Grant County deputy Jay Fitzgerald thought nothing of the name when he gave it to the pup a year and a half ago. He was in North Carolina, he said, and the Packers were on.
“When they named him in Hungary, his name was J-Z, like the rapper,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald wasn’t having that, so he texted his friends back in Wisconsin. After rejecting a number of suggestions, he went for A-Rod.
“The Packer, not the Yankee,” Fitzgerald said.
The clarification is merited since Major League Baseball has been coming down hard on some of their own. Brewers’ star Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the season, and long-time Yankee Alex Rodriguez was also blamed for using steroids.
Oh yeah, that allegedly doped-up player is popularly known as A-Rod.
While the connection might be laughable for some, Fitzgerald said he never really drew the connection.
“I don't even think about A-Rod until I see it in the paper or on the news or something,” Fitzgerald said. “It might ring a bell, but I don't really think about it.”
That said, the 10-year drug team veteran said as a sports fan, he’s not happy with the way things are going with professional players.
“I just think they're so arrogant. They think they're never going to get caught,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald credits A-Rod with 50 to 60 narcotics busts in Grant County.
“We wouldn't have maybe a 10th of the narcotics arrests without our two K-9s. That's just a fact,” Fitzgerald said.
The dog trains daily to search for different drugs, but he also knows how to track missing persons, attack criminals on command and follow the scent of valuable evidence.
“Most people think of a police dog as a drug dog. Well, they are, but they can do a lot more things,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said A-Rod is put to work more often than ever, and that heroin and meth are growing problems in Grant County.
“Seems they're still doing them, so there's a certain level of it, you know,” Fitzgerald said. “We're still getting people on a weekly basis.”
In the meantime, maybe the K-9 A-Rod will be working a bit harder to clear his name. Fitzgerald just hopes he grows out of his puppy tendencies and keeps doing his job.
“I can't wait until he's 5 years old just so he mellows out a little bit,” Fitzgerald said.