"Bravery, Unity, Loyalty" is the theme for the 2013 calendar benefiting the Sacramento Sheriff K9 Association. Taken by XSIGHT, the black and white photography features 11 active K9 partners and one retiree.
Money raised by the calendars goes toward the care of current working and retired K9s that serve with Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies.
Mr. December in the calendar, Kaleo was the beneficiary of that fund. Shown cuddling with his former handler's daughter, the dog was forced to retire early after he was diagnosed with cancer.
"We were able to take care of all of Kaleo's medical expenses," said Deputy Shane Gregory. "He's now cancer free."
Gregory has partnered with Ronin, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, for four years. He knows firsthand the risks these dogs take in the line of service.
"Every day, we put these dogs into situations that make our jobs safer, but put them at risk," Gregory said. "They'll do anything we ask without hesitation - that's bravery."
"Handler and dog form a special team," he continued. "It's a bond that few people can understand. That's our unity. And the loyalty each dog has for its handler is unmatched."
A $20 donation, the calendars are available online via the association's website, www.ssdk9.com. Or pick up a calendar at: Sheldon Feed and Supply, 8928 Grant Line Road, Elk Grove; VCA Sacramento Animal Medical Group, 4990 Manzanita Ave., Carmichael; and Sunset Animal Medical Center, 7751 Sunset Ave., Fair Oaks.