Local Trooper talks about incredible bond between dog and handler

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TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - There are obviously many police dogs that work in our region. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has dozens of dogs working the roads of Ohio, the vast majority of them are only trained to sniff out drugs.
While what the drug dogs do is a little different than a patrol dog like Falko, it is still very dangerous work.

Oso is a drug dog that works the roads in our region with his handler trooper Ryan Stewart, "he's real docile and a great dog. He's very affectionate, our bond is very strong."

Stewart says the bond is hard to describe, 'I spend more time with my dog than I do my family." Unfortunately Trooper Stewart can relate to the Toledo's Police Department's loss, "I feel for the handler, that she's having to go through this."

Oso is Trooper Stewart's second dog since joining the Highway Patrol's K-9 unit. His first dog had to be put down because of a brain tumor, "I've been through the process but I am sure it does not compare to losing one on a work shift or in the line of duty."

The work of a drug dog is obviously different than a patrol dog. Most of a drug dog's time is spent checking out vehicles on the road, not chasing down suspects. But the risks are the same, "There could be hidden weapons or people who want to do harm to me or the dog and then there's traffic."

And while no one likes to think about it, Trooper Stewart says officers have to be prepared for anything and everything every day, "I have stopped thousands of vehicles in my career and knock on wood, I have never been hit, but it could happen. You always have to be on edge." Trooper Stewart is just glad to have a loyal partner along for the ride.