Mesa K-9 officer fulfills lifelong dream

MESA, AZ - For Mesa police Officer Scott Callender, working the K-9 unit has been a lifelong dream.

"Most kids want to grow up to be astronauts or baseball players.  But this is what I wanted to do," said Callender.

In 2008, Callender received Jake, a German shepherd from Slovakia, who has become his partner on the job and in life.

"I think most people that have dogs are pretty attached to them but imagine putting that dog in your car and taking him to work with you every day," Callendar said. "More importantly, going into some of the most terrifying situations in your entire life and you have this dog that's going right there with you."

K-9 officers are by their handler's side every step of the way, even if it means risking their own life to protect their fellow officer.

It's a loss Glendale's police K-9 unit is feeling stronger than ever after losing a police dog during a shootout with a suspect this week.

"He feels that huge loss I'm sure, but he also feels a sense of pride because his dog performed and in that real moment of truth that dog did his job," Callender said.

It's a job Jake has proven to his handler countless times, and soon it will be his turn to retire from the force.

"This summer he will retire, but even in his retirement I plan on bringing him to work with me. I have two kennels in the back where he can still ride along," Callender said.

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