Dave Blosser trains dogs for police departments and also handles a dog of his own when he's on the road for Weathersfield and Fowler, so he knows a thing or two about what makes a dog suited for police work.
His dog, Vito, is a help with his training work because of the way Vito performs.
''You've got to prove yourself if you're going to train other people,'' Blosser said.
Tribune Chronicle / Joe Gorman
Fowler K-9 Officer Dave Blosser plays with his partner, Vito, Saturday in the parking lot of the Warren Police Department. Vito is retiring at the end of the year.
Blosser is preparing the 11-year-old Belgian Malinos to retire to a less stressful job. He is breaking in a new partner, another Belgian Malinos, Dani, and will be hitting the road with him shortly.
Blosser said he got Vito from a person he knows who was unable to keep the dog any longer when Vito was 4. Although most police dogs are paired up with a handler when they are younger, Blosser said the transition was not hard for Vito because he performed some similar work as a sports dog for his previous owner.
''He had training in several different areas that could be utilized for police work,'' Blosser said.
Fowler police Chief Michael Currington said having Vito and Blosser is a blessing for his department, especially because of Blosser's other job of training police dogs for other departments. That ensures that he knows his own dog, Currington said.
''Both of them are top notch,'' Currington said. ''Dave knows his dog well and he knows his job well. He's able to go anywhere.''
Currington said Blosser has helped out all across the county, including Braceville, Brookfield and Warren, when one of their dogs is not available.
''He is truly a multi-jurisdictional dog,'' Currington said.
Blosser said one of his best cases with Vito was when they were able to help Bazetta police crack a breaking and entering case by tracking a person from a burgled hardware store to the suspect's front door, more than a mile away.
''This was a very long track,'' Blosser said.
In Weathersfield, Blosser said Vito was able to track a suspect after a robbery at Walgreens across from the Pine Tree Plaza to a residence in Villa Arms.
''Without the dog, we would've had nothing,'' Blosser said.
In Brookfield he was assisting township police with a car and had the dog check the car just to give the dog some work and they found 230 pounds of marijuana inside it.
''It looked like mini hay bales,'' Blosser said.
Although Vito will be retired, he will still be working at some of the private security jobs Blosser has, as they are less stressful than police work, Blosser said. He said he is keeping Vito and he will also have Dani, but they will be separated at his home, Blosser said.
''They're alpha dogs and things can happen,'' Blosser said.