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Meet K9 Deputy Oso

28

October, 2017

K-9​ ​Deputy​ ​Oso​ ​(means​ ​bear​ ​in​ ​Spanish)​ ​is​ ​a​ ​​ ​black​ ​and​ ​tan​ ​German Shepherd​ ​from​ ​Czechoslovakia​ ​.​ ​​ ​He​ ​was​ ​born​ ​in​ ​December​ ​2009,​ ​became an​ ​LCSO​ ​K-9​ ​deputy​ ​in​ ​June​ ​2011​ ​and​ ​retired​ ​due​ ​to​ ​injuries​ ​in​ ​June​ ​2015. He​ ​has​ ​1,500​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​training​ ​​ ​in​ ​​ ​patrol​ ​and​ ​narcotics.

According​ ​to​ ​his​ ​handler​ ​“Dad”,​ ​Oso’s​ ​personality​ ​is​ ​extremely​ ​high​ ​energy and​ ​focused.​ ​​ ​

He​ ​loves​ ​his​ ​work​ ​and​ ​is​ ​always​ ​ready​ ​to​ ​catch​ ​the​ ​bad​ ​guy​ ​or sniff​ ​out​ ​narcotics​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​our​ ​streets​ ​safe.​ ​​ ​Oso​ ​has​ ​a​ ​very​ ​intimidating presence​ ​and​ ​a​ ​growl​ ​that​ ​tends​ ​to​ ​back​ ​people​ ​down​ ​without​ ​him​ ​having​ ​to bite​ ​them.​ ​​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​during​ ​his​ ​active​ ​service,​ ​he​ ​never​ ​had​ ​a​ ​bite apprehension.​ ​​ ​During​ ​a​ ​large​ ​disturbance​ ​outside​ ​a​ ​bar,​ ​rival​ ​gangs​ ​were fighting,​ ​and​ ​it​ ​was​ ​difficult​ ​to​ ​get​ ​people​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​the​ ​area.​ ​​ ​Corporal​ ​Smith brought​ ​K9​ ​Oso​ ​out​ ​and​ ​walked​ ​down​ ​the​ ​center​ ​of​ ​the​ ​parking​ ​lot​ ​where the​ ​troublemakers​ ​had​ ​gathered.​ ​​ ​Oso​ ​simply​ ​stared​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​subjects down​ ​and​ ​walked​ ​through​ ​the​ ​crowd​ ​like​ ​he​ ​was​ ​parting​ ​the​ ​Red​ ​Sea. Comments​ ​from​ ​the​ ​troublemakers​ ​were​: ​ “Hell​ ​no” ​ ​and​ ​ “I’m​ ​outta​ ​here.”

During​ ​a​ ​training​ ​deployment, ​ ​Oso​ ​observed​ ​a​ ​very​ ​large​ ​buffalo​ ​standing several​ ​hundred​ ​yards​ ​from​ ​him. ​ ​​ ​Oso​ ​puffed​ ​out​ ​his​ ​chest​ ​and​ ​started pulling​ ​to​ ​charge​ ​the​ ​buffalo. ​ ​​ ​Fortunately, ​ ​his​ ​handler​ ​told​ ​him​ ​he​ ​wouldn’t win​ ​this​ ​one​ ​and​ ​walked​ ​him​ ​in​ ​the​ ​opposite​ ​direction. Oso​ ​is​ ​not​ ​the​ ​type to​ ​back​ ​down​ ​from​ ​anything.

Oso​ ​was​ ​supposed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​demonstrating​ ​a​ ​narcotics​ ​sniff​ ​of​ ​a​ ​vehicle, ​ ​but observed​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​decoy​ ​s​ ​putting​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bite​ ​suit​ ​for​ ​a​ ​different demonstration. ​ ​​ ​Oso​ ​took​ ​off​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​vehicle​ ​and​ ​chased​ ​down​ ​the​ ​bad guy​ ​in​ ​the​ ​bite​ ​suit. ​ ​​ ​The​ ​decoy​ ​barely​ ​had​ ​enough​ ​time​ ​to​ ​get​ ​the​ ​suit​ ​jacket on​ ​before​ ​Oso​ ​was​ ​on​ ​top​ ​of​ ​him.

Oso and his handler

Although​ ​Oso​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​any​ ​bite​ ​apprehensions​ ​during​ ​his​ ​service,​ ​he​ ​did find​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​narcotics​ ​over​ ​the​ ​years.​ ​​ ​On​ ​his​ ​last​ ​shift​ ​of​ ​active​ ​duty,​ ​he​ ​was called​ ​to​ ​do​ ​a​ ​vehicle​ ​sniff​ ​for​ ​our​ ​criminal​ ​impact​ ​unit.​ ​​ ​He​ ​located​ ​over​ ​118 grams​ ​(quarter​ ​pound)​ ​of​ ​methamphetamine​ ​and​ ​$2,700​ ​if​ ​drug​ ​money being​ ​transported​ ​for​ ​distribution.​ ​​ ​Needless​ ​to​ ​say,​ ​Corporal​ ​Smith​ ​was​ ​a very​ ​proud​ ​Dad!

Oso​ ​adjusting​ ​to​ ​retirement​ ​-

His​ ​handler​ ​says,

“Retirement​ ​was​ ​definitely​ ​an​ ​adjustment​ ​for​ ​Oso.​ ​He​ ​would​ ​start​ ​running in​ ​circles​ ​in​ ​the​ ​kennel​ ​when​ ​he​ ​saw​ ​me​ ​in​ ​uniform​ ​and​ ​would​ ​bark non-stop​ ​once​ ​I​ ​was​ ​gone​ ​without​ ​him.​ ​One​ ​time​ ​when​ ​I​ ​let​ ​him​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the kennel,​ ​when​ ​I​ ​was​ ​in​ ​uniform​ ​and​ ​preparing​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​for​ ​work,​ ​Oso​ ​ran​ ​to the​ ​truck,​ ​climbed​ ​under​ ​it​ ​and​ ​would​ ​not​ ​come​ ​out.​ ​Needless​ ​to​ ​say,​ ​this broke​ ​my​ ​heart.​ ​Things​ ​are​ ​different​ ​now.​ ​Oso​ ​has​ ​settled​ ​into​ ​retirement quite​ ​well​ ​now​ ​and​ ​sometimes​ ​won’t​ ​bother​ ​getting​ ​up​ ​to​ ​say​ ​bye.

Oso​ ​was​ ​the​ ​ultimate​ ​protector​ ​when​ ​he​ ​was​ ​active​ ​and​ ​this​ ​has​ ​not changed​ ​with​ ​retirement. ​ ​Oso​ ​makes​ ​sure​ ​we​ ​are​ ​aware​ ​whenever​ ​our neighbors​ ​get​ ​home, ​ ​when​ ​they​ ​are​ ​getting​ ​the​ ​mail, ​ ​when​ ​they are​ ​opening​ ​their​ ​garage​ ​door​ ​or​ ​if​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​suspicious​ ​plastic​ ​bag​ ​in​ ​the area. ​ ​On​ ​a​ ​serious​ ​note, ​ ​Oso​ ​has​ ​protected​ ​my​ ​wife​ ​on​ ​several​ ​occasions. Once,​ ​a​ ​pit​ ​bull​ ​got​ ​loose​ ​and​ ​charged​ ​her.​ ​Oso​ ​quickly​ ​placed​ ​himself between​ ​her​ ​and​ ​the​ ​other​ ​dog​ ​and​ ​stood​ ​his​ ​ground.​ ​The​ ​other​ ​dog​ ​saw this​ ​and​ ​immediately​ ​changed​ ​his​ ​mind.​ ​Another​ ​time​ ​a​ ​coyote​ ​came running​ ​out​ ​of​ ​some​ ​bushes​ ​while​ ​they​ ​were​ ​on​ ​a​ ​walk.​ ​Oso​ ​has​ ​a​ ​bark​ ​that can​ ​rattle​ ​you​ ​to​ ​the​ ​bone.​ ​The​ ​coyote​ ​never​ ​took​ ​a​ ​second​ ​look​ ​and​ ​high tailed​ ​it​ ​the​ ​opposite​ ​direction.

K9​ ​Oso​ ​and​ ​Corporal​ ​Smith’s​ ​current​ ​partner,​ ​K9​ ​Deputy​ ​Cash,​ ​are​ ​a​ ​sight to​ ​see.​ ​They​ ​are​ ​a​ ​gang​ ​of​ ​two​ ​and​ ​rule​ ​the​ ​neighborhood.​ ​They​ ​are​ ​best friends​ ​but​ ​this​ ​does​ ​not​ ​stop​ ​the​ ​occasional​ ​challenge​ ​for​ ​who​ ​is​ ​higher​ ​in the​ ​pecking​ ​order.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​beginning,​ ​Cash​ ​could​ ​not​ ​stand​ ​up​ ​to​ ​Oso​ ​but​ ​the roles​ ​have​ ​changed​ ​with​ ​Cash’s​ ​experience​ ​and​ ​Oso​ ​injuries​ ​becoming​ ​more pronounced.​ ​K9​ ​Oso​ ​found​ ​a​ ​dear​ ​friend​ ​in​ ​his​ ​little​ ​sister​ ​Emma​ ​(our​ ​6​ ​lbs. Chihuahua).​ ​Emma​ ​will​ ​constantly​ ​nibble​ ​at​ ​Oso’s​ ​ears,​ ​bite​ ​and​ ​hang​ ​from his​ ​jowls​ ​and​ ​lay​ ​between​ ​his​ ​front​ ​paws​ ​in​ ​the​ ​back​ ​yard.​ ​Oso​ ​has​ ​never nipped​ ​or​ ​been​ ​aggressive​ ​with​ ​Emma​ ​and​ ​he​ ​shows​ ​a​ ​great​ ​amount​ ​of patience​ ​with​ ​her​ ​puppy​ ​like​ ​demeanor.

“Retirement​ ​was​ ​definitely​ ​an​ ​adjustment​ ​for​ ​Oso.”

Oso​ ​is​ ​still​ ​a​ ​very​ ​needy​ ​dog​ ​and​ ​will​ ​do​ ​whatever​ ​it​ ​takes​ ​to​ ​get​ ​attention. It can​ ​be​ ​a​ ​rhythmic​ ​deep​ ​bark, ​​turning​ ​on​ ​the​ ​outside​ ​faucet​ ​or​ ​chewing​ ​on anything​ ​that​ ​makes​ ​noise. ​ ​Recently​ ​Oso​ ​has​ ​learned​ ​that​ ​the​ ​2X2​ ​wood slats​ ​on​ ​the​ ​interior​ ​garage​ ​kennel​ ​are​ ​no​ ​match​ ​for​ ​his​ ​powerful​ ​jaws.

Since​ ​retirement, ​ ​Oso​ ​has​ ​slowly​ ​become​ ​my​ ​wife’s​ ​dog. I​ ​must​ ​say​ ​I​ ​get​ ​a little​ ​jealous​ ​when​ ​we​ ​let​ ​him​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​dog​ ​run​ ​and​ ​he​ ​goes​ ​straight​ ​to​ ​my wife​ ​instead​ ​of​ ​me. ​ ​But​ ​she​ ​does​ ​spend​ ​more​ ​time​ ​with​ ​him​ ​on​ ​walks​ ​and playing​ ​in​ ​the​ ​backyard​ ​than​ ​I​ ​do​ ​now​ ​a​ ​day.

Oso​ ​was​ ​forced​ ​to​ ​retire​ ​at​ ​the​ ​age​ ​of​ ​5​ ​due​ ​to​ ​injuries​ ​he​ ​received​ ​during training​ ​and​ ​some​ ​issues​ ​that​ ​are​ ​believed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​hereditary. ​ ​Since retirement​ ​these​ ​injuries​ ​have​ ​become​ ​more​ ​pronounced​ ​and​ ​Oso​ ​is very​ ​aware​ ​of​ ​his​ ​limitations. ​ ​Oso​ ​was​ ​diagnosed​ ​with​ ​arthritis​ ​in​ ​his​ ​lower spine​ ​and​ ​two​ ​damaged​ ​vertebrae​ ​in​ ​his​ ​neck. ​ ​Oso​ ​is​ ​still​ ​a​ ​happy​ ​go​ ​lucky guy​ ​but​ ​has​ ​begun​ ​to​ ​slow​ ​down​ ​and​ ​is​ ​more​ ​cautious​ ​in​ ​his​ ​activities.”

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