PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — For deputies and other employees with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department, coming to work this week has been a little tougher than usual.
The department's K9 Wodan passed away over the weekend. Wodan was a fixture in the community, a dog that served the county, and before that, his country.
"Sometimes he'd act like he's running and he was asleep ... and I often wondered what it was he was dreaming about," said Sergeant Richard Smith.
Those dreams could have been about his time serving with the special forces in Afghanistan until the age of six. Or chasing down suspects on a call in Pulaski County. Or even the time he spent with kids at a local school. Wooden could do it all.
"We could take him to an elementary school to do a show and tell... and then with one word of command, he would turn to his patrol work that he was trained to do," Smith said.
And for five years, he did that work diligently, always by the side of his partner Smith.
"Right now I miss him... he sat right behind me in my cruiser," said Smith.
For Smith, Wodan was more than a partner, he became part of his family at home and they were bust working on making the house more accommodating for him for a future retirement.
"I knew it was about time he was to retire, but I didn't think this was going to happen," said Smith.
Over the weekend, Wodan suddenly suffered a stroke in Smith's patrol car and he died as he lived, serving the community.
"I promise to stay resolved and focused upon the success of our mission," said Smith. If dogs could talk, Smith said he likes to think Wodan would have echoed these words from the K9 pledge:
No matter what happens, I will be by your side... your loyal companion until the very end.
"I will never leave your side... I will never waver," Smith said.