A Dog’s Day
Wilton’s K-9 Officer Enzo
Photo by Peggy Garbus
Enzo, tell us about yourself. I’m a German shepherd and I’m five years old. I was born in Hungary and trained there from when I was a pup until I was two, and then I was selected to come to Connecticut. I’ve been living here in Wilton ever since.
And who’s your handler? Steven Rangel. He’s been a police officer here for more than ten years. We’ve worked together since I came over.
How do you two get along? Very well. Most days we work from 3 pm to 11 pm. When I’m not working, I live with him at his house. Steve calls it our house. I guess it’s my home too.
What’s the backstory on the K-9 program in Wilton? It was started a long, long time ago, but then there was a break in the program for 20 years.
Why was it re-established? Steve told me they used to borrow K-9s from neighboring towns when help was needed. But that didn’t work so well, so the department decided it would be better to have a Wilton K-9. And I’m it! I’m here to serve.
What does it take to become a K-9? I’ve been training for this job my whole life. After I arrived here in Wilton, I did 12 weeks of specialized training. I was taught to track people, to find drugs, and, if necessary, to attack. You wanna see how I look when I attack?
No, that’s okay, Enzo. What’s a typical day like for you? There is no typical day. Police people say that all the time, and it’s the same for us K-9s because let’s face it, we’re police officers too. We just have four paws. And fur. Nothing is typical.
Wilton is lucky to have you. What are you generally brought in for? I have three main duties: tracking, narcotics detection, and article recovery. Tracking means finding people; narcotics detection means finding drugs, and article recovery means finding things. I am a great finder. It’s all in the nose.
What’s the greatest challenge of your job? All the training I have to do to keep up my finding skills. I train all the time.
What’s your biggest joy in your job? I love my work. I love to help people—even small ones.
What do you do during your time off? I usually hang out with Steve at our home. I like to play and I like to sleep. I’m very good at those two things.
What’s your favorite treat? Bananas! Sometimes, for a treat, Steve gives me a piece. Maybe one day he’ll give me an entire banana. But maybe he’s afraid of what would happen if I ate a whole banana. I have some, er, digestive problems when I eat things I shouldn’t.
What’s your favorite toy? I like balls. Especially a hollow racquet ball with a rope attached. I love those! But I’m a working dog and not a pet, so mostly I work. Toys and treats are rewards for service.
What’s your personal motto? Enforcing the law with my paws!