Today is one of the saddest days of my life. My friend, companion and partner is gone. K-9 Flex was the best. Anyone that had the pleasure of meeting him could tell you no different, well maybe the ones he caught committing crimes would.
In 2005 Lackland Airforce base donated Flex to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriffs Office. Flex started his career with me as just a narcotic detector. I will never forget that first day. He was a little high strung but we quickly began to build a bond that could not be broken. The more we trained, I began to see Flex had so much more potential. We started training man tracking and advanced obedience. As Flex excelled in these areas we began tactical training under stressful situations. He was a quick learner. As a team we were able to get training from some of the best PSD trainers in the United States. They all seemed to say the same thing after training with him, "We wish we had 100 of him, you have a great partner". That I did! K-9 Flex became more than a partner. He became my hero and my best friend. Over the years with the sheriffs office, Flex visited several of the schools in our parish and brought smiles to all of the kids faces he meet. He was a big ham as he would roll on the ground begging for attention. He also removed a large amount of narcotics and criminals from the streets of this great parish.
Flex retried in the summer of 2011. At first he took it hard. He would see me in uniform and try to leave with me. He became bored as I started to work and play with him in the yard. One day after playing, he came from the side of your shed pulling a wheelbarrow by its wheel. I have even caught him prancing around the yard with an 8 foot 4x4 post. We also found that he loved pizza, after he stole a whole pie off of the stove. He would never beg for food, except for pizza. He loved his pizza bones. After a few months he began to adjust. He would lay with my kids, get his pets and became a couch potato.The last two years Flex began to develop arthritis. We tried acupuncture, different joint medicines and other methods to no avail. I felt helpless as my friend lay in pain and there was nothing I could do to help him.
In closing, Flex and I would like to thank everyone that helped him in his training and assisted us on calls. You all helped with successful deployments and we were able to return to our families.
To you Flex, I am so sorry I couldn't help you. Please forgive me, and thank you for the time that we spent together. You may be gone but I promise you buddy, I will never forget you. R.I.P.