After dealing with a tragic loss, it can be difficult to imagine that life without our loved one will ever be the same again. But if we allow ourselves to be open to it, an opportunity to fill that emptiness with something new can come along when we least expect it.
On July 5th, Officer Shawn Humphreys of the Lawrenceville Police Department was given the devastating news that his K-9 partner of five years, Eiko, was suffering from a very aggressive and untreatable form of canine cancer.
After receiving the shocking diagnosis, Humphreys’ began the painful process of saying goodbye to his loyal and dedicated partner.
Eiko only had days to live, so you can only imagine how difficult this must have been for his human partner, his wife and son, the police department and the entire community that he served.
“If someone asked me during a raid if I could take my gun or my dog which I would choose, I’d take my dog every single time,” said Humphreys.
“There is absolutely no situation in this world I can think of where I wouldn’t be 100% confident in Eiko”.
A few days before he passed, Humphreys and Eiko got up at sunrise for a special photo shoot in his memory. The stunning photographs taken by Kristen Alexander, show the officer and his best friend by his side relishing each other’s company.
“He’s an amazing partner who absolutely loves his job,” said Officer Humphreys. “I don’t like calling him a dog, he’s not a dog to me. He’s my partner and I love him.”
“I’m gonna miss him a lot, so is my family. So is everybody with the department.”
The 8-year-old Czech Shepherd was laid to rest on July 14. He was buried at Oak Rest Pet Gardens.
Eiko had touched so many people in his short life, including Kristin Sarkar of Releash Atlanta, a group that finds homes for animals living in shelters with little to no hope of being adopted.
A few weeks ago while rescuing some dogs at animal control, they met a German shepherd who was due to be put down.
The dog’s owner couldn’t take care of him anymore. To make matters worse, he was also suffering from an injury which they believe was caused by a snake bite.
Sarkar and her team didn’t have space for any more dogs so they had to leave him at the shelter. But halfway home, she had a change of heart and decided to go back.
With the loss of Eiko fresh in her memory, she couldn’t bear to leave the injured shepherd there to die. So she made a U-turn and took the dog home.
Incredibly, as soon as the Humphreys found out about the homeless dog, they offered to take him in! They decided to name the gentle giant after the fallen K-9, EJ, short for Eiko Jr.
EJ couldn’t be happier with his new foster family. He’s been spending a lot of time bonding with Officer Humphreys and curling up on Eiko’s favorite chair!
As soon as he’s rehabilitated, EJ will be ready to go to a loving family of his own, just in time for Humphreys new K-9 partner to join him.
I can’t think of a sweeter way for Officer Humphreys to honor his former partner’s memory than by giving this lonely pooch a second chance!
Eiko can never be replaced, but EJ’s presence is helping ease the Humphreys’ heartache one day at a time. And we’re sure the fallen K-9 approves all the way up from doggy heaven.
What do you think about what this kind officer did for this dog right after losing his partner? Leave your thoughts in the Facebook comments and share this story with your friends!