SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A K9 handler from the Woodland Police Department received a heartwarming gift Sunday. The halftime entertainment at the San Francisco 49ers game ended on a paw-sitive note for the officer, reported the Sacramento Bee in jovial fashion.
Officer Juan Berrera wandered blindfolded across midfield at Levi’s Stadium, the crowd directing him through cheers in order to navigate correctly. When he finally stumbled into an oversized package at the 42-yard line, he removed his blindfold to find a German shepherd puppy wearing a red-and-gold jersey.
Reports indicate the adorable pooch was later named Montana, after the iconic 49ers quarterback.
Unwrapping a K9 for Faithful Appreciation Day! ? ? pic.twitter.com/tPwPkQwCHu
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 24, 2017
This is a heartwarming gift when you know the back-story.
Berrera’s K9 partner Peydro was hit by a car while pursuing a wanted parole violator fleeing a crime scene in May 2016. His injuries included a fractured face, spine, and damage to his lungs. Only after extensive surgery and rehabilitation did he regain the ability to walk. As a result, he was awarded the American Kennel Club’s Paw of Courage in March 2017.
As you would expect, Peydro retired from the department and became a permanent fixture at home with Berrera and his K9 “brother,” Niko.
However, Peydro suddenly collapsed while playing in the backyard on Nov. 8 and was unable to be revived.
So while Peydro will be fondly remembered for his valiant service, Berrera begins a new chapter with his latest buddy, Montana.
Congratulations to the San Francisco 49ers and their public relations department. They scored a touchdown with this idea.
By the way, the 49ers fetched a 44-33 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday thanks to 242 passing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who remains undefeated in four starts with the team. Garoppolo isn’t (Joe) Montana yet, but Bay area fans are optimistic about his future. Who knows, maybe Garoppolo will have a puppy named after him one day?