The Guinness World Record holder for "smallest dog used for law enforcement," the 8-lb. Chihuahua/rat terrier mix works closely with her partner, Sheriff Dan McClelland at the Geauga County Police Department in Ohio.
When he first got an e-mail from Guinness inquiring about Midge, McClelland tells PEOPLEPets.com, "Frankly I stepped out into the hallway to see if anyone was giggling." Fortunately the message turned out to be authentic, and the pooch has held the record for nearly three years.
"It's not real macho to be seen with a dog that looks like it belongs to Paris Hilton," laughs McClelland, who began looking for a smaller police dog after noting the incidence of damage to cars that were searched by unwieldy German shepherds. (Mimi's note: I beg your pardon. Unwieldly German Shepherd Dogs? Uhm...)
Since earning her certification in narcotics three years ago, the 4-year-old Midge has bragging rights to two arrests. "A dog doesn't get credit for an arrest unless they make a detection that we didn't know was there," explains McClelland. "In one case, Midgey searched a burglar's getaway car and alerted us to the seat cushions." Once she finds the drugs, her reward is simple — her partner throws a ball for her and gives her a big hug!
And how does she get along with her more sizeable canine coworkers? "She has her favorites — not unlike you when you go to work!" says McClelland of the four other German shepherds on the force. (Mimi's note: the correct term is German Shepherd Dogs. They are the only AKC breed that insists on the word "dog" to be included in the name.) Sometimes they'll play chase, and Midgey is extremely fast. She can zig and zag."
And when she's on the field, with her nose to the ground, it's not treats or toys that are most likely to affect her focus. "Bring a 4-year-old and she just lights up," admits McClelland. "Children are the hardest distraction for her to work through."
When she's not giving lessons to students on substance abuse and ridding the world of bad guys, Midge plays with McClelland at home, sometimes nipping on to his pant legs. And at night, she goes to sleep buried beneath blankets year-round. Sounds like a fitting end to a hard day's work!