|Partners for life|
|Written by Howard Vanick|
I met my K-9 partner two days after his arrival from Germany in July 2001 at Rudy Drexler’s School for Dogs in Elkhart, Indiana. Nobo was two years old and Rin-Tin-Tin handsome. One eye to eye look and I knew we would be partners for life. We won awards and honors and he was a welcome guest at church, schools and all kinds of events. He had a deep affection for children and seniors with disabilities.
We competed in an “Iron Dog Contest”in O’Fallon, Missouri that raised funds for the Missouri School for the Blind. Aftger it was over, Nobo sat there with endless patience as the blind children, who used their hands to see the dog, patted him over and over.
I had the good fortune to attend the FBI National Academy. As a graduate I attended the national training seminars on terrorism held across the United States. I always went with Nobo – an always welcome and well-behaved guest.
Nobo may be the only Police K-9 who was fortunate enough to be personally blessed by Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George at an event we were assigned to. The gracious Cardinal was delighted to bless Nobo, something he talked about in his homily.
Not everything about Nobo’s story was positive. But I won’t harm his memory by detailing the decline of neighborhood rabbits and cats or the unfortunate neighbors who got too close to Nobo’s yard and ended up at the wrong end of a bark and hold. But all of this was outweighed by his love, devotion and ability.
Nobo died at home in my arms on Nov 26, 2013.
He looked me in the eye as if to say he understood we would always be partners. Today, with him gone, the void in my life is still deep. The hurt I feel is hard to explain and nothing a cop you are ever expected to show.
I know in my heart that when I come home to an empty house and call his name, he hears me. I know in the future that on the “Rainbow Bridge” I will see a Rin-Tin-Tin handsome German Shepherd dog who will look me in the eye. I will know we are home. I know in his heart he will be saying, “There’s no bad guys here Dad, but let’s look anyway. Then can we play ball?”
If you work K-9 you have a partner for life who is either with you now or is waiting for you on the Rainbow Bridge. He knows it and you know it. Believe it.
Howard Vanick is a longtime law enforcement veteran and a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Vom Haus Füller Dsh
written by Patricia Füller, February 19, 2014