Jacob Honsinger recently combined his love of animals and “Star Wars” when he was asked to name the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s newest K-9.
He christened the nearly 2-year-old German shepherd “Jedi.”
Jacob, 13, was diagnosed last August with a rare brain tumor that has affected his motor skills, said his father, Caleb Honsinger. He came to the attention of Deputy Ken Becker of the Sacramento Sheriff’s K-9 Detail after Becker’s wife, a photographer, took photos of the Honsinger family, Caleb Honsinger said.
Jacob subsequently was invited to become an honorary member of the K-9 detail and had an opportunity in November to meet the dogs and their handlers, ride in a K-9 patrol unit and get an inside view of a sheriff’s helicopter.
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When the department’s newest K-9 recently completed training and was certified for duty, his handler, Deputy Javier Bustamante, decided to ask Jacob to choose the name.
“The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department has been absolutely amazing,” Caleb Honsinger said of the efforts to involve and encourage his son. “It’s humbling to see the lengths they have gone to.”
The Sheriff’s Department in a Facebook post lauded Jacob for his “fearless attitude while he faced illness,” saying, “He won over the hearts of members of our department.”
Jacob, a seventh-grader, lives with his parents, Caleb and Kami, two younger sisters and a younger brother in Plumas Lake.
Although his physical activities are limited, Jacob is still a “very funny kid” who delights in jokes and making his family smile, his father said.