On June 24, Clearwater Police Sergeant Michael Spitaleri said goodbye to his best friend, his partner, his family member – his dog, named Major.
There are no words that I could write that are as beautiful as the words Sgt. Spitaleri wrote for his friend and then shared on the Clearwater Police Department Facebook page – so without further introduction, here are excerpts from this letter of love.
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 remember picking you up from the airport right before we began K-9 school together. My first impression wasn’t accurate. I thought you were small and you appeared to be a bit timid at first glance. Nonetheless, we started K-9 school together in November of 2008. You proved yourself to me time and time again. Your willingness to please me, your loyalty, and your fearlessness was very apparent,
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.
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.
Although I know you didn’t enjoy retirement like humans do, I’m proud to say you adjusted as much as you could. 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”. Thank you for protecting them like you protected me for all of those years.
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………….
Rest in peace, Major. Our thoughts are with Sgt. Spitaleri, his family, and all who loved Major.
You can read the full letter on the Clearwater Police Department’s Facebook page.