The introduction of the Minnesota State Patrol's newest trooper was a highly serious and professional affair, with the officer lying on the floor and taking belly rubs.
Her name is Matka, and she's a Hungarian vizsla who happens to be the Patrol's only bomb-sniffing K9. Having just completed a 10-week training course last month, a press release received by BringMeTheNews says she's been assigned to the State Capitol.
Minnesota Lt. Governor Tina Smith introduced her at a ceremony in St. Paul on Tuesday, saying there's a "special responsibility" to keeping the capitol safe for the thousands of workers and visitors who come through it each day, and that Matka, whom she called an "amazing dog," will help authorities fulfill that responsibility.
Smith pointed out that Matka is Czech for "mother," which is "apt," she says, as the K9 will keep an eye on the capitol and help make sure everyone there is safe, "just like any good mother would do."
Matka then got to show off some of her skills, wowing the audience by finding a substance containing a stable form of TNT hidden in one of four boxes. She was rewarded with a treat, which she energetically snapped up, as the video below demonstrates (skip to about 8:00):
Officials say she'll be using her talents to check out capitol buildings for threats and will respond to any calls about suspicious or unattended bags. They call her "another layer of security" for the people who work in and visit the capitol.
Matka's human partner is Trooper Kaj Meinhardt. The Patrol says Matka was imported from Hungary and is one of 12 service dogs they use. Her bomb-sniffing predecessor retired about six months ago.
Just last summer, the capitol building – which is undergoing a large-scale renovation project – had to be evacuated upon the discovery of two suspicious packages. They were found to contain nothing too threatening, just some brick mortar and paper products.