ALBANY, N.Y. – Each dog on the New York State Canine Unit has a very special reason behind their name and one Trooper says he named his K-9 after a friend.
Since the Fourth of July, New York State Police have been honoring their fallen brethren through their Facebook page with a series of photos titled the “Dog Days of Summer.”
Trooper Kevin Holohan spoke about the tradition of having canine unit dogs named after deceased troopers
"It's a way of remembering those that, while in service with the division of state police, lost their life, so even though it's not a written policy anywhere; it's something that will never change,” said Holohan.
Trooper Holohan and his K-9, Mike, are partners, just like Holohan's wife and Michael Strenk were once. Strenk passed away in 2007 from a heart attack. Following the sudden passing of his dear friend, Trooper Holohan named his active duty German Shepherd after Strenk.
"So we were all friends and I knew his family, so when Mike died, Mike's background is extensive with the state police, and he was just one of the nicest down-to-earth guys you could ever meet in your entire life," explained Holohan.
Strenk was a member of the State Police SWAT team, amongst being a SCUBA diver, an academy instructor, defensive tactics instructor, and a lieutenant commander in the NAVY SEALS.
“There's not a lot of people on the earth like Mike and when he passed I wanted to name a dog after him-my next dog-for a lot of different reasons of things he'd done on the job and the fact that we knew him so well and what kind of guy he was, to really just constantly keep his memory alive,” Holohan said.