Blog Post

  • Johannah Gillquist

Introducing K9 Raider - Isanti County Sheriff's Office MN

Meet Raider! We adopted this big, handsome, hairy German Shepherd into our family in August from the Czech Republic. He serves as a second K9 with the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department. Because John is his handler, we get to hang out with him when he isn’t working. We are blessed to be able to take part in this incredible journey! I took a few photos of Raider the other night…isn’t he stunning!?

{Rewind five months...} This past spring, John began expressing interest in a K-9 handler position the county was looking to hire. He began working for the department in 2013 and was ready for a change. As his wife, I immediately raised a few red flags. What kind of impact would this K9 position have on our relationship? On our kids? On our family life? I wasn't convinced it was a wise choice at such a vulnerable time. After all, we had several vacations booked for the upcoming summer, and I did not want our plans to fall through! {Fast forward a week or two...} John chose to apply for the K9 handler position and I supported him, like any good LEO wife would do. When he received word that he had been selected for the position, our life (as we knew it) turned upside down. We had camping trips, hotel stays, and even a WI DELLS trip planned...all of which would be put on the list of "maybes" after learning of the K9 news. We knew our furry, four-legged friend would be arriving during the summer months, but we were not given an exact date. So, we waited. We took it one day at a time. With no news. No updates. Until one day, a week before our Wisconsin Dells trip, we were given a photo of the K9 and anticipated date of arrival. And then, at that very moment, my jealousy grew to a new level. We canceled our Wisconsin Dells trip and were left waiting. I was not happy. All of our family plans were falling through. But then, a few days later, John brought home a German Shepherd whom he named Raider. {Fast forward another week...} After seeing the relationship between John and Raider, I couldn't help but curse myself. For the selfishness. For the impatience. For the inability to understand that this was not just a dog, but a partner for my husband. For years, John drove his squad without anyone to protect him, without anyone he could call his "partner." And now, I am beginning to realize this K9 serves as a LEO beside my husband. Protecting him. Watching out for him. Defending him.

{Present Day...} I am so thankful for this gift my family has been given. Yes, it is a sacrifice. We sacrifice time and resources to allow this K9 to be successful. But, I am beginning to realize he is worth it. They are worth it.

About the writer: Johanna has been married to her LEO for 7 years. They have 3 kids (ages 4, 5 and 6) and recently moved to a country home on acreage. She teaches Kindergarten full-time and enjoys spending her free time learning about, and improving her photography.

#K9 #LEOWLife #LEOfamilylife #IsantiCountySheriffsOffice

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