A.J. was Katís first police bloodhound and worked over ninety missing person, criminal, and lost pet investigations. Although Katís primary desire was to utilize A.J. on criminal searches, the majority of the time he was called out to track lost people. In his first missing person search, A.J. tracked down and located an Alzheimerís patient who was lost in Watsonville, California.
In 1995, A.J. received the National Police Bloodhound Association's Lifesaving Award for tracking down and saving the life of a man who had shot himself and was isolated in the woods. A.J. went on to locate three other missing people, capture a felony burglary suspect (a story featured in The Lost Pet Chronicles), and locate a missing diabetic cat named Marmalade.
A.J. was retired from search work in 1999 due to hip displasia and lived out his remaining years in comfort. He was laid to rest on July 7, 2004. You can read Kat Albrechtís Tribute to A.J. which includes a short story about one of A.J.ís most notable rescues.
AJ - arooooooooo
Here is how Kat Albrecht describes A.J. in her book (partial excerpt from The Lost Pet Chronicles):
The little male had big, floppy, oar-shaped, chocolate-colored ears. His coat was the color of cinnamon and he had a soft black, velour-like muzzle. He had enough saggy skin to cover a Great Dane instead of his small frame. He had little brown Bambi eyes with excessive, loose skin that hung low below them. This comical droopy-eyed, hangover look was normal for a bloodhound, but I had not spent a lot of time around these dogs yet, and I was charmed by the woe-is-me appearance it gave the dog.
The small male puppy had cowered from the dominant female, but he eagerly came in my direction when I called him. Even though he was a little skittish when I reached out to pet him, it only took him a minute to decide he liked me. He slumped against my leg and sighed.
And that was pretty much all it took. A cute pair of ears and a little snuggle and all my reservations went out the window. I had wanted one of these dogs so badly, and for such a long time, that when I finally saw my opportunity to have one of my own, and he acted as though he belonged to me, I grabbed him and never looked back.