K-9 officer continues to recover 8 days after being stabbed by man charged with his father's murder

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A senior police officer with the Houston Police Department credits training he learned from Memorial Hermann Life Flight crews for saving the life of his K9 partner.

K9 officer Nate was injured when a robbery suspect stabbed him during a chase on Jan. 22.

"I was thinking, 'I can't lose him. I don't want to lose him,'" said senior HPD officer Paul Foster.

Foster said the suspect, later identified as Ryan Smith, stabbed Nate while he was running away from law enforcement.

That blade went into Nate's chest, hitting several arteries, but amazingly not hitting any vital organs.

Foster used training from paramedics at Memorial Hermann's Life Flight to help control Nate's blood loss immediately after the attack.

"I knew I had to slow down the bleeding, knew it probably wasn't possible to stop the bleeding because of the arterial bleeds that he had. I had to slow it down enough to get him to the vet," said Foster.

Foster eventually got Nate into his police cruiser and rushed him to an emergency veterinarian for surgery.

Now a week later, Nate is still recovering but is feeling well enough to enjoy a day in the park. Foster said Nate is taking it slow and will continue his recovery for at least a month and a half.

"It has been an adjustment, us not waking up early, jumping in the backseat of the car. He knows something is up. He wants to go to work, still has that mentality," Foster said.

Foster told ABC13 Nate is currently walking about half a mile per day, and he's proud of his recovery so far.

"This whole incident. I truly believe he saved an officer's life that day. Without him, who knows what the outcome would have been," Foster said.

As far as the suspect, Smith was later released on bond on those robbery charges.

Prosecutors said Smith was later arrested again, this time in Austin County, and charged with the murder of his father, Cameron, whose body was found inside the family's garage.

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Investigators think that murder happened after Smith was released on bond.
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