They lived, worked and played together.
Back at home on June 1 after completing the midnight shift, Sgt. Mike Quinn sensed something was wrong with canine partner Odin the moment the dog exited the vehicle.
“I could see that he was in a bit of pain,” said the handler. “He lay on the grass and didn’t want to get up which was completely not like him. He was just not himself and the lethargy concerned me.”
A visit to the veterinarian a short time later revealed that the Czech-born German Shepherd had an aggressive form of cancer that created an intestinal blockage.
“The vet said surgery was an option and he would be back at work in two weeks if all went well,” said Quinn, who joined Police Dog Services (PDS) in March 2013.
The good news was, however, short-lived as further tests revealed the blockage was so severe that, even if Odin was saved, he wouldn’t be able to work again and he would be in a lot of pain for the rest of his life.
“Odin has been very loyal and I didn’t want to put him through that,” said Quinn, who also handles Salvo, who specializes in explosive detection and search-and-rescue. “He was intense and energetic and never shied away from work.”
Odin was put down the same day.
The handler and dog developed a very close bond in the five years they worked together.
“I was with him 24 hours a day,” Quinn said. “I spent more time with Odin than I did with my family and friends and we had a very close relationship. I will miss having him around.”
On their first day on the job in February 2014, Quinn and Odin responded to four calls, including three for break-and-enter. At one of the break-and-enters near the York University campus, they apprehended three suspects.
“On that day, we made four arrests,” recalled Quinn, who started his police career at 23 Division in 1996 and worked in Sex Crimes before being assigned to 31 Division after he was promoted. “I guess that was sort of a dream start for both of us. After the intense 16-week rigorous training, the adrenaline was flowing as you get the first call. That was good, in a sense, because we didn’t have to sit around and wait too long to see how we would work together.”
Odin will be cremated and a memorial service will be held.
This is the second dog that PDS has lost in the last eight months.
Kash, a seven-year-old German Shepherd who joined the Service in 2010, also died of cancer complications last September.