Massachusetts State Trooper Christopher Coscia took to social media this week to post a letter reflecting on working beside his German Shepherd named Dante, his companion and partner of nearly nine years. The letter was written just before the dog had to be put to sleep.
In his years on the force, Dante helped find 1,000g of heroin, 8.600g of cocaine, $14,000,000 in cash, and even tracked down a murder suspect.
Coscia recalled the good times, “Dante was best described as a one-person dog, and as tough as he was for other people to get close to, our relationship never waivered. Every morning when I opened the door to his kennel he would jump up on me, wrap his paws around my waist, get his morning greeting and pat from me, storm up the stairs, and push the door open ready to go to work.”
Coscia goes on to share a funny story about how he taught Dante to open the cruiser door, which only took 5 minutes to teach. The canine used his new findings to teach himself how to slide open the door that separated the two in cruiser so he could be closer to Coscia.
Coscia then goes into detail about Dante’s health woes. “It all started one day while taking Dante out to his kennel. He collapsed on me, falling like a rock with no control of his body,” Coscia wrote.
After a series of tests the veterinarian determined that the dog had pulmonary hypertension, which prevented him from getting enough oxygen to his lungs, causing him to collapse. In addition, the right side of his heart was enlarged. Eventually, Dante started to experience seizure due to the lack of oxygen.
The letter goes on to say that after one seizure episode, Coscia sat with the loyal canine in the snow, patting him until it was over. Unfortunately, the day came when Coscia knew that it was time. On that fateful day, the two partners took what Coscia called, “One Last Ride.”
In the last portion of the post, Coscia stops and finishes the obituary, less than two miles before their “final destination.”
“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. But the more he reassures me, the more I wonder if what I am doing is right,” he wrote.