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Kai puts bite on Top Dog honor

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Officer Bryan McMahon and Kai take part in at the Washington County K-9 competition recently in Hillsboro.

Kai is best known as the police dog with the super nose.

His other skills are good, too, because the big German shepherd of the Lake Oswego Police Department's K-9 Unit took the Top Dog trophy at the Washington County K-9 competition recently in Hillsboro.

At the conclusion of the event held at Century High School's football field, 13 outstanding police dogs lined up at the very end, and Kai was the very last one called to come up for the big trophy - plus two ribbons for event wins. Thus Kai won the applause of the estimated 1,500 fans that were in attendance. Later, he schmoozed with the many kids who came out.

Officer Bryan McMahon, Kai's handler, said, 'They take six events and divide all of the times. Kai did well in all of them.'

Kai could hardly wait to get his trophy.

'He screamed and howled the whole time,' McMahon said. 'He likes to talk.'

The areas of K-9 expertise included fastest dog, agility, area search, suspect handling, vehicle search and handler protection. Kai took first in agility and in the search, which consisted of finding a 'suspect' hiding under one of four boxes.

Winning this drill was puppy's play for Kai, who only recently handled a much tougher case in West Linn. A drunk driver had crashed and rolled his car on Willamette Falls Drive, but when police arrived he was nowhere to be seen.

The call went out for McMahon and Kai. It was late at night, but Kai tracked down the driver 300 yards away in some bushes, even though it was so dark that McMahon could hardly see anything.

'Kai still has a great nose,' McMahon said. 'That's why he is so great on area search.'

After five barks from Kai and a warning from McMahon, the suspect emerged from the bushes and was soon on his way to the hoosegow. It was Kai's 28th capture since he joined the force four years ago.

One interesting fact: The LOPD team took first despite neither handler or dog having much sleep. They were just coming off working the graveyard shift.

In winning the Top Dog trophy, Kai succeeded his brother K-9 officer Charger, who is handled by Officer Todd Day. Charger had won Top Dog the previous two years.

'That makes it three years Lake Oswego has won the Washington County trials,' McMahon said. 'We are very proud of our K-9 program.'