by McIntosh | October 23, 2016 2:17 am
A beloved K9 officer got a true hero’s farewell before his heartsick owners had to make the decision to put him down. Bandy was a 10 year-old German shepherd who passed away on Tuesday. He served for six years as a search-and-rescue dog at the Pattenburg, New Jersey volunteer fire company.
Hip dysplasia, which is common in German Shepherd breeds, constrained Bandy to move on to retirement last year. In 2015, Bandy was awarded a medal and a proclamation in appreciation of his service. Brandy was good at his job. In 2014, he located a man who was close to suicide.
The fire department he was a part of considered him family and a part of them, calling him ‘a family member, friend, colleague and hero’.
Members of the Battenburg squads as well as other fire departments in the surrounding area met together to pay their respects to the hero dog. Chief Dan VanFossen had these heart wrenching words to say about Bandy: ‘I loved him. He was my best friend, I’m devastated right now. The hardest part was making the decision to do what was best for him.’
Due to his hip dysplasia, Bandy had been running on pain medication during his last days. Although that didn’t stop him from enjoying his last supper of steak and potatoes Monday night, followed by a extraordinary dessert – another steak, and this time with a side of vanilla ice cream!
When Tuesday’s ceremony came, many people came out to say goodbye moments before he was put down.
VanFossen described what happened: ‘He was happy. He sat there with his tongue hanging out, happy that all the people were there, we’re all crying, and he’s sitting there with his tongue hanging out. That was the hardest part.’
During his last night, VanFossen even slept with Bandy in his kennel to keep him company. The hero, rescue dog meant everything to this department, and the town he served.
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