Lewes Police Department mourns K-9 Blue who 'just wanted to please'
The Lewes Police Department lost its only K-9 on Sept. 13.
Blue was a 9.5-year-old Belgian Malinois. He was born in the Netherlands and brought to the states by American K-9 Interdiction, a military and police K-9 training facility in Virginia. Lewes Police Department Officer Tyrone Woodyard picked him out in March 2013.
“I was somewhat nervous, as a new handler, and I really didn’t have a lot of knowledge on what to look for,” he said. “Blue just had a lot of energy and showed me that he just wanted to please me. He was very excited and happy. He just stood out from the rest.”
Still, Woodyard was leery about bringing Blue home to his fiancée and 3-month-old. He wasn’t planning on kenneling Blue outside; he was going to make him a house dog.
“I knew I picked the right dog when my son was rolling around on the floor and Blue laid down and took right to him,” he said. “I liked having him as an inside dog because it was just bonding all the time.”
Blue learned Woodyard’s schedule and would get excited when he put on his uniform. When they pulled into the driveway after a shift and Woodyard turned off the police radio, he knew it was time to relax.
During his career, Blue had three physical criminal apprehensions and numerous no-bite apprehensions, meaning his simple presence caused a suspect to cooperate.
While Blue intimidated suspects, he often delighted the public.
“A lot of uses for police K-9s are in community events or demonstrations, which the public love. He did a lot of events like that. I thought it was really good for the city,” Woodyard said.
In late 2019, Blue started having trouble walking. He had a litany of tests and scans that found no problems. His symptoms disappeared with medication and all was well for a while.
But over the summer, Woodyard contracted COVID-19. He and Blue were out of work for almost two months, quarantined at home. That’s when Blue’s health really declined.
“I always said that dog would die if he couldn’t work,” Woodyard said.
By September, Blue had lost a lot of weight and was very sick. Veterinarians never diagnosed his ailments but suspected he had an immune deficiency disorder.
Woodyard made the decision to humanely euthanize him Sept. 13. His extended family and several fellow officers gathered to send him off.
Lewes Police Chief Thomas Spell lauded Blue’s accomplishments and thanked Woodyard and his family for providing him with a loving home.
Blue’s most important accomplishment, Spell said, was protecting “his partner, other police officers and the public by his mere presence at crime scenes and events.”