Every dog has its day, and for Warner Robins police K-9s Ego and Rasty, that day is retirement.
Warner Robins police held a “Retired K9 Media Day” Friday for the K-9s. The dogs were also honored at Monday’s city council meeting, with council members and the audience giving them a round of applause.
Ego has served the Warner Robins Police Department since 2010. He’s a little over 10 1/2 years old.
The German shepherd has tracked missing and endangered persons, apprehended suspects and sniffed out drugs.
He retires to the home of Sgt. Wayne Fisher, who’s married with two children. Other pets are also part of the family.
“Dogs are pack animals,” Fisher said. “They associate with handlers and their families as being part of their pack.”
Fisher has worked with police K-9s since 1996. Ego is his fourth police dog.
“Each of the dogs have a different and unique personality much like people have different and unique personalities,” Fisher said. “Ego is a very confident dog, but he’s also a very laid back dog.
“When we do our community relations events, he loves the interaction with children and other people,” Fisher said. “He does well. He’s a very social animal.”
Ego likes stuffed animals. He was given a small black Labrador stuffed animal as a retirement gift.
“He’s actually carried that about with him, and that one’s lasted longer than anything else right now,” Fisher said.
Rasty, who’s also trained in tracking, narcotics detection and suspect apprehension, also retires to the home of his handler and his family. Sgt. James Bish was partnered with Rasty, a 9-1/2-year-old German shepherd, in 2012.
“He’s focused,” Bish said. “As soon as he comes out of the truck, he’s already starting to work ... He already knows if we’re looking for people, or if we’re going to look for dope ... I don’t have to tell him what to do.”
When Bish and Rasty were partnered, the dog was already trained. Bish was his second handler. Rasty was the first police dog that Bish has handled.
“So when I got him, I needed to learn,” Bish said. “He knew what he was doing.”
“I learned more about supervision and how to get along with people handling a dog than anything else,” Bish added.
A working dog is not treated in the same way a pet is treated, but retirement changes that for Rasty, Bish said.
“Now he gets more loving, and he’s treated more like a pet now because he’s earned it,” Bish said.
Rasty likes to play with his Kong toy and just hang out.
“He gets more treats now that he’s retired,” Bish said. “Rasty is living the leisure life now.”