An officer and his K-9: The remarkable story of a four-legged veteran

Published: Nov. 13, 2016 at 5:29 PM CST|Updated: Oct. 2, 2017 at 2:18 PM CDT
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Floor and Darrell Marler
Floor and Darrell Marler

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Darrell Marler has served as a K-9 officer with the Department of Corrections for over 12 years, but never had he met a dog like Floor.

Yes, her name is F-l-o-o-r and she got the name while serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan for two tours as a bomb-sniffing dog.

On one mission, she saved 250 soldiers' lives.

She's so accurate that everyone knew, when she found something, it was serious.

"All the soldiers would holler 'hit the floor' and that's how she came about the name Floor."

Darrell Marler has been a K-9 officer with the Department of Corrections for 12 years.

In search of a K-9 partner, he called Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, which had four dogs for Marler to choose from.

"I couldn't tell you what the other dogs looked like," said Marler. "When she come out, they used a toy to see what her drive was and when he threw that toy, she didn't bring it back to him she would bring it back to me. It was like an instant bond I said I don't even want to look at the other three. She's going with me."

The rest, is history.

"Think our first find was 55 grams of pure crystal meth ice out of a super lab in New Mexico," Marler said.

The duo (Floor and Marler) are linked to numerous drug arrests. Since floor switched agencies a year ago, she's credited with 18n meth arrests.
"She's a full-fledged police officer. She'll play with you at the house all day long you put this leash on her; put that uniform on - her whole demeanor changes. She's not mean; she's not an aggressive dog; she's a passive dog, but she knows it's time to go to work."

Marler was diagnosed with stage four small cell lung cancer last December and was given a year to live.

"I still work P.D. I still put my uniform on on the weekends and I still help as much as I can. I actually have about five different agencies that I work for I'm a police officer always will be. I still believe in serving my public. I don't like to see the drugs and narcotics hurting children the way they're doing," he said.

He couldn't handle taking care of Floor as well as his other dog, Daisy, but since Floor is specially trained and is from Lackland, he couldn't adopt her out to anyone except another police agency.

"So, that's when I called Aaron and said I needed help. Aaron gladly signed adoption papers and I let him adopt her and it was hard," Marler said.

Aaron Broussard is a K-9 handler with the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office and a longtime friend of Marler.

"When he called me and told me he'd like me to have her, it was almost like an honor," said Broussard.

Floor and Marler's story doesn't end there. Broussard promised to take her once a week to visit.

"She has brought me through this sickness," said Marler. "She knows when I'm sick. She'll come over and put her head on my lap like 'everything will be alright, daddy' and it usually is."

Marler wants Floor to be recognized as the veteran and hero she is.

"Dog spelled backwards is God and she's a gift from him to me to help me out."

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