A Dallas police officer and his four-legged partner are adjusting to their sudden fame after becoming the subjects of a viral internet post.
Senior Corporal Andre Cloyd of the Dallas Police Department’s Explosive Detection K-9 Unit was on duty at Dallas Love Field Airport with his partner Zigi on Feb. 15 when he decided to take a picture to send to his mother.
Gina Anzaldua Stevenson, who was at the airport that day, spotted the duo posing for their adorable selfie and decided to take a picture of their moment. Stevenson posted the picture to Dogspotting Society, a Facebook group for dog lovers to post and share photos of furry friends.
“I just watched the cop at the airport take a series of selfies with his dog and then stop to show him each one,” she wrote.
Stevenson, who did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, then followed up to note “that sweet [boy] was his partner not just a dog.”
Stevenson’s post took off, racking up more than 1,000 comments and nearly 50,000 shares as of Tuesday afternoon.
Cloyd tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he was surprised at the positive reaction to the woman’s post.
“Being a public servant, we are often photographed and recorded,” he explained. “I am grateful that Mrs. Stevenson was gracious enough to share the post, therefore allowing it to get back to me. I take several pictures with individuals, but rarely am I able to see where they end up!”
Cloyd, who has been with the Dallas Police Department for 11 years, has worked with Zigi, who is a German shepherd, for three and a half years and considers the K-9 to be more than a partner, likening him to a son. The officer said that he takes selfies with Zigi often, which is just one of many perks of their work together.
“The best part of being a K-9 officer is having a partner who is literally willing to do anything, as long as he is with you. The bond and focus we have both working and off-duty is priceless,” Cloyd said.
Now that Cloyd and Zigi’s picture has made the rounds online, countless people have shown their love for the pair on social media. As a result, Cloyd created a Facebook page for Zigi fans. He hopes his viral fame could be a step forward in fostering better police and community relations.
“It is my hope that society is able to help bridge the gap between citizens and law enforcement,” he said. “There are many different personalities as well characteristics within this profession, not one incident or individual represents us all.”
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