Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy Jon Cretsinger walks his K-9 Ike into the Carroll Public Library on Saturday. He gave a 45-minute presentation on how the dog is trained to find drugs and people.
Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy Jon Cretsinger walks his K-9 Ike into the Carroll Public Library on Saturday. He gave a 45-minute presentation on how the dog is trained to find drugs and people.
March 12, 2013



Bleiben!

Ike the dog sat at attention. The yellow ball that he loves so much dangled a foot from his nose.

Children watched. Held their breath.

They didn't know whether Ike would follow the German command to stay.

Moments passed, and Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy Jon Cretsinger let Ike have what he wanted so badly.

Go ahead and get it.

Ike leapt at the ball and kept it tight between his teeth at the Carroll Public Library on Saturday. Cretsinger takes Ike to libraries and schools and nursing homes to show people how essential the dog is to area law-enforcement officers.

Ike, a Belgian Malinois shepherd, is a K-9 officer that is trained to detect drugs and track people. Ike knows about a dozen German commands because he was first trained for the jobs for about a year in Germany.

Cretsinger has used him to sniff drugs in vehicles, houses and schools about 50 times since Ike joined the department in early November. Ike smelled drugs about 10 of those times.

Ike can detect drugs such as marijuana and methamphetamine from outside the vehicle if a driver refuses a deputy's request to search the inside of the vehicle. Ike saves officers' time when they search for drugs in a house or apartment with a warrant.

It's a serious task, but for Ike, it's fun. He thinks he's looking for his ball.

On Saturday, Cretsinger stashed something with the smell of marijuana among the rows and rows of books in the library.

The handful of children who came to meet the dog gawked as Ike ran the aisles, fervently in search of his ball.

He eventually sniffed out the pot smell and froze with his nose pointed at the spot.

Cretsinger tossed him his yellow ball, and Ike went on playing.

Cretsinger has been bombarded with requests to do these show-and-tells. He's set to introduce Ike to a second-grade class at Fairview Elementary soon.

"I've got a great response from the public," said Cretsinger, who has solicited donations that exceed $10,000 to pay for Ike, his training and his food and toys. "It seems like everybody likes him. ... It's better than I imagined."

The children, of course, have all sorts of questions and stories about their own dogs.

What if there's a fire? How could he get out?

If the dog bites the bad guy, is it hard to get him to stop biting?

Does he like music?

"Yeah, he listens to whatever I want," Cretsinger smiled on Saturday.

Cretsinger and Ike have grown close in the past few months. There's very little time that they are apart.

Ike lives with Cretsinger and stays in a kennel in the back seat of the deputy's patrol car.

When they're out on patrol, they make somewhat frequent pit stops at parks or along side roads to stretch their legs.

"When I'm not with him - when he's at home or the vet - I miss him," Cretsinger said.