On Tuesday, the Massachusetts State Police shared a touching good-bye from one of their troopers who lost his long-time canine partner.
Trooper Christopher Coscia penned the tribute about his partner - a handsome German shepherd named "Dante."
Over the course of nearly nine years, Trooper Coscia and Dante had shared thousands of rides together...answering calls, finding drugs and chasing down the bad guys, side by side.
It was the last ride which pained Coscia the most - he stated:
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.
Dante was suffering from pulmonary hypertension - a disease which left the regal dog weak and unable to fill his lungs with enough oxygen. Towards the end, the lack of oxygen caused Dante to collapse and sometimes, to suffer seizures.
Coscia recalled a seizure suffered by Dante not long before that painful last trek:
He had one of these seizures in the yard the other day, and after I sat on the ground in the snow with him patting him calmly waiting for it to be over, I came in the house.
Upon walking in, to my dismay, I realized my wife and two children had been intently watching us to make sure all was okay. But it wasn’t and when I walked in the door, my wife and daughter were crying, knowing what was to be coming, possibly sooner than we were ready.
When the gut-wrenching decision was ultimately made, Dante was loaded into the car for One Last Ride...much to Coscia's amazement, the dog who could barely breathe sat up in the back seat, alert and on guard as always.
Together, the pair drove for hours - Dante on alert and his human partner behind the wheel, grappling with the heart-wrenching decision to say his final good-bye.
Coscia's final words in his loving tribute portray his anguish:
I sit here writing this obituary in a parking lot not two miles before we reached our final destination.
My story is as written, and although it jumps about it is written from the heart. 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.
Rest in Peace Dante.
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