IM State Police dog visits Golden K
By JOAN JOUPPI
For The Daily News
KINGSFORD — The Golden K has gone to the dogs — actually, the dog came to the Golden K and brought along his trainer, Trooper Ryan Rossler. Nikko is a 2-year-old German shepherd originally from Hungary, in training for the Michigan State Police Post in Iron Mountain.
Trooper Rossler and Nikko are learning together. Both being new to this experience, they are developing a bond that will last a lifetime. Training a 2-year-old, with two legs or four, can be a full-time job. Nikko has a ball that is a reward object for him and when Trooper Rossler pulled it out of his pocket, Nikko lost all interest in his audience. He focused 100 percent right on that ball. It didn’t take Nikko long to train his audience to fetch that ball whenever he dropped it.
German shepherds and black Labs are the dogs mostly used for training and more male dogs than female. There is one female black Lab trained to detect cyber crime, she’s got the inside job. There are dogs trained to find missing persons, bombs, explosives, vapor-weight, and motion-sensitive items in crowds. Nikko will be trained for tracking and narcotics as well as article/evidence searches.
A trainer and his dog become one. Each become protective of the other. Even in his early training should anyone challenge Rossler they will find themselves dealing with Nikko first. There are different leashes used for different jobs. Nikko recognizes them and knows what he is expected to do. The dog follows his trainer and moves where ever the trainer may be stationed. The life of a service dog may be 7 to 8 years, depending on his health and stamina. Trainer and dog are in this together and dedicated to one another. It’s a lifetime commitment while in service. Once Nikko finished dazzling the group, Trooper Rossler fielded many questions from the seniors.
The Golden K welcomed visitors First Lt. Paul Campbell, Trooper Geno Basanese and Sarah Sleete, who accompanied Trooper Rossler.
Happy birthday wishes to Sandra Soltis, Nov. 20, and Mary Bugni, Nov. 22. Sharon Sholke won the 50/50 drawing and many happy dollars expressed Happy Thanksgiving to all. Aggie Cavanaini was happy for her 10-year-old grandson, who shot his first buck.
Thanks to Sue LeDuc on piano and Margaret Trudell directing, the Golden Kers start their Monday mornings singing.
As it lifts everyone’s spirit, the next Monday meeting will be all about singing and may include Christmas carols. After a Thanksgiving feast, this would be a good time to visit the Golden K, as singing takes energy and could burn a few calories. All are welcome any Monday morning to the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford.