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Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez, a retired truck driver, regarded his sidekick Killer as his best friend, with whom he was never without. He was big for a chihuahua because he had a speck of doberman in him. They were a regular feature around Los Angeles at the South Bay Galleria, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach's Pier Plaza. Killer made thousands of friends.

KillerKiller was Joe's service dog, who would wake him whenever his bum heart was acting up, checking regularly to make sure Joe was alive and healthy. The dog knew how to dial 911 on a special phone, and had saved Joe's life three times by doing so.

So it was even sadder than sad when a hit-and-run driver came barrelling at Joe in his wheelchair, knocking Killer from his perch on Joe's chair, and running over Killer.

This was in December 2009, a couple days before Christmas. Heaping angst upon sorrow, Joe who formerly didn't much pay attention to Christmas had gotten Killer a little Santa Claus outfit because he knew how much fun it would bring his family and friends, but that special day was never to be.

The driver was speeding so fast that Joe didn't have a chance to get any of the automobile's details. The entire community mourned for Killer, who was often to be seen wearing a little leather hat and sunglasses, and was known to entertain crowds driving his own peddle-car.

"He's the best dog in the whole world," said Martinez. "This dog is my life because without him I'm lost. Whoever did my dog didn't kill just a regular dog, he took my life." Oh man, I'm just so sorry, Joe.

Joe Martinez

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