Last month the community of Colchester (a neighboring town) said good-bye to their police K-9, Tazor. Tazor worked in the department for 12 years with his handler, Cpl. Dave Dewey. In honor of Tazor, the department held an Open House for the community to pay their respects.
When I arrived at the Open House the Colchester Meeting House was packed. It was clear that Tazor had touched many lives during his time on the police force. There was a rememberance wall available for people to write their memories and a display table was up front with Tazor’s police collar and ID, as well as the urn with his ashes. As people arrived they could greet Tazor’s handler and share condolences.
The out-pouring of care from the community was obvious as a video played with pictures and clips of Tazor on the job, at training, and during his off-duty time. There was not a dry eye in the house!
As I celebrated Tazor’s life along with the rest of the community, I reflected on how important such rituals are. Some may say that Tazor was just a dog, but he was a valuable and well-known member of the community for over a decade – protecting and serving. This gathering provided an opportunity for people to come together, share their memories, express their sympathies, and give thanks for the service Tazor willingly offered for so many years.
At the end of the gathering, the mantle was passed to Cpl. Dave Dewey’s new police dog in training, Ozzie. While Ozzie will never replace Tazor, this public introduction allowed the community to look to the future, when Ozzie would be out on the streets on patrol. This heart-felt event had all the ingredients for a meaningful ritual – honoring the past, acknowledging the feelings of the present, and looking toward the future. At Rites of Passage we can design a personalized ritual to mark a significant event in your family or community. Rest in peace, Tazor.