Remembering K9 Blek

Remembering K9 Blek

“K9 Blek gave it all, who started it all.” -Kristi Schiller, K9s4COPs Founder and Board Chair

“December 22, 2009 … is a day of mourning to one of my dearest friends but at the same time I credit a sad day by celebrating a monumental life changing incident that brought me to know one of my best friends, Ted Dahlin Within weeks of seeing this story of the K9 handler and his trusted companion “Blek” was the moment was born. I watched on the news as I saw the Harris County Constable Pct 4 lost his beloved partner “K9 Blek” in the line of duty. Blek gave his life while doing his job and protecting the life of his handler that he loved. Our emotional summary we often say is “BLEK GAVE ALL THAT STARTED IT ALL” I certainly had NO IDEA what a journey would be in front of me or how much Ted Dahlin and his family would be a part of my life — and the mission we would go on together while building a team of faithful trusted team of officers including HCSO Sgt Chris Moore HCSO Sgt Mike Thomas and HPD Sgt Stuart Red that would all come together to change the face of the law enforcement world one K9 at a time. We have traveled to Hollywood, the French Embassy, NYC, Washington DC, and have been lauded with our own day … K9s4COPs Day at the Capitol of the Lone Star State and been the “Fan Favorite” at the 125th Rose Bowl Parade!!! We have also been to some very remote places but the laughs, tears and the stories were no less prevalent. I had NO IDEA if my little idea would work. Honestly, I was too naive to be intimidated. I was a Mom with a toddler that just wanted to make a difference. Basically, I had no clue what the hell I was embarking on, but was excited non the less. I remember saying “maybe one day Dallas or South Texas would need a dog or my gosh, maybe like California!!” Many close to me thought I was nuts. So many people tried to talk me out of doing this and said “it was a wasted effort” or even better was “Police Departments don’t need $ the taxpayers pay for everything” (TRUST ME, that is NOT anywhere close to the truth) I had no Cliff Notes to reference and certainly felt like Stevie Wonder giving driving lessons more often than not. I have been praised but at the same time I have endured my share of condescending attitudes. I learned first hand, not everyone (no matter how enthusiastic) wants to get on your wagon. That is ok. Eventually you fill your wagon with the right people. I have met some of the most amazing people along this journey that I wouldn’t trade their friendship for anything. Every bit of what we raise goes directly into the purchase of the best K9s and the betterment and the enrichment of of the handler and his K9 companion. I wake up most days of the week to huge drug busts — those guys are heroes. A lot of what the public doesn’t see is maybe when they use their K9 to calm a situation or get to do a demo with children — or they have swept a 106K person stadium for nefarious odors keeping the venue safe for people to enjoy. I could write a book and go on for hours about the admiration I have for my handlers and my vendors that make it happen. We eventually DID make it to Dallas and we have made a huge impact throughout South Texas and yes, we have placed a fair share in CA, Iowa, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon, Georgia, Vermont, Wyoming, Indiana and even Paris, France. Too many to actually name – actually 30 more states! This is my passion and truly my life calling! We are fast approaching the $300 million dollar mark in valuations of cash and contraband seized by K9s4COPs — I pinch myself daily knowing this was all a dream that came from me walking in front of the TV at Christmas and watching an officer I didn’t know be interviewed with tears in his eyes talking about the love he had for his partner. Everyday we are all reminded “BLEK DID GIVE ALL THAT STARTED IT ALL.” Obviously, I never had the pleasure of knowing this incredible dog only his handler- but he has touched my life and my family forever. I can confidently say that the over 200 Departments that have K9s4COPs ambassadors are grateful as well. I don’t know many humans that have had the same kind of impact even after crossing the rainbow bridge. Ted and I remind ourselves constantly that Blek’s death has not been in vain. Nine years later, because of K9 Blek a life is being saved, streets are safer and communities sleep easier all across the US. I am blessed. This year when you are wondering where to give from the heart – or what you can do selflessly please keep K9s4COPs in your mind. Every dollar makes a difference and SO CAN YOU!!!!!!” -Kristi Schiller


The Month of K9 Blek | EOW 12-22-2009
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