"It's Like Nothing Ever Happened" -- Injured K-9 Back on His Paws

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) -- Less than a week after he nearly died in the line of duty, a Grand Junction Police K-9 is back on the job and showing he has a lot more bark and bite left in him.

More than just teammates, Officer Geraldine Earthman and her K-9 Oldo have been together for the past three years.

"We spend twenty-four hours a day together," said Earthman. "He sleeps on the bed, he's spoiled rotten."

A partnership that was almost cut tragically short last week.

"I'll be honest with you, it scared me to death," said Earthman. "I figured for sure he was going to die."

While responding to a burglary call in Fruita Wednesday night, Oldo was sent after an armed suspect who wasn't obeying police orders to stand down. During the ensuing struggle they both rolled into a canal, where that suspect -- Richard Steib -- tried to hold Oldo down in the water and drown him. A group of officers immediately rushed to his aid.

"Once they were able to control the suspect, I got [Oldo] out of the water," said Earthman. "He was unconscious."

Tuesday, it was a much brighter scene as Oldo was training again, getting his first taste of action since that night.

"To him it's like nothing ever happened," said Earthman. "He's raring to go again."

Something she says would not have been possible with the help and support of many others.

"I'm very proud of the program, the department, and the community," said Earthman.

And as Oldo picks up where left off, she says she's inspired by his fighting spirit -- that he wasn't ready to quit on the officers or the community he lives to serve.

"All he works for now is kibble," said Earthman. "But I might throw a little extra something, something on there for him.

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