What's Up Zephyrhills

a blog – by Greg First

K-9 “Gunner” Loved Pringles

K-9 Gunner

Memorial services were held today, Friday, August 14, 2009 at Zephyr Park for ZPD’s K-9 Gunner. In attendance was Gunners partner Officer Joe Rinaldo, his girlfriend Becky, family and many friends. In addition to several remarks from the podium, a 21 gun salute and presentation of the flag took place under partly cloudy skies. Several hundred people were in attendance in addition to police officers, K-9’s & their handlers, city officials and community leaders.  Zephyrhills Police Departments Chief of Police David Shears read a poem called, “Guardians of the Night” and it follows.

“Guardians of the Night”

Trust in me my friend for I am your comrade.  I will protect you with my last breath. When all others have left you and the loneliness of the night closes in, I will be at your side.

Together we will conquer all obstacles, and search out those who might wish harm to others.  All I ask of you is compassion, The caring touch of your hands.  It is for you that I will unselfishly give my life and spend my nights unrested. Although our days together may be marked by the passing of the seasons, know that each day at your side is my reward.

My days are measured by the coming and going of your footsteps.  I anticipate them at every opening of the door.

You are the voice of caring when I am ill.  The voice of authority when I’ve done wrong.

Do not chastise me unduly for I am your right arm.  The sword at your side. I attempt to do only what you bid of me.

I seek only to please  you and remain in your favor.

Together you and I shall experience a bond only others like us will understand.  When outsiders see us together, their envy will be measured by their disdain.

I will quietly listen to you and pass no judgement, nor will your spoken words be repeated. I will remain ever silent.

Ever vigilant, ever loyal and when our time together is done and you move on in the world, remember me with kind thoughts and tales.  For we were unbeatable, nothing passed among us undetected.

If we should meet again on another street I will gladly take up your fight. I am a Police Working Dog and together, We are guardians of the night.

Author unknown

The dispatcher said it best, “ZH 403, is 10-7 for Eternity.  He has served us well. May he rest in peace.”


August 14, 2009 - Posted by | K-9 Gunner, Officer Joe Rinaldo, Zephyrhills Community News, Zephyrhills Police Department


  1. Hello,
    Thank you for printing this beautiful poem and all the information about Gunner. I have placed his picture on my FLICKR site, to always be revered and loved.
    GUNNER ~ Now Running free and playing with all of our beloved pets and Greyhounds at the Rainbow Bridge.
    St Pete, Fla

    Comment by Shirley | August 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. See you at the Bridge, Gunner.
    Greyhound organization

    st pete

    Comment by Shirley | August 15, 2009 | Reply

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