Rusty with his partner of six years, Officer Scharber.
Working in the K-9 Unit at Metro Transit Police Department has its benefits.
“It’s just the bond you create – you can’t find that with a regular officer,” K-9 Officer Joshua Scharber said.
But, after years of working together and building strong bonds, this service can also be bittersweet.
Right before Christmas in 2012, a chocolate lab named Rusty met his partner, Officer Scharber, for the very first time. "I became immediately attached." Scharber said. "We're both gentle giants, so we understood each other."
On Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, Scharber received the sad news that he would need to say goodbye to his longtime partner and friend.
Rusty was diagnosed with an advanced disease that was attacking his kidneys. The prognosis was that any procedure would simply delay the inevitable.
Rusty's work included explosive detection, but where he shined the most was working with kids.
“We'd take him to schools, and ten different sets of hands would surround him," Scharber said. "He didn't flinch. In fact, you could tell he loved the attention.""He was a good dog." Scharber said. "He was a handler's dream."
Rusty's ashes will stay with Officer Scharber, sitting in an urn on his mantle.