Cosmo, the Gilbert police department’s first K-9 member, was especially good at obedience exercises.
It’s fitting then that the park where the town’s K-9 units will train — and where residents can teach their pets obedience — may bear the German shepherd’s name.
The Town Council may adopt a resolution on Tuesday that would name the dog park after Cosmo. The park is under construction in a basin at the northeast corner of Ray Road and the San Tan Freeway stretch of Loop 202.
Councilwoman Joan Krueger, who attended a meeting last year at which the name "Cosmo Park" was first suggested, said she’d definitely support it.
"Cosmo was loyal and brave," she said. "It makes perfect sense to name a dog park after a dog."
Amenities at the park include areas for outgoing and timid dogs, an amphitheater for K-9 unit demonstrations, a doggie swim area and agility equipment for training.
Cosmo’s handler, Gilbert police officer Greg Thomas, said he has many trophies Cosmo won in obedience events. Cosmo, who came to Gilbert from Holland when the department started its K-9 unit, served Gilbert for about six years before retiring in 1999. She lived with Thomas’ family until her death in 2002.
"Being the first K-9, she was by far the most popular," Thomas said.
The dog got along well with everyone and became a welcome visitor at Gilbert schools. She was intelligent and had a keen nose, helping to make hundreds of arrests and seizing more than 2,000 pounds of illegal drugs.
Like any dog, Cosmo had her quirks, too. She was famous for digging holes.
"My backyard looked like the moon," Thomas said.
The Town Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. in its chambers at 50 E. Civic Center Drive. It will discuss the possibility of a Cosmo Park and the naming process for two other freeway basin parks.
Remembering your pet
Gilbert’s new dog park will be finished by spring. But an earlier deadline looms for residents who want to memorialize their pets there. The town has sold almost 700 bricks dedicated to Gilbert pets. The bricks, which sell for $20 and hold three lines of engraved text, will form a plaza entryway to the park. The last day to purchase bricks is Aug. 15. For information, call (480) 503-6760.