After working like a dog for nearly a decade, a member of the Regina Police Service hung up her badge and harness.
Merlot, a Justice Facility Dog, has officially retired after eight years of lending a paw to victims and witnesses of crime or trauma to provide emotional support.
While Merlot had nothing to say, Sgt Tia Froh, Merlot’s handler, said seeing the community celebrate her partner was amazing.
“The amount of community that came out to support her just shows the effect that she’s had on everyone in the community,” she said. “She’s a dog. She was pumped to see people and cakes, so she was pretty happy to get out and socialize.”
Merlot was the first Justice Facility Dog for the Regina Police Service, and Froh, who has been beside her since day one, said the work they have accomplished exceeded her imagination.
“I knew it would be a benefit to our investigations and to the people in our community. Never did I know we would be here doing this,” she said. “I thought she’s gonna be a great asset to help these vulnerable people that need it, and it blew me away.”
Froh said it is bittersweet to see her partner retire.
“I am so proud of all the work that she has done over the years, but at the same time, she’s worked really hard for almost eight years, and I am so happy to see her be able to just relax, enjoy the rest of her life, and just be a dog.”
As for what Merlot will be doing in retirement, Froh predicts a lot of spelling and time spent swimming.