Friday, December 18, 2009

A Tribute to Kato - April 18, 1990 - December 18, 2000

“A Tribute to Kato”
April 18, 1990 – December 18, 2000

Santa Clara County Sheriff K-9 - January 1994 – December 2000

Kato was no ordinary partner, buddy, or friend and certainly was no ordinary dog. He was a Rottweiler and a Santa Clara County Sheriffs K-9. He was a dedicated working dog and one of a kind. I would like to share with you his story, and why I feel he was a true hero.  I dedicated a redwood tree in the Soroptimist grove in the Santa Cruz mountains in Kato's memory a few years ago.  The Santa Cruz mountains were part of Kato's old beat area...I figured he'd like having his own tree. 

Kato was born on April 18, 1990. His AKC name was “Kato Von Dalur” and his bloodlines were straight from Germany. His color was black and mahogany and he was 110 pounds of lean muscle. He was Schutzhund trained in obedience, agility, tracking and protection. He had what was needed to be on the force and he was a dedicated member of his team with extradiary
“Heart and Drive”.

Throughout his career, he was involved in community. He worked several years at the Santa Clara County Fair with Mike. His favorite booth was the “Kettle Corn” kitchen. He did Boy Scout presentations, community demonstrations and school presentations. Once a semester he accompanied Mike during a class at the West Valley College’s Administration of Justice department. He loved the students, and they loved him.

In March 1997, my husband, Mike, was involved in a life and death struggle with a suspect wielding a knife. When “Kato” was released from his patrol car, he quickly came to Mike’s defense, thus saving Mike’s life.

On May 29, 1997 the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department awarded “Kato” a Certificate of Commendation for his outstanding performance in this life saving action and for being Mike’s most valuable partner. Kato was the first and only dog to receive this award from Santa Clara County. Kato was also the only Canine to receive the Exchange Club of San Jose Blue & Gold Award – for being injured in the line of duty.

In 1998, at the unheard age of 8 years, he was certified in Narcotics Detection and only one of two police Rottweilers in California at the time so certified.

Kato loved his work and he loved play. Excluding the bad guys, Kato loved everyone and was especially gentle with children. He not only was a dedicated member of the Sheriff’s department he was loved member of our family and will always be in our hearts. He served on the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Canine Unit from January 1994 to December 18, 2000 when he passed away from cancer which just two weeks shy of his official retirement.

Kato you will never be forgotten! 



Miss Jean said...

Thank you so much for telling us the story of Kato. What a wonderful hero he was. Also, in light of recent local events I'd also like to send a sincere thank you to Mike and other law enforcement personnel for all they do to keep the public safe. They are true heros everyday!!!

Sue said...

Yvonne, I didn't know Mike was in law enforcement! What an amazing story of Kato - how fantastic that you got to experience and love such a wonderful animal. I miss having a dog around...
I finally got my holiday decorating done as much as they are going to get! I hope my head gets back to normal soon. I am still experiencing vertigo- no fun. I am so lax in visiting all my favorites.
I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. Merry Christmas to you, my friend. Sue

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

What a loving and lovely tribute. I love dogs so much, I could hardly read the screen through my tears. It just brought back memories of all the dog members of my family who have passed. They were happy tears though, for all the joy these canine buddies bring to our lives. Kato was most definitely a hero and your planting of the tree shows how much he was loved in return. Thanks for sharing Kato's story with us.