Danny, dog of slain RCMP officer, back on duty

Danny the police service dog is ready to go back to work. He was introduced to media at the RCMP...

Danny the police service dog is ready to go back to work. He was introduced to media at the RCMP Police Service Dog Training Centre in Innisfail, Alta. on August 27, 2014. (Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency)

Michael Platt, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:25 PM ET

CALGARY -- Const. David Ross is still helping to catch the bad guys.

Not Ross himself, one of three Moncton RCMP officers slain in June by a gunman on a murderous anti-police rampage.

But the legacy Ross left behind -- all 80 hairy pounds of it -- remains ready to serve and protect.

Danny, the police dog that broke Canada's collective heart when he whimpered at Ross' funeral and stood on his hind legs to sniff at his fallen partner's Stetson, is returning to work with a new canine officer.


A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer with the hat and Danny, the dog of K-9 officer David Ross, who was killed last week along with two other RCMP officers, pauses in front of his casket during a regimental funeral for the three officers in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

But those helping the three-year-old shepherd adjust to a new assignment say Danny's ongoing skill as one of Canada's top-ranked police dogs comes down to Ross, who schooled Danny at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training centre in Innisfail, Alta.

"Certainly a great part of it," said Sgt. Eric Stebenne, a trainer at the centre.

"Danny came here extremely raw at the beginning of training -- all the work that was put into Danny was through our help here at the RCMP Police Dog Service Training centre, and all the work Const. Ross put into Danny."

It was only 10 months after Ross and Danny left Innisfail for active duty that the constable was killed by Justin Bourque, as the K-9 unit responded to a call of an armed man dressed in camouflage.

Bourque, who has pleaded guilty, went on to murder constables Douglas Larche and Fabrice Gevaudan, and wound two other officers before surrendering following a 28-hour manhunt.

Danny the police dog became a symbol of the nation's mourning, when he could be heard crying at the regimental funeral service for the officers.

Ross' widow, Rachael Ross, has said she wants Danny to continue the work her husband trained him for.


Videos

Photos