Scooter: A hardworking, good boy
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Brad Proulx
The Belgian Malinois, pronounced MAL-in-wah or “Mal” for short, are a high-energy herding dog breed who love to put their intelligence and intense focus to work. The breed loves being active, learning new skills and spending time with their owner. Their willingness to conduct multiple training sessions a day makes them excellent choices for narcotics and bomb detection, as well as search and rescue dogs.
Bred to work, Mals are packed with powerful muscles, yet their bodies have an elegant appearance. Always alert, with perked-up ears, kind, dark chocolate eyes with slightly bushy tails, Mals are one of 12 fastest breeds in the world and have been clocked running as fast as 30 mph. Historically, they performed important jobs in World War I as messengers and assistants to the Red Cross.
K-9 Scooter is an 8-year-old hardworking fearless Mal who, at a glance is often mistaken as a German shepherd. Both breeds share similar features and are favorites of both law enforcement and military forces. Born in Holland, Scooter made his way into the heart and back seat of Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) Sergeant Brad Proulx’s patrol car (see related story Following career dreams with man’s best friend) with the help of Friends of Douglas County K-9, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and safety of these working heroes.
Graduates from a K-9 training facility in Indiana, Proulx and Scooter are one of six DCSO K-9 teams. K-9s are trained to protect their deputy handlers and save their lives. They are also trained to search and detect drugs, track humans, detain suspects, clear buildings and take part in public demonstrations.
Scooter started his working career with the DCSO K-9 unit in 2015. Scooter is not only proficient in patrol work and drug detection; he has a great balance of work and play. He has mastered lifelong skills of ball playing and will do anything for a game of fetch.
Mals have a gentle, playful demeanor and strong loyal tendencies which make them a great family pet – especially for those who are highly active in biking, hiking or running. These active companions are ranked among the American Kennel Club’s most popular breeds. While they are loyal companions, they do need constant training and exercise.
Scooter continues his training every week. When he is not working or training, he is happy stealing his handler’s lunch and chasing any ball around.
For more information on these K-9 heroes, visit www.k9friends.org.