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Auf wiedersehen, Nash: Top K9 cop passes away

Mountain View Police Department officers are mourning the loss of a former colleague who died last month. Retired K9 cop Nash von der Zigeunerkuhle succumbed to old age just a few months short of his 11th birthday, police spokeswoman Katie Nelson reported.

“Nash was a workhorse,” she said. “I mean, he knew when to have fun, but he definitely knew when it was time to get down to business.”


Courtesy of Mountain View Police Department
Mountain View Police Detective Pablo Donato with Nash.

Known as Nash to his friends, the sable-colored German shepherd was born in Germany Oct. 30, 2008. He joined the police department Nov. 30, 2010, and became officer (now detective) Pablo Donato’s partner following a compatibility test. Nash was trained for building searches, a task that involves locating a person or object; he set a tracking speed record (the time between when a command is given and when the intended person or object is found) at the Georgia K9 National Training Center in Canton, Ga. Like many police canines born overseas, Nash was bilingual – understanding commands in German first and later in English after immigrating to the United States.

Nelson said there are typically four MVPD K9s at any one time, and like his classically named colleagues – Odin and Thor, both German shepherds, and Zeus, a black Labrador – Nash spent both day and night at the side of his human partner.

“Yes, they come into work and they work their 10- or 12-hour shifts, but they get to go home, they hang out with families, they go on walks. They live very much what you would perceive a normal dog life,” Nelson said.

Nash retired in 2015 at the ripe old age of 7 due to complications from a back injury he suffered while on patrol and was replaced by Ares, another German shepherd, assigned to Officer Brandon Erickson in 2018. In his golden years, Nash continued to live with Donato and his family.

“He was just a good dog, and he was very, very good at what he did,” Nelson said. “I know Officer Donato and his family – they miss him a lot.”

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