He's been sniffing out narcotics, chasing down suspects and protecting residents for the better part of the last decade in Marlboro, N.J.
Now, it's time for Vaik a 9-year-old German shepherd and 8-year veteran of the Marlboro Police Department's K-9 unit to relax and let someone else take care of him.
Vaik was retired after being diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, a progressive spinal cord disorder that has left him unable to walk on his hind legs. He received a parting gift: a specially crafted wheelchair to keep him mobile despite his disability.
Patrolman Joseph Chaplinski has lived and worked with Vaik since the dog was 14 months old. Chaplinski put out the word to manufacturers that Vaik needed a support device. Mark Robinson, owner of HandicappedPets.com of Nashua, N.H., answered the call. "Even now, I can tell he's upset when I wear the uniform when I'm leaving the house," Chaplinski said. "He still wants to come along."
Handicapped Pets also made a walker for this dog, allowing it to make an historic climb this summer.