(PALMDALE, Calif.) -- The Palmdale sheriff's station lost a veteran Thursday.
Gello von Bergmannshof, a purebred German shepherd that had helped deputies patrol Palmdale for nearly five years, was put to sleep just before noon after more than a month of battling a neurological disorder.
''My wife would say I spent more time with my dog than I did with my family, and she's right,'' said Gello's handler, Deputy Pat Hayes, who two years ago spent three nights sleeping in a veterinary office after Gello underwent intestinal surgery. ''He was my partner and my friend.''
Gello began showing the effects of some type of neurological disorder in early November. He experienced paralysis on his left side and his muscles began to deteriorate. In the last two weeks of his life, he had dropped from 93 pounds to less than 70 and was often too weak to stand up to eat.
On Thursday morning, when the dog could not move, Hayes made the decision to take him in to the veterinarian and have his suffering ended.
Gello would have been 8 years old next month. He started working with Hayes in September 1995 and until February 1999 worked in Palmdale.
In 1999, Hayes transferred to the Sheriff's Enforcement Bureau in Los Angeles and Gello stayed on as his partner.
''He was such a cool dog,'' said Palmdale Deputy Dave Miklos. ''He was unlike many of the other dogs in the department. We thought of him as our dog. He was part of our team.''
Hayes will travel to Europe in January with the vendor that buys dogs for the Sheriff's Department in an effort to pick his next partner. Although the department says it cannot pay for the trip, it will be considered a business trip and Hayes will be paid for his time.
''I can never replace Gello,'' Hayes said. ''I just hope I can find another partner that I can be friends with like Gello.''
Bye, Gello; Veteran Police Dog Loses Battle For Life Greg Botonis Staff Writer December 2, 2000, Saturday, Av Edition Copyright 2000 Tower Media, Inc. The Daily News Of Los Angeles December 2, 2000, Saturday, Av Edition Terms and Conditions Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.