The Explosives Detection Dog Who Has a Soft Spot for Kids in Need

Deputy Sheriff Michael Klinger is a 20-year veteran of the Dauphin County, PA police. His partner, Tika, is an explosives detection dog. Deputy Klinger also serves as a volunteer firefighter.

“A class of special needs kids visited us recently to see the everyday business of a courthouse. I just let the kids pet the dog because that’s something that they wouldn’t normally get to do when it comes to a law enforcement environment.

“Tika is just one of those dogs who has the ability to sense when someone might not be able-bodied or might have some limitations. There was a little girl in a wheelchair that day, and Tika actually jumped up onto my thigh and reached over to the girl in the wheelchair and let that kid pet her for a good while. With the average person, she waits until I give her the OK for someone to pet her, but she has the ability to sense when there’s that special person, that unique situation.

“Tika loves her Big Barker. It takes a toll on a K9’s joints when they’re working all day, and when they come home to something to lay down on that is extremely comfortable—that can only benefit the dog. My wife laid with Tika on the Big Barker the other day, and she goes, ‘Oh, this is pretty comfortable. Maybe I’ll just order one and sleep with the dog!’”