SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Police K-9 Unit posed for a 2018 calendar and the proceeds from the sale of them will help build new kennels for the department.
"It's always exciting to take pictures of the officers and the K-9s, I love capture the relationship they have with their dogs, I love capturing them in action," said Carla Blazek, who runs K-9 Support Northwest, a non-profit that helps the K-9 Unit.
Blazek took the photos of the K-9s. She admits it is tough to get all seven K-9s and their handlers looking in the same direction for a photo.
"The outtakes are of the dogs barking at me because I'm usually holding up a squeaky toy or something to get their attention,” she explained.
One group photo featured in the calendar though is particularly special.
"This photo is one we're very, very proud of. It's a re-creation of a photo of the K9 unit that was taken back in 1990 in this exact same location of the K-9 unit at that time. And for several years we've wanted to recreate that photo and so for the K-9 units 30th anniversary we just did that this fall," she said.
Then, they did prom pictures with the K-9s and their handlers.
"Truly, they all have their own personalities and what's strange is you find that the dog and handler, their personalities, whether it starts off that way, after a while you get to looking at the teams and it's like dude, they're identical," said K-9 handler Craig Hamilton.
There is just something about the K-9s everyone seems to love, even the criminals they catch.
“During the heat of battle, they're trying to get away or fight and we're trying to take them into custody, but after everything settles down, even they like the dogs,” Hamilton said. “Even the guy that's getting treated at a hospital for some minor injuries from a K-9 contact will be like, 'That dog did good work.' I don't know it's crazy. They won't like us per say but the dogs, they want to make sure the dogs ok.”
It is that kind of love that turns into support from the community to the K-9s.
"It is unbelievable and constantly humbling and exciting and encouraging, it's the most exciting thing vie ever been a part of and we are blown away constantly by the support and enthusiasm that we get form the community to support the dogs and the guys," Hamilton explained.
If you would like to purchase a calendar, click here.