Koda Chronicles: New GVPD canine arrives in West Michigan, settles into new home
In early June, we introduced the newest member of the Grand Valley Police Department — Koda, a K-9 explosives dog.
Koda will attend gatherings like football games, special events and large-scale student life events, offering additional safety mitigation measures for GVSU campuses, and allowing for greater connection, engagement and relationships with the campus community.
Koda, a 2-year-old black lab, is now in West Michigan after completing six weeks of training in Alabama through Vapor Wake Canine company.
Koda lives with her partner on the force, Kelsey Sietsema, GVPD canine and community police officer. Sietsema and Koda bonded during training and now the lab is adjusting to her new home life.
“Koda feels very comfortable in the house,” said Sietsema. “She is still getting used to my two cats, Charlie and Simba. Koda gets a little excited sometimes and just wants to play with them, but I’m very hopeful they will all be friends. Koda has even been caught drinking out of the cat's water bowl, probably just trying to fit in.”
Sietsema said along with taking the dog for daily walks, she grooms her each day and and runs through a standard health checklist.
“After breakfast, we go outside so I can groom her and check her mouth, teeth, eyes, ears and pads,” Sietsema explained. “After that, it’s just going about the day. She’s been on a few different adventures in my personal truck and has done a great job so far!”
When working on something or just watching TV, Sietsema said lab stays by her side. “The second I get up, she follows me through the house; Koda likes to stay close,” she said.
Look for the next Koda Chronicles installment in early August when Koda is on campus to meet President Philomena V. Mantella.