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I moved to Colorado as a 2-year-old. After high school, and with an extreme interest in working with animals, I went to college and studied beef cattle production. Post college, I ventured into the mountains to work on several cattle ranches and embraced the rural lifestyle. However, retirement plans were obsolete so I sought other employment and ended up becoming a Lakewood police officer.
Although living and working in suburbia, the mountains still call out to me. Smelling pine trees, hearing bull elk bugle or being among a herd of mountain goats on top of a 14er is good for the soul.
Being a dog lover, I was naturally drawn towards the K9 assignment. Fortunately, Rocky entered my life and he was a gifted and talented student in the K9 academy and he quickly adapted to the street being successful in finding drugs, evidence and people.
Our career was an emotional rollercoaster ride where we shared some extreme incidents, including him being shot in the line of duty and still capturing the shooter, and our bond became so close that it was borderline eerie. Oftentimes we would simply stare into each others’ eyes and have a conversation without me having to say a word.
Although Rocky was not my whole life, he made my life whole and I cherish our incredibly tight relationship.
Sharing my story
The day Rocky died in my arms, a piece of me died with him and I tumbled into a very, very dark place. A coworker encouraged me to write his story since it was the perfect blend of “Marley and Me” mixed with the TV show “COPS.” I scoffed since I was never an aspiring author.
But, one gloomy day I began to write Rocky’s story which proved to be very cathartic and, in an unusual way, it allowed me to spend more time with him. Hundreds of pages later, a book was born and I began the agonizing process of publication. It literally took years, but his life was eventually captured in a paperback book as well as an ebook. This led to a FaceBook page, a website, www.k9rocky.com, as well as a listing on Amazon.
The Bond we share
Dogs and humans frequently share a unique bond and that relationship is usually magnified with a K9 team due to the exorbitant amount of time spent together and, for some, sharing critical incidents together.
Rocky was an anomaly and I am the blessed human being who was partnered with greatness. During his career, Rocky earned some impressive awards and memorializing his life via a book became important because he is an once-in-a-lifetime animal that needs to be remembered. Having his book earn a few literary awards has been humbling, but more importantly, I hope readers finish the last page, close the back cover, and are able to say to themselves, “I am better for reading it.”
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