A Massachusetts State Trooper said one last goodbye to his K9 partner of almost a decade this week, and honored his passing with a touching obituary on Facebook.
Massachusetts State Trooper Christopher Coscia wrote “One Last Ride” for fellow furry trooper and partner Dante, a black and tan German Shepherd Coscia described as a brave hero and loving friend.
“It was a cold snowy day, training was cancelled due to the snowstorm, and I was left with the unenviable task of when I should make the decision to put my partner of nearly nine years to sleep,” Coscia wrote Tuesday.
The trooper described Dante as a very regal shepherd with a personality as human as it was dog, and that the relationship between the two was instantly close and “never wavered.”
“Every morning when I opened the door to his kennel he would jump up on me, wrap his paws around my waist, get his morning greeting and pat from me, storm up the stairs, and push the door open ready to go to work,” Coscia said.
Coscia went on to describe Dante’s heroic and record-setting exploits, including tracking down a murderer and discovering the largest cash seizure in the state’s history. During his career, Dante sniffed out more than 1,000 grams of heroin, 8,600 grams of cocaine, 1,000 pounds of marijuana and $14,000,000 in cash.
“Dante was very intelligent,” Coscia wrote. “One day when I was out with him I made the mistake of teaching him to open the cruiser door — a task which took five minutes once I showed him how. From that, Dante figured out that doors open with handles, and all you have to do is grab them with your mouth and pull or turn.”
“While on patrol he would occasionally stick his head through for his occasional ear rub,” Coscia said. “When you see such a powerful, intelligent dog so helpless at times somehow made the events that follow even harder.”
Dante was eventually diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, a disease of unknown cause which made it increasingly difficult for the dog to get air to his lungs and forced him to collapse. Eventually Dante suffered from seizures, which left the dog’s entire family — including Coscia’s wife and two young children who had known the Dante their entire lives — heartbroken.
“The day came when it was time to take him to the vet for the inevitable. After more than 2,300 rides that we took together, the dog who had trouble making out to the yard just feet away sat upright in his car for One Last Ride,” Coscia wrote. “He sat upright, alert as ever, checking the perimeter always on guard. How does the dog who can barely breathe remain upright and vigilant for so long?”
“My story is as written, and although it jumps about it is written from the heart,” Coscia said. “I write this story with tears in my eyes and flowing freely down my face. Dante is still somehow sitting upright watching me as I write about him, every once in a while sticking his head through the cage, letting me know things will be alright.”