Officer Milo: The right dog for the job

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photo by Nina Wood | Officer Milo (R) with his handler, Deputy DJ Elthorp.
photo by Nina Wood | Officer Milo (R) with his handler, Deputy DJ Elthorp.

by Nina Wood

Milo recently recertified as a K9 officer in narcotics and traffic skills. At 2 ½, he, with the help of his partner, Deputy DJ Elthorp has already made several arrests in the year since he first became a Grand County K9, seven involving drugs and more in working traffic. That involves the case of a stolen lumber truck from Steamboat that ended up in Grand County.

Milo is a very handsome, dark sable Czech shepherd who is a “sworn” deputy with his own personalized badge.

Deputy Elthorp says he typically keeps the badge in his possession however saying, “Milo is irresponsible”, but saying that with a huge grin. Both take their jobs seriously, but Milo gets a treat when he is successful in his job, a “puppacchino”. It’s a cup of whipped cream that he loves so much he usually get his muzzle white as he devours it!
Deputy Elthorp and Milo recently got a new ride with some upgrades from previous K9 vehicles. Two-thirds of this SUV are devoted to Milo’s safety and comfort. The middle section is his territory, and sensors transmit to Elthorp information on the temperature there so the dog stays comfortable in both heat and cold. The back one third carries extra collars and leashes, a different vest used for tracking (yes, he wears a Kevlar vest when he’s working), toys for his entertainment, and a first aid kit that includes Narcan, not for people, but for him in case he gets too much drug while he’s searching for narcotics.

One thing Milo isn’t crazy about is belly rubs. At home with 3 other dogs, he is the alpha and must maintain his leadership role, something not helped by exposing one’s belly to the competition. But on or off duty, a ball or a flying disk are fair game, sometimes used to work off some energy before or after work.

The three K9’s who work in Grand County are worth their weight when it comes to their jobs in assisting their handlers and other officers. Certainly they are a valuable tool, and I for one would not want to be on the receiving end of their job if I was a bad guy!

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