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Police Sergeant Writes Letter To K-9 Partner After Saying Goodbye

 Dog owners understand the level of love we have for our pets and can't imagine loving them any more. But the attachment between police officers and their K-9s is even stronger. These police canines are not only members of their family, but also work partners and protectors.

Sgt. Michael Spitaleri of the Clearwater Police Department had a similar bond with his dog, Major. Due to medical difficulties, the pup was retired in 2014, but he continued to live at home with the sergeant and his family.

When Major's pain grew unbearable a few days ago, Spitaleri decided it was time to say goodbye and assisted his best friend in crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

Today has been the most difficult day of my professional life. I made the decision to end your anguish and suffering, but it is causing me far more anguish than I anticipated, he stated in the letter. He wrote it so beautifully that the Clearwater Police Department reposted it on their Facebook page.

We achieved immediate success on the road as a group. You successfully followed and apprehended a man who threatened his wife with a knife during our first week together that March. From that moment forward, our skills and abilities improved on a daily basis. We have identified dozens of criminals, illegal narcotics, guns, and other objects of evidentiary significance throughout the years.

These arrests and discoveries would not have been possible without your assistance. You made me look like a rock star at times, but in reality, I was nothing more than the person who had you on a leash.

Your reputation among our coworkers was well-known. I used to giggle every time we trained with the SWAT team. During those training sessions, we were surrounded by some of the toughest individuals I've ever had the pleasure of working with.When I got you out of the car, I would watch as these tough men rushed to the nearest corner of the room to get as far away from you as they could because they believed you were "crazy." You weren't insane; you were my guardian. You were their defender. You had no boundaries and would go to any length to ensure that we returned home safely to our family. You were serious about your profession.

I'll never forget trying to get the radio to talk. It never failed; as soon as I gave the dispatcher our call sign, "K4", you would start barking so loudly that they couldn't hear a word I was saying. Dispatchers would send me messages and/or requests to repeat my communications.They knew I couldn't take it when you "spoke" over me; nonetheless, it was a habit you never outgrew. We still have a good laugh about it to this day.

You struggled to adjust to being a normal dog after retiring in 2014 due to medical issues. You'd watch me get ready and dash out the door, eager to get to work. I know you didn't understand why I retired you, but I did it because I loved you. I wanted to be certain that your medical circumstances did not worsen. I wanted you to have a happy life.I wanted you to have an excellent quality of life in retirement. You deserved it, and I am firm in my choice. It was my turn to look out for you and protect you, just like you did for me .

Although I know you didn't love retirement as much as humans do, I'm glad to say you did your best to adjust. You ended up being my wife's dog. You were adopted as my children's dog. When Daddy went to work with his new dog, Echo, you made sure they were safe. You used to stand outside my kids' bedroom door at night, almost as if to say, "I got them, Daddy, you go to work, and they'll be great."I was relieved to know you were at home, keeping children secure. Thank you for looking out for them like you did for me all those years.

I could go on and on about how wonderful you are. You shaped me into the K-9 handler I am today. You never faced a task that you couldn't overcome. You were an excellent collaborator, and I will be always grateful to you.

Major, I adore you and will cherish our time together forever. When you get in paradise, please find the nearest police officer and inform them that you are a police dog reporting for duty. Until I see you again.............

Dad's love

Love, Dad is the ideal farewell, because that is how we feel about our dogsthey are members of our family. Major and Sgt. Spitaleri, thank you for your service. We hope that knowing your favorite animal is in a better place brings you comfort.