They’re the ruffest rookies around.
Ten newly minted NYPD K9s graduated Wednesday from a five-month training program that prepared them for a tough career of sniffing out bombs and keeping the Big Apple safe.
“She’s a lot of fun. She’s very loving,” Detective Joe Giordano told The Post of his new working partner, Socha, a 2-year-old black Labrador, as she wagged her tail and sat calmly beside him.
“But she loves to work. She’s all business … She has a great nose, confident in her searching.”
Wednesday’s graduation at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island celebrated the hard work of five black Labradors, two chocolate Labradors, two yellow Labradors and one pointer mix as they were formally appointed to the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau and Bomb Squad.
The pups went through rigorous training — a minimum of 242 hours — that taught them fierce obedience and how to sniff out bombs.
“It’s just a game to the dog,” Giordano, the bomb squad’s kennel master, explained.
Instead of food or treats, most working dogs are motivated purely by play — when they successfully sniff out a target, they’re rewarded with chew toys, and maybe a few pats, that makes the hard work a lot of fun.
Each dog that graduated proudly walked Icahn’s outdoor track with their handler before they were awarded a medal and a plaque that contained their picture.
A 2-year-old German shorthaired pointer named Davie could hardly contain his excitement as he waited for his name to be called — he got up on his hind legs and jumped on his handler, Officer Alex Gorman, before lying on the ground for an afternoon tongue bath.
“Each of these teams has gone through extensive training to get to this day, all in an effort to do their part to keep this great city safe now and in the future,” Chief Martine Materasso, who heads up the Counterterrorism Bureau, said during the ceremony.
“We recognize their accomplishments.”
Materasso said it’s also a day of remembrance — each of the dogs is named after a police officer who died in the line of duty.
Girodano’s new four-legged partner, Socha, is named after Detective Ferdinand Socha, who died on July 4, 1940, while investigating a time bomb at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows park.
Officer Michele Capizzuto’s 3-year-old K9 Yogi, a yellow Labrador and pointer mix, was named after Detective Stuart Fishkin, who died from cancer that developed after his search and rescue recovery efforts in the days following September 11th.
“My husband would love this. He would be honored to have a dog named after him, that much I know,” Fishkin’s widow, Donna Fishkin, 54, told The Post.
“I think he’s the perfect dog to have in memory of my dad. He reminds me and everyone else who saw him that he is literally my dad,” added daughter Faith Fishkin.
“He has the same smile, same goofy face, same demeanor, personality,” she laughed.
“He’s a very warm, loving, happy dog — just like my dad was in human form.”
While the dogs work the same shifts their human partners do, they also get to go home with them each night and become members of the family.
Detective Anthony Biondolilo said his 2-year-old chocolate Lab, Lynch, adores his children and loves to run around playing ball during his off hours.
“A few weeks ago, my kids were swimming in the pool. My son jumped in the pool and Lynch thought he was in trouble, even though he wasn’t,” Biondolilo recalled.
“And then he jumped in the pool, Lynch, and he swam over and pushed my son to the side of the pool. He’s a good dog.”
Metro | New York Post