A former police officer, heartbroken over plans to auction off his longtime canine partner, may get to keep his best friend after all.
At a press conference on Monday in Marietta, Ohio, the city's police chief offered Matthew Hickey a role as an auxiliary officer - a designation that would allow the recent retiree to legally keep Ajax the police dog.
"I am prepared to do everything I can so that dog, which I know you love, stays with you," police chief Rodney Hupp said.
It's an abrupt turnaround from just days earlier, when Hickey was told his retirement from the department would spell the end of his 4-year friendship with Ajax.
Ajax, who is 6 years old, was still seen as having a long future of police work ahead of him. Instead of joining Hickey, who called the dog "one of my children," Ajax was slated for an upcoming auction.