RCMP pup to carry on a famous name

Brock the police puppy handled himself well under pressure on Wednesday, as the public and media gathered to glimpse the fuzzy bundle of energy named after slain RCMP officer Brock Myrol.

Aidan Schafer

Brock the police puppy handled himself well under pressure on Wednesday, as the public and media gathered to glimpse the fuzzy bundle of energy named after slain RCMP officer Brock Myrol.

As cameras clicked around him, the two-month-old German shepherd pup looked around quizzically, but remained calm. Eventually he nuzzled Aidan Schafer, 8, the Grade 3 student who named him.

Aidan was one of hundreds of students who submitted names starting with B for new potential police dogs in training, but was among only 10 winners selected from across Canada this year.

The Mattie McCullough Elementary student explained that he walks by a photograph of Const. Brock Myrol at his school every day, and it got him thinking about the police officer’s ultimate sacrifice. He thought naming a police dog Brock would be a great way of honouring a fallen hero.

“I’m very proud of Aidan. That’s just the way he is — he’s a thinker,” said his mom Sandra Schafer, who added her sensitive son “came up with this from his heart.”

The Red Deer student was awarded with an RCMP baseball hat, a photo of the pup, and a stuffed version of a police dog. But perhaps more importantly, he won appreciation from the Myrol family, who said they were touched by this remembrance, while attending an official presentation at the RCMP dog training facility south of Innisfail.

Colleen Myrol said her son Brock never got to work with police dogs, since he’d only been on the job for three weeks before his death. But Brock often praised the work done by police dog units and would have appreciated the honour.

“We’re thrilled and honoured that a young man of this age would name a police dog for Brock, because young people’s recognition of the police force is huge,” said Colleen, who attended the ceremony and police dog demonstration with her husband Keith, their daughter, and other relatives.

Brock Myrol was slain near Mayerthorpe on March. 3, 2005, along with RCMP Constables Peter Schiemann, Anthony Gordon and Leo Johnston. The four officers were shot by police-hater James Roszko as they were executing a property seizure on his farm. Rozsko then killed himself.

It was the worst one-day loss of life for the RCMP in a century.

Cpl. Alex Mann called Aidan’s name choice very appropriate and also touching, because it shows that a young person appreciates the role of police officers in the community. He was also happy to see that Aidan, like Brock Myrol, hails from Red Deer.

Brock the puppy will not be treated as a pet as he grows, but in a manner that befits a dog destined for a “successful working life,” said Mann.

RCMP dog trainers will watch for traits such as curiosity and keen-ness, which will come out in simple activities, such Brock’s willingness to chase a ball.

Mann said dogs without the right personality type for police work can still fill other important roles, such as becoming search dogs.

But if Brock does pass muster, his police dog training will begin at about 17 months.

A host of people­ at Wednesday’s ceremony — including Aidan, his mom and Colleen Myrol — were rooting for Brock and hoping he makes it.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Update: Bomb squad investigating suspicious package in Red Deer

North police station closed as they investigate

Whispering Pines raises $40,000 for STARS

The golf and country resort held its fifth annual STARS Charity Golf Tournament this past weekend

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month