Photo by Bob Christy '95
Kent State police dog Coco and her partner, Officer Anne Spahr, recently participated in a specialized training exercise at the climbing wall in Kent State’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center, along with K-9 dogs from around the state—including Kent State’s other police dog, Dexter, and his handler, Officer Miguel Witt.
The dogs were practicing in case they ever need to be flown by helicopter to an incident as part of a statewide response to a bomb threat. “It’s unlikely but possible, so we have to get the dogs ready,” says Spahr. “In addition, it builds trust and bonding between the dog and its handler. Coco did very well; she’s a confident dog.”
On a normal day, Coco—a three-year-old German Shepherd—is on patrol with Spahr around Kent State, and they’re on call in case she’s needed anywhere in the state to sniff out explosives, search for evidence or track a missing person. It’s an active life, and Coco thrives on doing her job.
“She doesn’t enjoy her time off quite as much as I do,” laughs Spahr. “I usually have to take her out several times a day to play because she’s very energetic and high drive. These K-9 dogs don’t make good house pets because they bore easily and are always on the go. Coco loves to play ball; she’s absolutely ball obsessed. And she harasses our pet German shepherd, who likes to chill by the fire and sleep in. He’s trying to teach her to relax, but she’s not picking it up!”