Here is the eulogy I wrote for my faithful partner.

Dora, a name of Greek origin, meaning “gift”. The shortened form of Theodora or Dorothea which literally translates to God's Gift. Dora, a black Labrador Retriever, who shared my home for the last 9 of her 10 1/2 years, was today given the gift of eternal sleep before the spread of cancer could cause her another moment of undeserved pain.
The legacy of her life is this: She was smallish for a lab but had an enormous heart, drive, love and loyalty.
She was my friend, my partner and my confidant.

Dora was a Sacramento County Sheriff's K9. She was trained in Israel by the military to locate guns and explosives. During one of her yearly certifications, the evaluator told me, “That might be the best dog I've ever certified.” No doubt, she was amazing at her job despite my sub-par handling skills as her partner. She was a tireless searcher, often getting called out by patrol deputies at 3 or 4 AM to search fields or cars or packages which were deemed suspicious. No job was too big or too small for Dora.
In addition to her work as a police K9, Dora was also the Bomb Dog of the Sacramento Kings. After logging a 10 hour day in our patrol vehicle, we attended 41 regular season games, 3 or 4 preseason games and 1 or 2 concerts per year. Dora searched Sleep Train Arena from top to bottom to make sure families had a safe venue to enjoy themselves in. These long days were followed by a 4am alarm to start our regular work day all over again.
Certainly, police dogs are well cared for; but they are held to a fairly strict diet fit for the ultra-athletes that they are. Yet for all the yummy treats she never received, she returned infinitely more. She had the uncanny ability to know when her family needed her most and was always ready to play or lick your ear when a smile was their urgent necessity.
In exchange for all she did, she sought nothing more than a pat on the head, a game of fetch and the unspoken understanding that the living-room couch belonged to her, despite whatever words were said to the contrary.

In all her years she harmed not another living creature, and, in fact, gave others such joy and love that she will be welcomed quickly and warmly into whatever paradise awaits members of the canine world.
Dora's adversaries were few; she disliked snakes. However, Dora's achievements are extensive. Dora did over 40 demonstrations at schools, job fairs, boy scout meetings and community meetings. She located bad guy's guns in fields and houses. She located a glove worn by a shooting suspect. Dora also passed 9 yearly certifications with the greatest of ease. Certifications were stressful for me, but not for Dora.
I once had a lady at a Kings game ask me if Dora could do any tricks. I replied that Dora could locate hidden and buried explosives, and that's a pretty good trick. The lady's husband burst out laughing and agreed.
Yes, my family and I have cried knowing we will sorely miss Dora, but we will more often smile as we each recall our own fond memories of her.
In conclusion, this eulogy is written without apology to those whose knees have never served as the resting place for the head of a tired dog. They won't get it.
Rest in peace Dora. You truly were a gift from God to me.
K9 Dora: 10/30/2005 – 4/28/2016

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