PHOTOS: Bodie on the mend | Animal Lovers
SACRAMENTO, CA - New pictures of Bodie, the Sacramento police K-9 shot twice last Friday by a car thief suspect, were made available Wednesday.
The 3-year-old German shepherd is recovering from a broken jaw, severely cut tongue and a shattered paw. He had a tracheotomy to help him breathe because his tongue was so swollen from the trauma and there is a cast on his leg. He has had several surgeries, including one Tuesday to remove bullet fragments.
Veterinarians said several days ago Bodie had a 50 percent chance of returning to work and it would be at least three months from now in a best-case scenario.
K-9 handler Gary Dahl is familiar with Bodie's road to recovery road. His dog Bandit was shot in the neck two years ago while blocking the escape of an alleged robber. The bullet traveled through Bandit's body, missing vital organs. He was back on the streets doing police work after surgery and five weeks of recovery.
"Knowing Bodie, I am cup half full guy and he's gonna come back and be as stronger as before," said Dahl.
Dahl says it's all about taking baby steps. The first sound of gunfire may a huge hurdle, but eventually Bodie will get passed the memory of that sound.
"Much like us, when you touch a hot oven or hot stove , you get that reflex, you're like, aw, I remember that pain. You hope the dog can overcome that, and Bodie is a very stable dog," said Dahl.
Dahl says Bodie is young and has a bright future with the police force.
"When you saw him today, his tongue is going down (the swelling). He's looking better," said Dahl.
Dahl says Bodie and Bandit are special police dogs with and "on and off" switch. They both take work very seriously but the dogs are also family pets . Both German shepherds are used for educational demonstrations for children in schools across Sacramento.
Dahl says the police department and so many community members are pulling for Bodie to heal and make a comeback to the police force.
Bodie's care bills have been estimated at $25,000 to $30,000. Anyone interested in donating to Bodie's treatments costs can through www.spdk9.org.