Rocky, partner of Wilson County Sheriff's Office Lt. Robert Curtis and one of the most highly decorated dogs in the Volunteer State, recently retired from service with the department after an eight-year career.
Over the course of his career, the Belgian Malinois was responsible for recovering millions of dollars in cash and illegal narcotics in addition to a number of felony arrests, Curtis said, adding Rocky's retirement was a difficult decision because his partner was such an "exceptional dog."
"Rocky and I have been together since 2008," Curtis said. "We started training when he was only nine months old, but I knew right away Ol' Rock was going to be something special."
"Special" may have been an understatement for Rocky who, along with Curtis, took first place in criminal apprehension, third place in obedience and for the second time won the coveted Jimmy D. Anderson Memorial Award for the highest combined scores in apprehension and obedience in 2015. Curtis and Rocky first won the Anderson award in 2012 after winning second place overall - first in criminal apprehension and second in obedience. A year prior, the duo also won second place in criminal apprehension.
Curtis noted Rocky had four felony criminal apprehensions on the street over the years in Wilson County and helping other nearby agencies. Rocky has detected "well over a million dollars' worth" of narcotics and currency in addition to performing numerous demonstrations to help educate young people and adults alike as to how K-9 teams work.
"Rocky has an unbelievable desire to please with a huge drive to work. It's been a great pleasure to work with a partner like Rocky. He's a one-of-a-kind dog," Curtis said.
Nearly two years ago, Curtis said he was doubtful he could work with another dog after racking up one of the highest awards in the state for a K-9 team. At that time, he said, "I really can't see myself working with another K-9 after being with such an exceptional dog for so long. He knows what to do and what I'm thinking sometimes before I do."
Curtis has begun training with a new dog, however. "It's gonna be tough the first time I go to work with my new partner K-9, Molly, but Rocky will have a well-deserved, laid-back retired life with me," he said.
"This office has been extremely lucky, and we are proud to have had such a talented team," Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan noted. "Those who benefit the most are the people of Wilson County who can be assured they have had and will continue to have a superior K-9 partnership working for them."