Olympia’s favorite police K-9 will soon be a father.
Melnic, who retired from the Olympia Police Department in December, and his partner Chiba are expecting a litter of pure-bred German shepherd puppies in May.
Melnic’s former handler and now owner, Officer Randy Wilson, said he hopes one of the pups will have the qualities of a good police K-9. Melnic was exceptional because he had the drive to chase suspects and a gentle demeanor with the public.
“The legacy he started was great,” Wilson said. “You don’t find that every day in a police dog. He’s not looking for a fight, but if a fight comes to him, he can handle it. But he can also lay down on the rug with 40 kids.”
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If the timing is right, one of the puppies could even take Melnic’s position at the Olympia Police Department.
Wilson and his wife are part-owners of Chiba, who primarily lives with Wilson’s brother-in-law. They chose Chiba because she’s driven, friendly and has a great personality.
She’s smaller than Melnic and has short, sable hair. Melnic has long, black hair.
The couple should make great puppies, Wilson said.
Selling puppies could help pay for Melnic’s medical expenses. When the Wilson family took over ownership, they took over Melnic’s bills.
Melnic went on leave in late July 2016 after Wilson took him to the veterinarian and learned Melnic had two herniated disks. The disks caused the dog to feel weak and limited his mobility. Surgery was performed on his back. Melnic made a full recovery and returned to service.
He had other surgeries earlier in his career.
But Lt. Paul Lower said last year department officials wanted Melnic to retire while he’s healthy.
Retirement has been an adjustment for Wilson and Melnic. Wilson misses having the big, fluffy dog in his car every day. Melnic still tries to go to work with his former partner.
“He’s still hoping that one day I’ll remember that I forgot about him,” Wilson said.
But retired life comes with perks, too.
Before, Melnic was an outdoor dog when he wasn’t working. Now, he lives inside. He loves it, and Wilson’s kids love it, too.
“We thought that would make the transition a little easier,” Wilson said.