COVINGTON, La. - K-9 "Bear" is running one last training exercise Monday before heading into the relaxing life of retirement. This exercise, searching for drugs, is his favorite.
"He loves finding dope,” said handler Deputy Chris Harman, “He lives for it and being that he gets his Kong at the end of it. He enjoys it."
"Bear," an 8-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd, has been with St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Deputy Harman for six years. He's gone after bad guys, sniffed out more than 100 drug busts and been this man's best friend. Changing that may be a challenge for both of them.
Harman said, "It's gonna be hard in the beginning. I know when he sees me leave, he's gonna want to come through the fence and ask me where I'm going, but I think eventually he'll get used to it."
"Bear's" last official job with the sheriff's office was his best, finding a $100,000 worth of cocaine in a vehicle on I-12 last Thursday. His handler says it was a bitter-sweet send off for the four-legged officer.
"It's good that he's going out on a good note," said Harman
"Bear" will only be jumping into his air-conditioned kennel a few more times this week before hanging up the badge and enjoying the simple life of being the Harman family pet.
"BEAR" is the second oldest retired K-9 from the Sheriff’s Office. With “Bear’s” departure, a dozen other dogs remain on the force.