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First Coeur d'Alene K9 passes away in retirement | Community Spirit

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First Coeur d'Alene K9 passes away in retirement
First Coeur d'Alene K9 passes away in retirement

From the Coeur d’Alene Police Department:

It is with great sadness we tell our community that our loyal police dog Justice passed away yesterday on November 18th 2013 after suffering complications from a surgery. Justice recently retired from the Police Department after eleven years of outstanding service. Her partner and long-time handler Officer Craig Buhl was at her side when she passed.


Justice has the distinction of being the first canine officer for the City of Coeur d’Alene. Justice received her name in 2002 from the 5th grade students at Borah Elementary. We are very proud of her story that is a bit of “Rags to Riches” and we have told it often. Justice was saved from an animal shelter and she was donated to the Canine Training School at McNeil Island Correctional Facility in Steilacoom Washington to learn how to be a narcotics dog. Here is the story told by Justice herself through her handler Officer Buhl.


“Shortly after I was born I ended up in an animal shelter in Spokane; almost guaranteed a certain death until those nice people from Spokane City Police Department saved me. From there I ended up on some island in Washington. That wasn't much fun till one day I met my best friend and new partner. I was just 1 year old.


I spent the next 12 years with my partner who I loved dearly. We spent every minute of every day together and I couldn't have been happier. We did everything. We worked together every day. He took me hunting and hiking in the woods and my favorite...swimming! He never left my side. In return, I never left his. I shared in his joys when he was happy and helped him when he was sad or sick....


I finally got to retire in July of this year 2013. I really didn't want to but those mean doctors said it was time. My body may have been in agreement with them but my want and will to work did not agree.


I have lived a long and happy life. As with every living thing, I have gotten older. I have lived through a lot of things that have happened to me from getting hurt at work and having surgeries. With all those injuries my poor little body wore out. I fought as long as I could with my big heart pushing me on.


In the end, I went peacefully. I am much happier now with where I am at. I am at peace! Even though my time with my partner and my best friend, my family, and all the friends I have made over the years has come to an end. I am a happier dog, no longer in pain.

I will see you all again sometime in the future. Until then~ "Stay safe and continue the fight for "Justice”

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