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IN THE PRESS > Charger champ again at K-9 trials

12 Aug 2010

Original Story Here

You can’t keep a good dog down. Especially Charger of the Lake Oswego Police Department.

The big German Shepherd again took the Top Dog Trophy at the Washington County K-9 Trials on Saturday at Century High School in Hillsboro.

Once again, Charger reaped the benefits of being champion: Trophy, medals, admiring pets from fans, a spot on the TV news and a steak dinner.

“I expected him to place,” said Officer Josh Day, Charger’s handler. “But I was surprised when he won the overall trophy because he had medaled in only two events.”

Charger did finish second in area search and third in fastest dog, but he did not score the medal count of some dogs in the contest. However, he was the most consistent police dog out there with his good scores in every division, and he was not hit with any penalties.

The competition was tough, including Charger’s brother LOPD K-9 officer Kai, handled by Officer Bryan McMahon, who took third place. Kai missed last year’s contest due to an injury, but he was spectacular this year. Kai was first in area search and agility, second in fastest dog, and third in handler protection. But he wasn’t as consistent as Charger and also lost some points on penalties.

“It was fun and really nice to see Kai out there this year,” Day said. “But I didn’t want him to show us up.”

Certainly, Charger was a more experienced competitor than he was a year ago, when he entered the trials after only eight months with Day as his handler. Charger had to shake off some previous bad training habits, but he was top dog when the trophy was on the line.

“Charger is a year older and more mature,” Day said. “We’re more of a unit now. We’re more of a team. It’s like we now say, ‘I know what you’re thinking.’”

In less than two years, Charger has had many adventures, including 15 captures, some of the every exciting variety. One time he caught a truck thief by chasing him down and biting him on the backside. Another time he helped corner two men who had just killed another man during a fight in a Wilsonville bar’s parking lot.

Charger also survived a bad auto accident. Last December, Day and Charger were returning home from a case when their car slipped on an icy road. Day suffered a separated shoulder and had to be placed off duty for three months. But Charger only suffered a cut on his leg. He was soon back to schmoozing at police headquarters.

While trophies and medals are nice, you can’t eat them. But Charger could eat the steak Day got him as a reward for winning: a $15 boneless New York Steak.

“He definitely deserved it,” Day said.

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