Long-time search-and-rescue dog “Nikko” may be replaced after the 11-year-old pooch died, but he won’t be forgotten by heartbroken Riverside firefighters.
Nikko died after serving the Riverside Fire Department for more than a decade, and he received a final salute Tuesday from firefighters, including the captain who worked with him from the time he was a puppy.
“Nikko,” an 11-year-old golden retriever, died Monday, ending a career as a service dog that began in 2006, according to Battalion Chief Thomas Jay.
“Nikko was laid to rest surrounded by family and friends, his lifetime handler Capt. Tim Odebralski, and members of the RFD honor guard,” Jay said. “The honor guard ceremoniously laid the American flag over Nikko’s body.”
The canine was assigned to the California Urban Search & Rescue Team, Task Force 6. He participated in multiple operations, though he never performed a rescue, according to fire department officials.
Odebralski and Nikko also provided demonstrations for the public.
The captain and his dog were together on the job and at home.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether there are plans to replace the retriever.
— City News Service
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