PASCO, WA - Officer Joshua Madsen had to pick one possible K-9 out of a 20-30 pool of dogs. That dog turned out to be "Lemon."
After picking him, Madsen and Lemon went through a 6-week course together, followed by 400 hours to get to know each other. Then, Lemon took a test to get certification. He was tested on area search, building search, tracking, control, and obedience.
Officer Madsen says tracking was the hardest one to train Lemon on, but he didn't mind because this was always a dream for him.
"This is all I've ever wanted to do," said Madsen. "I grew up with dogs that were similar to [Lemon] but not the same. Ever since I was little... I knew I wanted to be a Police K-9 Handler."
Lemon had to have surgery after he suffered a stomach flip, which can strangulate intestines and result in death if not operated on right away. Pasco Police say in this Facebook Post that Officer Madsen recognized the problem and got him to the vet for the emergency surgery.
Lemon is back on duty now after a dew weeks of recovering post-surgery.
Like humans, Lemon will have to retire eventually as he is close to reaching a decade serving for the City of Pasco. Lemon will spend the rest of his dog years with Madsen's family. Officer Madsen wants to get another K-9 after Lemon, but he says no one will be able to fill Lemon's shoes.
"I get to go to work with my best bud every single day. He keeps me safe. He keeps the community safe. I love everything about him. This is the best job in this department."