Schody retired Thursday — a German shepherd and the longest-tenured K9 partner in Minnesota conservation law enforcement referred to by some as "Wonder Dog."
Schody and his partner, conservation officer Scott Staples, have worked together 10 years, and Staples said he'll feel the void in a news release Thursday announcing Schody's final day of duty. They were stationed in the Carlton area.
"Schody is very fortunate to go to 10 years – he really is – but he's starting to suffer from a disease right now and it's time for him to retire and just be a house dog, although he hates it probably just as much as I do," said Staples. "I spend more time with that dog than I do with my own family."
Staples and Schody are one of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' six K9 teams. The K9s go through multiweek training followed up with work on detection. Schody got high marks for his work. One of his specialties was having a nose for locating firearms. The teams also help other officers track and find people, detect fish and wildlife violations, and even sniff out invasive species like zebra mussels.
Schody will be missed, even if he'll be close. Staples has taken on another German shepherd, Fennec, to assist in the field. Schody, who has a degenerative disease, will continue to live with Staples and his family.
"It's going to be sad," Staples said. "For the last 10 years, he's gotten into that pickup truck with me. He's going to hate to stay at home. So I think I'm probably going to have to wean him off of that a little bit – take him with me to work every once in a while just to keep him thinking he's still the big dog around the house."