A Bay of Plenty police dog described as the "queen of the streets" who has been shot and stabbed in the line of duty is hanging up her lead.
Asta was "born to be a police dog" and her Tauranga handler, Senior Constable James Fitzgerald, says he knew she had "something special".
Now after more than seven years hounding criminals nine-year-old Asta will get to rule the roost at home.
As a puppy, she was "so unique" Fitzgerald recalls and she developed faster than most other female dogs.
She had confidence like no dog he had come across before, he said.
From patrolling Taupō, Rotorua and the Western Bay to working alongside the Armed Offenders Squad, Asta proved that she was capable from a young age.
Asta had been through a lot more than many other police dogs in the force. She had been stabbed, shot at and had truly "seen it all".
"She has set an amazing standard.
"I've realised there were a lot of situations that we went into that she was the reason I got out of there."
But this loyalty went further than just her work.
Asta was born on the same day as Fitzgerald's daughter and the two of them had shared a "real special link" that no one could match, he said.
He laughed as he said that she would always tell him to make sure the dog was brought home safe before worrying about him.
Asta had a good "on and off" switch meaning she knew when to be serious but also when she could play and be loving.
She could go from cuddling on the couch and mucking around with her chew toys to working alongside the Armed Offenders Squad and helping catch criminals.
"She is the queen of the house and the queen of the streets."
Fitzgerald had another police dog, a three-year-old male, who Asta is not a fan of.
"I can't let them out together. I've done it a few times and she pinned him to the ground. She is so dominant."
He said she was also not a fan of cats after their family cat "beat her up" as a puppy.
They had thought it would make Asta scared of cats but it "turned her the other way", he said with a laugh.
He said he had ensured that Asta would retire while she was still fit and able as she had "earned the right to have a life after retirement".
Some police dogs were sent into fostering situations after retiring but Fitzgerald said there was no chance that was happening.
"She's our dog. She sticks with us."
She would be treated to lots of walks on the beach, bush trips and all things dogs want to do in retirement, he said.