From today's Boston Herald...
I had the pleasure of meeting "Jackie" at the Fire Academy, as the Fire Marshal's bomb squad and arson dog office is there. She was a loveable "slab o' Lab".Furry cop a trooper to the end
By Laurel J. Sweet
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - Updated: 11:24 AM EST
He was supposed to be the hot dog — the anti-establishment cop with the nickname “Hollywood” who streaked his hair and blared rap music from his pickup truck on his way to saving the world.
Then he met her and, as he put it, “lost my swagger.”
“She had so much dignity and grace. She made me a better person and for that I’m very grateful,” an emotional Trooper Eric Gahagan said yesterday.
His reverent words were for Jackie, his late, leggy K9 partner in the state Fire Marshal’s bomb squad, who succumbed to a lifelong battle with kidney disease on Jan. 26 at the age of 7.
Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine’s Dr. Mary Labato had assured Gahagan, his wife, Danielle, and son, Brendan, that Jackie would tell them when it was time to let go.
Resolved the end was near, Gahagan spent the day she died at home telling Jackie he loved her. She showed him the same by sparing him the decision to put her down. “She died in my arms,” Gahagan said. “I was crying my eyes out. I called her name and she took her last breath looking at me.”
A black Labrador retriever raised as a pup by prison inmates, Jackie worked until the end. Her final call to duty was Gov. Mitt Romney’s State of the State Address last month.
On Friday, the call came from Tufts that Jackie’s ashes were ready to go home, the earthly remains of an other-worldly life in which she was scratched by American presidents and blessed by the Dalai Lama.
“I asked if we could meet with him,” Gahagan said of the holy man who last visited here in 2003. “They say if he touches you you’re supposed to receive good health for many years. God knows she (Jackie) needed it.”
Gahagan, 35, hung Jackie’s leather collar from his truck’s steering wheel to remind him of the best friend who, despite her pain and daily medical demands, inspired him with get-up-and-go.
“I don’t think we realize how much these animals do for us until they’re gone,” Gahagan said. “They make a house a home.”
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Thread: A 4 legged Brother passes...
02-22-2006, 12:11 PM #1
A 4 legged Sister passes...
Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 02-23-2006 at 01:18 PM.
02-22-2006, 12:32 PM #2
My heart goes out to Trooper Eric Gahagan. RIP Jackie.Shawn M. Cecula
IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS
02-22-2006, 04:23 PM #3
Cap, I met several of the pooches as weel through the academy and bomb training courses they offered. Might have crossed noses with the pooch.
It is sad that so many people have no idea how much of a part of the department these dogs become, let alone a part of the handler's family and life."Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers
The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.
"No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker
"As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry
www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org
02-22-2006, 07:21 PM #4
that just sucks ................rest in peace..........
02-23-2006, 09:12 AM #5
Rest in Peace Jackie - She'll be watching over Eric.
02-23-2006, 02:12 PM #6
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
- Cambridge,MA USA
Jackie will be missed, it was a pleasure to have met her
02-23-2006, 02:16 PM #7
I'm sure this is a difflcult loss for Trooper Gahagan, especially with the long term health issues Jackie battled.
You're life changes drastically after you take the job of a canine handler, be it a bomb dog, patrol dog or an arson dog. You train every day for hours, exercise them and play with them daily, and they go to work with you. You spend more time with them than your family much of the time. You certainly spend more time with them than people you work with. The loss of these animals leaves a huge hole in your life, and you'll never be the same. Though the loss is evastating, you are a better person because of the experience
Hold the memories close, Trooper Gahagn. With those, Jackie will never be far away. You're in my thoughts.Steve Gallagher
"I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes
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