining a loyal and faithful member of the Maguire family.
Sadly, this past June the Maguire family made the extremely difficult and emotional decision to have Lenny humanely euthanized. As one can imagine, it was especially challenging for Officer Maguire to lose his partner who had accompanied him to work for over 8 years.
For the hospital, we thank the Maguire family for allowing us the privilege of caring for Lenny during his K9 career and his retirement years. We are grateful for Officer Maguire's service to our community, appreciate the sacrifices they made for the greater good, and we will sincerely miss Lenny.