Allison Cole

One Oxford resident is combining her love for writing with her love for police K-9s in her eighth book, Badge of My Collar-A Chronicle of Courageous Canines.

The author, Marilyn Walton, has been a resident of Oxford for 25 years. Prior to her book on K-9s, Walton specialized in children’s books and wrote a nonfiction story about World War II.

Walton said her newest book was released about three weeks ago. She hopes the book will stop the misconceptions people have about K-9s being malicious.

“It’s a true chronicle because I started it a few years ago,” Walton said. “I started collecting police dog stories. I have always liked them.”

According to Walton, the book is comprised of 15 police and search and rescue dog tales. Stories range from a German Shepard who was due to be put down at the Butler County Animal Humane Society but was rescued by the Cincinnati Police Department to the only dog killed September 11, 2001. She added that some dogs are well known while others are not.

“I feel like I know all these dogs so well,” she said. “Some of the dogs have been around a while and some are more modern.”

Walton also said some of her inspiration for the book came from local police dog trials she attends, at which dogs compete for Top Dog honors. She said it was at these trials that she got to know some of the dogs and their officer handlers and then decided to uncover the stories of various K-9s.

“I think anybody who loves dogs will enjoy the stories,” Walton said. “I want to make the public aware of what it is like to be an officer with one of these dogs.”

She said that through these stories, the public could truly gain an understanding of how much an officer and a K-9 depend on one another. For example, she said when a dog is shot in the line of duty, this can have a great impact on the officer handling the K-9.

In an effort to change the misconceptions people have about K-9s, Walton posed with five of them for the back cover of her book. Included in these five are four local dogs and one from Los Angeles.

Among the five dogs are Dover and Simon, two German Shepards from the Oxford Police Department’s K-9s unit. Walton said that typically K-9s such as these live with the officers when not on duty.

Oxford police Officer David King is a K-9 handler with the police department and works specifically with Dover.

He said that to get the picture with the dogs, Walton came to K-9 training days in Middletown and posed with the animals.

King said that the idea for this book is great and will help give people insight into what it is like for officers and K-9s to work together.

“There is a lot of stuff that goes on with canines that people don’t get to hear about,” King said. “I think it’s good for the public to get a glimpse inside of that.”

Walton said that she hopes to use the profits from the book to help the Animal Friends Humane Society shelter, with which she has worked closely. She also would like to assist the police department in purchasing bullet proof vests, which can run up to $1,500 a piece, Walton said.

Walton added that the book has gotten good reception so far, and it will be linked in the near future to several police K-9 Web sites.