by Larry Little
His name was Mikey. He served as the Lufkin Police Department's only K9 cop. The four-year-old Labrador died Wednesday. Mikey was trained to find explosives.
Mikey and his handler, Lufkin Police Sergeant Paul Jackson, were in Houston looking for explosives at the George R. Brown Convention Center as part of preparations for this weekend's NBA All-Star game. Jackson says Mikey was distracted by some pigeons when he was trying to put him back in the vehicle. The dog broke free to chase the pigeons and fell off a 50-foot high ramp to his death.
"It's a big loss to us in manpower because of Mikey's abilities. It's another loss as a pet and a friend," says Lt. Greg Denman. "You realize an animal doesn't live as long, but you get very attached because you do stay with them. We used to joke [that] you actually stay with them more than our family because when we go to work, we leave our family at home, but with the K9, you take your family with you," says Lt. Alton Lenderman.
Funeral arrangements are pending for Mikey. Lt. Denman expressed a need to continue the K9 program.