Missouri State Water Patrolman Ryan Zeller’s partner can really cause a reaction when they are out and about patrolling.

At about 65 pounds and two-and-a-half feet tall, Timmy has been patrolling area waters with Zeller since April and is only one of two water patrol dogs in the state. The other dog is at Lake of the Ozarks.

“This is a new step for the water patrol to take,” Zeller said as a child approached and was warmly welcomed by the friendly three-year old Belgian Malinois. “He has been a great help.”

Timmy is a dual-purpose dog, helping with narcotics detection as well as handler protection and area and article searches and was purchased through donations from the public.

“That kind of made us feel the community is very supportive of the water patrol,” Zeller said.

So far, Timmy has helped with five cases of narcotics and will help other area law enforcement when needed.

“If nothing else, he might deter,” Zeller said.

Just having Timmy with him gives him a greater since of security when patrolling the waters.

“The ability to hear a lot better, the smell, it is just one of those things. The bond that we have and knowing how protective of me he is, you never know what can happen. If something bad does happen, I know he is there.”

And, Timmy is always there, living with Zeller when off duty and going out each day on patrol with him. Each month they do 20 hours of maintenance training to keep Timmy at his best.

“He is just another family member,” the patrolman said.

Having the canine around isn’t just for security, though.

“It’s a great thing to have for the kids,” Zeller said. “Just to have a positive interaction with the public. The word is getting out, he is very sociable.”