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Fired Police Dog Lands New Work at a Hotel

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Bullitt, the dog that was just too friendly for the Chula Vista Police Department, got a new job Friday as a watchdog for the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.

The 4 1/2-year-old German shepherd was fired by the Chula Vista City Council on Tuesday because “when it came time for him to show his true colors, he was just too friendly,” said Pablo Godina, a Chula Vista policeman and Bullitt’s owner.

Godina bought Bullitt in 1987 to be trained as a police dog while Godina was with the National City Police Department. Later that year, Godina joined the Chula Vista Police Department, but he wasn’t assigned to the canine unit until 1989. During the interim, Godina said, “Bullitt absorbed and enjoyed the environment of being a pet too much.”

“He liked being a pet more than a crime fighter,” Godina said. “He stayed home with my wife and kid and just got too friendly. He lost that edge. He was almost like a baby-sitter to my 2 1/2-year-old daughter; they’d play together in the back yard, and she’d come crying that he wouldn’t give her the ball back.”

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Police dogs usually live with their trainers to enhance a trusting working relationship, Godina said.

Godina said Bullitt, even after training with the Chula Vista police for two years, was “just too nice of a guy that wanted to play a lot.” As a police dog, Bullitt wouldn’t have ensured an officer’s safety, he said.

Godina, who regards Bullitt as a loyal friend, said he was glad the dog was sold to the San Diego Marriott. Bullitt, a $1,500 investment for the hotel, will replace Bodo, an 8 1/2-year-old watchdog who was put to sleep three weeks ago because he had hip dysplasia and skin problems, said Curtis Tankersley, a Marriott security official.

Bullitt is being retrained at the Oceanside Pet Hotel and Training Kennels and will pal around with Falco, the Marriott’s other watchdog, once he assumes his new position.

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And the Godina family will have to get used to the likes of Hutch, the officers’ new partner, a 2-year-old German shepherd that would have been too jealous if he had to live in the same house with Bullitt, the officer said.


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