STAMFORD - Stamford Police Sgt. Richard Phelan says he and his canine companion Cronin have a special bond.

Even Phelan's wife, Eileen, says that her husband's life changed when Cronin entered it.

"He used to love me like that, but now he loves him like that," Eileen Phelan says.

Cronin is one of seven drug detection dogs in Stamford's K-9 Unit, the largest of its kind in southwestern Connecticut.

Phelan says after 27 years on the force, switching to sergeant of the K-9 unit in 2010 was the best decision he ever made.

"I think he loves me just as much as I love him," Phelan says.

With his nose for drugs, Cronin has helped bust thousands of offenders over the years, according to Phelan.

But Cronin is now 6, and Phelan says that means they only have a few more years working together before the dog retires.