The Unified Police Department held memorial services for Dingo, a K9 officer who was killed in the line of duty earlier this month.
Dingo, a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois, was shot and killed, while police worked together to apprehend Torey Massey, a wanted fugitive.
Dingo served with his handler, Sgt. Chad Reyes, for five years. They were not only partners, but best friends.
“He was my fishing buddy, my confidant, my constant companion, my ever-loyal partner and my protector,” Sgt. Reyes said during the memorial service.
The two of them were a great match and had a routine that they followed each day. Dingo would lay comfortably under a chair in the corner of the bedroom while Reyes showered. Once he was done showering, Dingo would move and lay by his feet.
The afternoon before the shooting, they broke routine. Instead of moving by Reyes’ feet, Dingo remained under the chair, most likely because he was too comfy to move. That’s when Reyes decided to join him under the chair and cuddle with him for a few minutes. Little did they know this would be the last time they’d cuddle together.
The morning of the shooting, Unified police called on Dingo to apprehend the suspect. That’s when Reyes heard gunshots and saw Dingo release the Massey. Dingo laid there, seriously injured, and was rushed to the local animal hospital, where he sadly died.
This past Saturday, hundreds of supporters came out to honor both Dingo and Reyes, who has since been promoted to lieutenant.
At the service, officers dressed in red as Sheriff Jim Winder presented Reyes a folded-up flag. Reyes held the flag for a minute while fighting back tears, and then handed it to his kids, Aspen and Talon.
The two of them held the flag together and led the pall bearers and Dingo’s coffin to the truck that drove them to the cemetery. K-9 units from more than a dozen other police departments drove in the procession that led to Dingo’s burial during a private graveside service.
Dingo was not only a hard-working police dog, but he was a loving member of Reyes’ family. “My hero, and the best friend I’ll ever have,” Reyes said of Dingo.
And now his best friend will also be his guardian angel.
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