There's a new K-9 in town and he's got some big paws to fill.
Rico is Albemarle County Officer Andy Gluba's new partner. Although he's only a year old, Rico is already showing promise as an aspiring police dog.
He replaces Gluba's partner of six years, Ingo, the K-9 who took a bullet for him while in pursuit of a burglary suspect last October.
"He's faster, even in Ingo's prime, he's just much faster than Ingo was, " said Gluba. "Theyre just two different dogs."
Different dogs with one thing in common; a partner that cares, one who takes the relationship between K-9 and officer very seriously.
"I didn't want any gaps, I didn't have any gaps with Ingo, so I didn't want to take anything less than him," said Gluba.
Though still fighting to push past the events of that fatal night, Rico has helped bring some normality to his new partner's life.
"I saw him deteriorate after that, and since he's gotten Rico, I think it's been a great improvement, I think it's helped a lot, said David Rhodes, Albemarle County K-9 Officer. " It's helped his spirit."
Rico, a Malanois from Holland, is expected to finish training in April and though he can't wait to hit the streets with his new partner, Officer Gluba still can't help to remember the sacrifice his last partner made.
"I can never repay him for being able to spend time with my kids," said Gluba.