When a police officer's faithful K9 partner was laid to rest, the officer penned this thoughtful letter to his dog and partner.
It's undeniable that there's a special type of bond that exists between a police officer and a K9 partner.
When Sgt. Michael Spitaleri of Clearwater, Florida, had to say goodbye to his K9 of six years, he decided to write a letter. Major, a German Shepherd, had worked closely with Spitaleri, and the two worked to keep each other safe.
At the end of his career, Major retired and came home to live with Spitaleri as a pet. But eventually, Major's failing health required Spitaleri to do his K9 partner one last favor and put Major to sleep.
This is the letter that the police officer wrote after his K9 partner's death:
To my faithful partner,
Today has been the most difficult day of my career.
I made the decision to end your pain and suffering, however I'm hurting far more than I anticipated. I already miss you, buddy.
I quickly learned my initial assessment was wrong. You proved yourself to me time and time again.
Your willingness to please me, your loyalty, and your fearlessness was very apparent as we progressed and graduated K-9 school in March 2009.
As a team, we had immediate success on the road.
During our first week together that March, you successfully tracked and located a man who threatened his wife with a knife.
Our skills and ability got better day in and day out from that point.
Throughout the years, we located dozens of criminals, illegal narcotics, firearms, and other items of evidentiary value.
These arrests and finds wouldn't have been possible without you.
You made me look like a superstar at times. Truth be told, I was nothing more than the guy who held your leash.
Your reputation with our co-workers was highly respected.
I always laughed when we would train with the SWAT team.
During those training sessions we were around some of the toughest men I have ever had the privilege of working alongside.
When I would get you out of the car I would watch as these tough men would find the nearest corner of the room in an attempt to be as far away from you as possible, because they thought you were "crazy."
You weren't crazy - you were my protector. You were their protector.
You knew no limits and you would stop at nothing to make sure we made it home safely to our families. You took your job seriously.
When you retired in 2014 due to medical conditions, the adjustment to being a normal dog was difficult for you.
You would watch me get ready and run to the door in anticipation of going to work.
I know you didn't understand the reasons I retired you, however I did it because I loved you, buddy.
I wanted to make sure your medical conditions didn't get worse. I wanted you to live a good quality life during your retirement.
You deserved that and I stand by my decision. Just like you looked out for me every single shift, it was my turn to look out for you and protect you.
You became my wife's dog. You became my children's dog.
You made sure they were protected when Daddy went to work with his new dog, Echo.
You would lay by my kids' door at night while they slept, almost as if to say 'I got them, Daddy, you go to work, and they'll be fine'.
I felt at peace knowing you were home keeping them safe. Thank you for protecting them like you protected me for all of those years.
I could go on and on about you. You made me the K-9 handler that I am today.
You never met a challenge that you didn't rise to the occasion. You were a great partner and I am forever thankful for you.
Major, I love you and I will always remember our time together.
Please go find the nearest police officer when you get to heaven and tell them you are a police dog and you are reporting for duty. Until I see you again.............
Are you crying yet?
Clearly, Major was the best dog and lived a good, meaningful life. He is most likely reporting for duty up in doggy Heaven!
What do you think of this letter? Tell us in the comments below.
All images: Clearwater Police Department via Facebook
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