Of the two major motion pictures in the man/dog buddy cop subgenre to come out in 1989, K-9 (the non-Tom Hanks one) has the amazing distinction of being the earliest by three months while also managing to look like the cheap ripoff.
It even starred a shoddy John Belushi knockoff.
In the film, Jim Belushi plays a San Diego cop who's got a bunch of underworld drug dealers out for his blood, so naturally they partner him up with a drug-sniffing German shepherd to watch his back. The unlikely pair get off to a bad start (the dog poops on Belushi's carpet, Belushi sleeps with the dog's wife, etc.), but during the final act of the film, the canine officer takes a bullet for his human partner, saving his life.
The dog lives, J-Bloosh is unharmed, and the movie ends -- or at least it did for Belushi, because the dog continued living pretty much the same plot in real life. K-9's most talented actor was a true police K-9 before he went after the glitz and glory of Hollywood. His name was Koton, which sounds like a maxi-pad for she-robots, but he was actually kinda badass. A member of the Kansas City Police Department, Koton had a pretty remarkable career before and after his Tinseltown stint. In 1991, two years after K-9 was released, Koton packed up his duffel bag, called it quits in the movie industry, and returned to active police duty. All told, he racked up 24 felony arrests.
That's 168 in dog stats.
Just like in the movie, Koton helped bust big-shot drug dealers: In October of '91, he found 10 kilos of cocaine, worth approximately $1.2 million. Koton did not have much of a chance to revel in this success, because he's a dog, and dogs forget things almost instantly, and also because tragedy struck a month later. Once again, he was shot in the line of duty -- however, because this is the real world and heroic officers don't always pull off miraculous recoveries, Koton sadly did not make it. But hey, at least he didn't have to appear in the sequels.
Justin, Kara, and Hoops lovingly operate the comedy site Business Handshakes. Follow Justin on Twitter.
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