A police officer from Romeoville in Illinois could not have a better partner. John Allen and his K9 sidekick Spike have been working together for the last six years, and found that they both like to sing to the same tunes.
The cop and the canine, a Belgian Malinois, have done a drug bust, foiled a gun ring and arrested hundreds of criminals. They became partners when Spike was just 19 months old and fresh out of the K-9 training from the Netherlands.
In June 2013, Officer John and Spike successfully caught one of the largest drug operations in the history of the Romeoville Police Department. Spike discovered over 2,750 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $7.3 million, as reported in The Herald News.
Dutch is Spike’s language
John describes Spike as a very obedient and friendly dog. The four-legged officer also knows when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play. So, when he’s not out on the field to accost bad guys, Spike enjoys the downtimes by swimming with John and munching on popcorn.
Spike understands mostly Dutch commands and it works well for the dog because it avoids confusion on the field. According to the John, it lessens the chances of Spike following the orders of the wrong person since the dog only answers to the Dutch language.
John uses at least eight Dutch words regularly with Spike. But that’s not the special talent that John is really proud about his K9 partner.
In a video posted on Twitter, John showed off how Spike loves to sing along to Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” John said that he Spike loves to sing along to any song but this 2000 hit is his particular favorite.
— Romeoville Police (@Romeoville_PD) July 4, 2018
According to a study from experts at the University of Glasgow, dogs do have a knack for music and may prefer some genre over another. In their research of shelter dogs, the experts learned that most of the canine-approved songs fall into five categories: classical, Motown, pop music, soft rock, and reggae.
Another study from the University of Belfast revealed that music could also influence the moods of dogs, just like it does for humans. Experts believe that dogs possess musical discernment as well.
Spike’s Retirement Plans
By October 2018, Spike will be seven years old and his health is great. But in less than five years, he will be retiring from the K9 force, so John wants to take him in as his pet for his family and they are slowly starting this transition.
But K9 cops like Spike don’t get a pension when they retire, unlike their human counterparts. So, John is hoping to fund Spike’s retirement plan this early, especially when an aging dog’s medical bills could also pile up.
Many senior dogs suffer from at least seven health problems like arthritis, blindness, diabetes, gum disease, kidney disease, cancer, and dementia. Thus, they will require treatments like painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and supplements.
John has established the Medical Assistance for Retired K9s (MARK-9) along with other K9 handlers to help support retired police dogs. Their cause has helped over 50 dogs around the United States so far but the group is hoping to reach more K9s in need. They are also hoping to raise more money for these former working dogs.
K9 dogs go through a rigorous obedience-training course before they are sent out to join actual police officers on the field. They have to develop aggressiveness, intelligence, strength and a great sense of smell. The average working life of a K9 is from six to nine years but they can retire early if they become sick or get pregnant.