Different kind of Paw Patrol coming to end in Ramsey County

For the last nine years, Deputy Norm Thurmer and his canine partner have worked side by side. But in just a few days, Apache will be hanging up his collar.

"We spend every night together. Every day together. 24/7. I'm with Apache more than I am my wife and kids. We've created just an unbelievable bond. So, yeah, I'm sad that he won't be coming to work with me anymore," said Deputy Thurmer.

On patrol together four nights a week, Apache has helped Deputy Thurmer track down countless suspects, lost children, and tossed weapons, as well as illegal narcotics.

The German shepherd with a nose for fighting crime has also helped the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office build a bond with the community.

"What's great about Apache is he can go out and do his job, find a guy, and an hour later, he's out in the neighborhoods, meeting kids, letting them pet them and take pictures with them,"  said Deputy Thurmer.

Last week, Apache went for his first airboat ride on Bald Eagle Lake with the Water Patrol to look for a burglar who'd broken into a home.

That will probably be Apache's last major call because he is set to retire at the end of the week, due to old age.

"He's had a long, long run. He's going to be 11 years old, average for a police dog, probably 6 to 8 years old. He's earned it. He's earned the chance to now go be a dog and relax at home with my girls and just enjoy retirement," said Deputy Thurmer 

After he leaves the job, Apache will continue to live with Deputy Thurmer's family. 

So even when Deputy Thurmer gets a new canine partner, Apache will always be a part of the pack.

"When I got into it nine years ago, I thought I kind of had an idea what it was like. I could have never imagined the stuff I would get to do with Apache, the bond we created. I would do it all over again. I wouldn't change a thing," said Deputy Thurmer.

Friday will be Apache's last roll call.