Greene County Sheriff's Office announces retirement of K9 Lor
He has become the face of the Greene County Sheriff's Office, known to millions around the world because of his appearances on a national cable TV show.
Originally named Loris when he arrived from Czechoslovakia, a Dutch Shepherd renamed Lor skyrocket to fame in the last two years when he and handler James Craigmyle became part of the Greene County Sheriff's Office regulars on Live PD, a national TV series on the A&E network that shows cops on-the-job in real-time.
"We traveled to New York, walking the streets of New York, and people would recognize him," Craigmyle said. "I never thought anything like this would happen."
Lor quickly became a fan favorite and his social media platforms created by the sheriff's office and Craigmyle attracted followers like actor Jim Belushi. Lor even has T-shirts with his likeness selling on Amazon. He's got toys and fan mail from as far away as Japan and even caught the attention of corporations as Craigmyle showed off a Nerf gun that shoots out a tennis ball that Lor loves to catch in his mouth.
The general public just can't seem to get enough of Greene County's best-known deputy, so Thursday's announcement that Lor is retiring brought in around 600 comments in the first few hours.
Among the posts:
"You are a perfect example of what a police officer should be"
"Thanks for what you've done for us humans."
"Happy retirement! Hope you get lots of steaks!"
Lor's retirement coincides with the departure of Craigmyle, his handler, who's leaving the force to become head of security at Silver Dollar City.
But Lor is definitely retirement age.
"He's at that age of 11 now to where he's almost 80 in human years," Craigmyle pointed out. "He's on arthritis pills for the arthritis in his hips."
Craigmyle said after he announced he was leaving Sheriff Jim Arnott decided it was time to retire Lor, who would have had a difficult learning curve under a new handler.
"At Lor's age it would be a little more difficult because he has all his quirks and routines," Craigmyle. "So it's easier when they're younger to pair them with a new handler.
Lor's legacy is indelible. He's not only known for his 2,000 deployments in helping catch bad guys, but for thousands of hours of community service visiting schools and sick children.
Lor's done double-duty as a crime fighter and area ambassador.
"Lor has put people away in prison for life. He's found drugs and found missing children," Craigmyle said. "Then to be able to use Lor to turn around and go into a school and bridge that gap with kids who's parents are at home saying 'You need to hate cops', to humanize the badge and bring awareness to the world that we're humans is an incredible thing."
Lor will now retire to Craigmyle's home to enjoy a dog's life with two other canines. His owner says he's not jealous that the sheriff's office going-away cake had only Lor's name on the frosted top.
"I'm not retiring," Craigmyle said with a smile.
And after all, everyone knows who the true star is.
"He's had a good career," Craigmyle said of his buddy.