Name: K-9 “Riki”
Agency: Ft. McCoy Police Department, US Army, Ft. McCoy, WI (Dogs for Defense Inc. contract provider) U.S. State Department WPPS, Kabul, Afghanistan
Discipline: Single Purpose Explosive Detection
Breed: German Shepherd
Date of Birth: March 1st, 2004
End Of Watch: November 24, 2017
K-9 RIKI was imported from Europe and trained at the Blackwater Training facility in Moyock NC where he subsequently deployed to Afghanistan in 2005. It is likely that RIKI conducted over 1400 missions in Afghanistan prior to his return to the United States in 2012. One of the most remarkable accomplishments of K-9 RIKI is his ability to beat a diagnosis of terminal cancer.
In 2014, K-9 RIKI was diagnosed by his local veterinarian and the specialists at the University of Minnesota with a large cancerous tumor. RIKI was given less than 3 months to live. It was decided to provide pain killers and make his remaining days comfortable.
Prayer requests for RIKI went out nationwide and only a miracle can explain his ability to completely recover from his illness. K-9 RIKI continued to work until December of 2015 despite his bout with cancer.
K-9 RIKI had proven to be one of the most driven working dogs willing to work with any handler no matter their personality or ability. K-9 RIKI was not big on cuddling or praise but worked for something deeper, primal behavior to hunt.
His reward was a Kong toy and he would often opt to bat it around a bit prior to grabbing and squeezing it. K-9 RIKI now spends his time as part of a big family living in St. Cloud, MN. He still enjoys long off leash walks and trying to see how many Kong’s he can fit in his mouth.
One of the most impressive things about K-9 RIKI is his ability to transition from what most would call an aggressive dog to a dog that finds himself living among 4 other working dogs and 5 young children. Quite a transition.