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Brownwood Fire Department's service dog is fire marshal's partner for life

By Betty Nguyen, bnguyen@ktxs.com
Published On: May 23 2013 06:12:28 PM CDT
Updated On: May 23 2013 09:14:50 PM CDT
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

A dog is known as man's best friend, and Nika proves the phrase to be true once again.

Nika is a trained arson K-9 working alongside Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston. The two have been partners since 2011. Together they investigate suspicious fires and arson-related incidents in Brown County and the surrounding counties as well.That is where Nika's keen sense of smell comes in really handy.

"What might take me 12 or 14 hours of digging, I can run the dog through and know where to go a lot quicker so she's just a great asset," Preston said.

Preston says the bond he shares with Nika is just as strong when they're off the clock. In fact, they're pretty inseparable.

"She stays with me 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We go for walks and hang out together. We go on vacation she goes with me. If I go out of town, she goes with me. If I go off to a school, she goes with me."

The fire department obtained Nika through a grant. Without the grant, Preston says Nika would have cost between $20,000 and $25,000. Nika was matched with Preston by personality. She is a Christmas Eve baby. She will turn four years old at the end of this year. Here's a fun fact about her: she rarely barks but she snores when she sleeps.