- Associated Press - Thursday, July 28, 2016

SULLIVAN, Ind. (AP) - For more than five years, a black Labrador named Kilo faithfully worked beside her human partner, Deputy Brad Miller, as they protected the citizens of Sullivan County.

On Tuesday, the much-beloved Kilo took her final ride in a patrol car and heard her final dispatch outside the Sullivan County Jail.

She had been retired for the past two years, living with Brad Miller’s family as pet. But as she exited the patrol car on a rainy Tuesday morning, Kilo seemed to know where she was, and probably would have returned to work if her aging body had complied. Unfortunately, Kilo had received a terminal diagnosis and was making one last trip to the veterinarian.

The send-off for Kilo was one of sadness for Miller, who is now a trooper with the Indiana State Police after leaving the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department. His father, Warren County Sheriff Bill Miller, stood alongside his son and Kilo to read a poem to the supporters and fellow law enforcement officers gathered around the flagpole outside the jail.

“Trust in me my friend, for I am your comrade. I will protect you with my last breath when all others have left you,” Miller read from the poem “Guardians of the Night,” which also included the line, “All I ask of you is compassion and the caring touch of your hands.”



Brad Miller reached down to pet Kilo as she watched the activity around her. Often looking a bit tearful, Miller made no comments other than speaking quietly to his K-9.

Sheriff Clark Cottom turned up the volume of his police radio as a dispatcher toned out a final call for Kilo. The calm canine lay down at the feet of Miller. After the dispatch, she ambled over to a group of children waiting to pet her. Youngster Cooper Miller, with his sisters and cousins, took turns petting their family dog, knowing that she would be taking her final ride to a local vet clinic to end her pain.

Trooper Miller’s mother, Jean Miller, was among the tearful audience who watched the brief ceremony.

Kilo was a good-natured dog with the family’s children, she said, recalling that when her son first met his knew partner, the Labrador had a different, more feminine name.

“He changed her name to Kilo, because he said she would be a drug dog,” Jean Miller said.

Several deputies and staff members from the sheriff’s department also assembled outside the jail for the ceremony. They were joined by Vigo County Deputy Larry Hopper and Gnash, his K-9 partner.

Sheriff Clark Cottom said the brief ceremony was a nice tribute for Kilo.

“Because Kilo had served here for several years,” Cottom said, “we thought it was fitting for them to come by and stop here on her final ride. That’s their family pet. The children, they don’t look at Kilo as a working dog. They look at Kilo as a family pet, so there is a personal side to this as well.”

After Kilo was placed back into Miller’s patrol car, she was driven past the courthouse before the ride took her to the north side of Sullivan.

“She was a good dog,” Jean Miller said.

___

Source: (Terre Haute) Tribune-Star, https://bit.ly/2ac6M0F

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