Officer down: The saving of Shadow

July 21, 2011

I had the honor of working on a true hero last week; Shadow the K9 police officer. The story surrounding how we met is tragic, but Shadow was able to pull off one small bright spot in midst of a lot of pain and suffering, of both the human and animal variety.

I received a text message first thing in the morning about a police dog whowas being brought to the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital for treatment that morning. I had few details at that point, but as I drove into the teaching hospital (I have about a 90-minute commute) I caught several news reports on what had happened the previous night. I had never before heard about one of my patients on the radio prior to meeting them. It was a strange feeling, and a bit of a portent for the media blitz that would follow.

Shadow was accompanying his handler, officer Brent Long, on an arrest warrant call. This was no usual warrant mission: along with officers of the Terre Haute Police Department, where Shadow and Long had been serving for several years, were agents of the US Marshals and several other law enforcement entities. They were looking for a very bad man, indeed, and they had found him at home.

As the day unfolded, and police surrounded the property, the man they were looking for hid in a closet and then shot both officer Long and Shadow. Long received two shots to the head, and Shadow took a bullet to the face.  The perpetrator was killed in the ensuing firefight, perhaps by Officer Long returning fire. Tragically, Officer Long died of his injuries at a nearby hospital soon afterwards.

Details on exactly what went on inside the house are still sketchy, but when the gunsmoke cleared two men were  dead or dying and a dog was critically wounded and bleeding.

Shadow was taken to a local animal hospital, where he was stabilized before being brought to the Animal Emergency Service at Purdue for definitive care. He was being accompanied by other officers of the Terre Haute PD, and had been brought on the two-hour journey in a squad car with an escort.When we got the call that Shadow was almost there, we prepared for the worst. Oxygen, gurney, bandages all were at the ready in case he should arrive in rough shape. When he walked out of the car and into the hospital under his own power, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. He looked remarkably good for having been shot in the face and having just lost his best friend and handler.

Police dogs are trained to be loyal and fierce. They exist to protect their handlers, take a bullet for them if needed, and to get the bad guy by cunning, cornering or chomping. For all their positive and potentially life-saving attributes, they are not the most cooperative of patients. We need to do things to patients that can be uncomfortable, and we are utter strangers. To a police dog, a stranger could just as easily be a bad guy out to get the handler as a well-meaning doctor out to dress their wounds. We knew we would have our work cut out for us, and we were at a disadvantage in that we didn’t have Shadow’s handler there to tell him it was OK. Luckily, officers (especially K9 officers) are a tight-knit group, and we had one of officer Long’s friends on the force there to help us with Shadow. Shadow knew and trusted him, and he was of great help in assisting us in the task of getting Shadow back together.

In the exam room, Shadow looked around warily, uncertain of the new folks in white labcoats. He had been shot on the right side of his face, and had bled into the space below his jaw, causing a pocket of blood (called a hematoma) to form. The bullet had entered just below his jaw and traveled upward. What it hit along its trajectory was anybody’s guess at this point. The fact that he had not met with the same fate as officer Long was miracle enough for us, but the possibility of serious injury was still present.

We took Shadow to the anesthesia induction room. We decided that a CT scan of his head would give us the most information about what had been damaged, and what we needed to do to fix it. The area under the jaw has some major nerves and blood vessels running through it, and the possibility that his jaw had been shattered and would require surgery meant that I had to coordinate lots of different specialists that day.  Anesthesia, dentistry, orthopedics and soft tissue surgery all had a handle in the plan. Trying to coordinate all of these doctors and services on a moment’s notice was a stressful and herculean task, but each one did their part and did the best they could to make themselves available for Shadow. Things moved with a greater than usual ease, likely because of the high degree of emotion surrounding the  case. I was also lucky enough to have one of our best interns with me that day, as well as two bright and highly capable veterinary students on “Team Shadow.” It is asking a lot for students to be thrust into the middle of a big and high-profile case (not to mention the unanticipated TV appearances that would crop up later), but they all performed admirably, and I am proud of all of them.

In order to get an animal under anesthesia, a process known as induction, an IV catheter needs to be placed. This requires close proximity to the patient, and about 5 or 10 minutes of time. For animals who are likely to bite us during this process, we will often use a muzzle. For Shadow, we felt a muzzle would not work out as his injury was exactly in the area where a muzzle would fit over his snout. This put is in the precarious position of having to handle a dog who was trained to bite, without the means to protect ourselves. This was one of the first of several technical hurdles we would have to face during Shadow’s time with us. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was able to devise a plan that involved an intramuscular injection to render Shadow unconscious, followed by placing the IV catheters and hooking up monitors soon afterwards.  There would be a short window where we would not have IV access if we needed to give drugs, but with the help of one of the officers we were able to give the injection and Shadow was safely asleep a short time afterwards.

As we were working on diagnosing the extent of his injuries, a media presence slowly built up outside the teaching hospital. The whole incident, from the tragic loss of Officer Long to the efforts to save Shadow, was becoming a major local story and we were right in the center of it all. There is always a lot at stake when an animal or person is critically injured, but the high emotional toll that the deaths had taken on all involved, coupled with the scrutiny and intrusiveness of the media, made the stress level in the hospital soar that day. We were able to keep our cool and function as a team, however, as we knew that that was the best way to ensure a good outcome for at least one member of the police team.

We are lucky enough to have a very capable and adept media handler and coordinator at Purdue, and he was able to keep the media noise down to a dull roar so we could get on with what needed to be done for Shadow. We did not allow the news crews into the hospital, but made the concession that a Purdue videographer would be there to film the events for later use by the media.

Once anesthetized, Shadow was hooked to all the whirring and beeping machines that monitor life signs. We were also then able to pull blood for lab analysis, to get a better picture of his overall health and how much blood loss had occurred. Once we were satisfied that he was stable under anesthesia, he was wheeled into the CT room for imaging of his jaw.

CT stands for computed tomography. It is sometimes called a CAT scan; it used to only be able to produce images along one plane of the axis of a patient’s body, hence the extra “A” for axial. Technology has advanced such that we can now reconstruct images at any angle we like, so the A has been dropped. CT scanning uses X-rays to produce images, known as slices, that have a far better ability to see through patients when compared to plain X-ray images. They are quick to perform, and within about 15 minutes we had lovely images of Shadow’s head, including the path of the bullet.

The news was better than we had dared hope. The bullet had entered the underside of his jaw, hit the bone at the angle of his jaw, and broken apart. There was damage to the area of his jaw just below the joint; the bone had shattered into hundreds of fragments in a small area. There were two larger bullet fragments; the rest was a constellation of little blips on the CT readout. After confirming that the authorities did not need the fragments for evidence, the decision was made to leave them in. The body would efficiently wall them off, and they were unlikely to cause future problems for Shadow. About the only levity that day was when someone reminded us that, in order to conform to Hollywood stereotype, if we did need to remove the bullet, time-honored tradition required us to drop it into a metal bowl for the requisite “ping-plunk.”

The decision of what to do with his jaw was at hand. The surgeons and radiologists amassed and pored over the images. A 3-D computer reconstruction was made of the slices from the CT scan. As I watched from the control room, a spectral image of Shadow’s head appeared on the monitor as he slept inside the gantry of the CT scanner. I could only hope that he was dreaming of getting the bad guy. The reconstruction allowed us to flip and position his skull as we liked, so we could see the damage from all angles.  After a brief consultation, it was determined that the damage was not in a load-bearing area, and was not near enough the joint to require surgery. The second wave of relief spread through everyone that day upon hearing this. It was the same feeling you get when the Space Shuttle takes off without a hitch.

After attending to his entry wound and closing one small wound inside his mouth, Shadow was fitted with a muzzle while still asleep. The muzzle would keep him from opening his mouth too far and moving the fragments, but would allow him enough room to lap up the gruel that will be his diet for the next six weeks or so as the jaw knit itself together. My suggestion of a Hello Kitty muzzle was rejected in favor of a royal blue one more befitting an officer. The irony was not lost on us that one of our original concerns was of how we would be unable to place a muzzle on Shadow so we could handle him initially, but that same muzzle was now a major component of his recuperation plan.

As he recovered in a warm and quiet spot from his anesthesia, wound care and CT scan, we pulled some follow-up lab tests to assess his progress. We found that his hemoglobin count had dipped perilously low since arrival, probably as a result of blood loss and the fluids we had placed him on during anesthesia to support his circulation.  I ordered up two units of blood from our blood bank, and he was transfused without any problems as he woke up from anesthesia. His hemoglobin count stabilized overnight. He was placed on a continuous drip of weapons-grade painkiller (fentanyl, the same drug that is sometimes used in epidurals during pregnancy) as well as antibiotics.

He turned out to be a better patient than we thought, and the nurses were able to monitor him and check his vitals without danger to life or limb. True, he had a muzzle on and couldn’t really connect if he intended to, and it is a tad hard to land a good bite with a partially broken jaw, but the most we got out of him was a low growl, as if to say “I’ve had the worst 24 hours you could possibly imagine –  are you absolutely certain you want to put that thermometer there?”

The following day was a hazy kaleidoscope of interviews, phone calls and medical documentation and organization. From the officer who brought Shadow in, I learned that Shadow would most likely be retired from the police force and live out his days by the hearth of the Long family, where he had lived prior to the incident. Shadow walked around the hospital, seemingly enjoying his star status, and hopefully blessedly insulated from the horrors that had transpired to bring him to us.

We originally planned on releasing Shadow back to the family and the force the day after he came to us, but we elected to keep him another night to make sure he wasn’t continuing to lose blood. He started eating the morning after the CT scan, and once he started getting better he never looked back. We discharged him two days after he arrived, and he was met with a parking lot full of police cars and news media. Shadow’s story was on every evening news report that night, providing the positive counterpoint to the stories about officer Long’s upcoming funeral and memorial service. Most of the news reports that night made mention of the fact that Shadow seemed to be searching for his lost partner as he left the hospital and looked out at the sea of blue uniforms waiting there to take him home.

Shadow was able to attend the memorial the next day, partly because all those working on him helped him through the dark night of his injury, but mostly because he’s made of tough materials, and is a survivor as well as a fighter. I know that if he could, he would have saluted his fallen friend, handler and colleague as the procession carrying his remains rolled by under the scorching July sun.

Filed under: gratuitous blogging,media,pets, connected,veterinary medicine,worth a click — Dr. Tony Johnson @ 5:01 am

55 Comments »

  1. Aw geez – tears so early in the morning!
    Thanks for sharing Shadow’s story. What an amazing creature and what amazing humans all the way around. I’m glad that you were able to get Shadow through this horrendous experience and that he will spend the rest of his days with his family.

    Comment by dottie — July 21, 2011 @ 5:10 am

  2. My God Dr. Tony. Warn a person not to read this stuff at work next time, hey?

    Comment by schnauzer — July 21, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  3. Shadow looking for his partner brought back memories of Archer looking for Paul. Ah geeezzz……

    But Archer is now doing well – awesomely well (is awesomely a real word?) – and hopefully Shadow will adjust to his new life as well.

    sigh…..

    Comment by Liz Palika — July 21, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  4. A beautifully-written tribute. Thank you. I wish Shadow and his family the best.

    Comment by Kelly Caldwell — July 21, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  5. Hooray Dr. Tony! I’m glad you chose your profession. Good work!

    What a beautifully written story, and what heroes. My condolences to the Long family and I hope Shadow will make a full recovery… I really, really, really hope he adjusts to a new normal without his dad and partner.

    Comment by Melissa Duffy — July 21, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  6. As the mother of a police officer this story really hit home. As the manager of a large animal hospital it was especially poignant. These brave officers and fellow canine officers are amazing. Great job Dr Tony!

    Comment by Margie E. — July 21, 2011 @ 11:50 am

  7. AMAZING

    Comment by lisa k — July 21, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  8. amazing story, dr tony … thanks for sharing shadow with us … those working dogs are truly a special and precious addition to our lives!

    Comment by lisa k — July 21, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

  9. Awesome article! Office Long RIP! Shadow, great job I know you will miss your partner. You will be with him again one day. Enjoy your retirement! Great job to the staff at Perdue University! You all are great in what you do! Many thanks!

    Comment by Rebecca Middlebrooks — July 21, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

  10. Thank you for telling us the rest of the story. Our entire community has suffered the loss of Officer Brent Long. Shadow’s recovery is the only bright light.

    Comment by Susan — July 21, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  11. Wow, what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing and for saving Shadow

    Comment by Tara — July 21, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

  12. Beautifully written. Wow.

    Comment by Luann — July 21, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  13. Beautiful piece – what an amazing story. Shadow was fortunate that he was brought to your hospital, Dr. Johnson.

    Comment by Ingrid King — July 21, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  14. A teary- eyed salute to Shadow, and his fallen partner and friend, Officer Long. A true love story. Thank you for sharing this. We are all proud of the work the police and the veterinarians do.

    Comment by Barbara Sullivan — July 21, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  15. What a beautiful and touching story. I’m from Terre Haute and this has been such a sad time for everyone. The news of Shadow’s survival and recovery was a bright spot and blessing, very much needed for sure. Thanks to you and all your staff for doing such a fine job and for caring. The world is a better place for having you all in it. Thank you.

    Comment by Brenda Deal — July 21, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  16. What a great read — thanks for the wonderfully written piece.

    Comment by Dee Dee — July 21, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  17. Thank you for sharing Shadow’s story. This past week or so has been a very sad time for our community. Shadow’s recovery has been a spot of light in a dark time. Thank you all for your part in saving Shadow.

    Comment by Jenn — July 21, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  18. What a wonderful story.Thank you for all you do. I’m sure that having Shadow with them will be such a blessing for the Long family.

    Comment by Teresa — July 21, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

  19. Thank you for all you did, i work for Heritage Animal Hospital,and am so proud of Dr. Cooke, they R wonderful Vets and you all R to be Thanked!!!

    Comment by karen — July 21, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  20. This was a very heart warming story. Purdue does a great job with animals. We in Terre Haute have lost a great officer. Watching Shadow in the news and at the funeral was heart warming and sad. Thanks for your great work.

    Comment by Becky — July 21, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  21. I appreciate the details of Shadow’s awesome care in West Lafayette at Purdue University. What a superb example of Hoosier community and teamwork knowing no bounds! Excellent work, Dr. Cooke in Terre Haute and Dr. Johnson at Purdue! Our community thanks you for being wonderful doctors!

    Comment by Terre Haute Resident — July 21, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  22. We are so lucky to have you at Purdue! You are an amazing person, Doctor, and writer. You had me laughing and sobbing. Thanks for all you do!

    Comment by Julie — July 21, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  23. Fantastic story so sad. Great technology. Wnderful people

    Comment by Julie lockettt — July 21, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

  24. I agree with Julie just above my post. We will miss Officer Long tremendously.Thanks for such great care of Shadow.

    Comment by Kathy Gott — July 21, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  25. God Bless you Dr. Tony and all who aided Shadow in his recovery. Losing Brent is indescribable, knowing that his partner Shadow survives helps to ease the pain. Thank you sir and thanks for such an uplifting story.

    Comment by Rich — July 21, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  26. You’re one of the reasons I’m proud to be a Purdue alum. The work you do is wonderful. I’m sure you brought some measure of relief amidst their sadness to the officer’s family and the police he served with by saving his companion and K9 officer partner.

    Comment by Janet Howe — July 21, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

  27. not a dry tear here, and thank you for the wonderful work you did on Shadow, he has become a hero to us in TH and we appreciate this letter

    Comment by sandy swaney — July 21, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

  28. Thank you so much for the article. Thanks to all who had any part in saving Shadow’s life. For me…an animal lover…the tears just flowed.

    Comment by norma wallace — July 21, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  29. Thank you for taking care of Shadow. EVIE is a mascot for Keep Evansville Beautiful and is also an Honorary Deputy with the Vanderburgh Sheriff’s Office. She also works with many police officers who visit schools/venues with her to share her anti-litter message. When we heard about this terrible event, we prayed for survival for Officer Long and Shadow. We are glad our prayers were heard and you were able to help Shadow pull through. We know Officer Long would have been very very grateful for all that you did for his partner. God Bless!

    Comment by Susan Harp and EVIE — July 21, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  30. As the wife of an officer , THANK YOU for doing your part to assist Shadow. He is a hero in my book. Your article made me cry…. ok, I laughed a couple times too, THANK YOU! Best Wishes to Brent Long’s family & to Shadow, K-9 officer & HERO! <3

    Comment by Karen Bible — July 21, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  31. My husband is a Terre Haute City firemen, and this was on of the most sad things I have experienced in a long time. THAT DOG is incredible. As soon as I heard they were taking Shadow to Purdue, I sighed a sigh of relief. I knew he was in good (the best) hands…My daughter is a junior at Purdue University and I have never been more proud to wear my Purdue MOM shirt! THANK YOU and may God bless your skills.

    Comment by Tracie — July 22, 2011 @ 5:13 am

  32. Applause to the entire team who worked on Shadow, and thanks for the excellent article, Dr. Tony.
    I’m sure that Officer Long’s family will be comforted by Shadow, thanks to your talents.

    Comment by LindaR — July 22, 2011 @ 5:14 am

  33. Thank you Dr. Tony and your staff. Shadow is a very important part to our comunitee here in Terre Haute. You all did an awsome job. Thanks again. Cindy

    Comment by Cindy — July 22, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  34. Oh my……..I can’t stop the tears!!!

    Comment by Angie Lynch — July 22, 2011 @ 6:42 am

  35. Thanks for sharing Dr. Johnson….Terre Haute needs this story to help heal the hurt of the past several days.

    Comment by Kelli Miller — July 22, 2011 @ 6:47 am

  36. Thank you all who have stopped by and shared your opinions and emotions. I am amazed that there are so many people from the Terre Haute community who have found their way here. I understand the hurt that everyone feels over this, and I hope that life returns very soon to some semblance of normalcy. My thoughts are with you all.

    Comment by Dr. Tony Johnson — July 22, 2011 @ 7:03 am

  37. Thank you for sharing. Shadow is a beautiful brave dog and a hero to the people of Terre Haute.

    Comment by Missy Wilcox — July 22, 2011 @ 8:26 am

  38. Thank you so much for helping to save Shadow. I live in Terre Haute and it was a devastating week, but Shadow brought us hope and solace during an immensely difficult time.

    Comment by Ashley — July 22, 2011 @ 8:34 am

  39. Dr. Johnson, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing the whole story of Shadow’s experience that terrible few days. As we prayed for Officer Long and his family, we also prayed for Shadow. You have no idea how you and your staff affected our community by saving Shadow. A sincere thank you from another “Hautian” for saving our four-legged hero.

    Comment by Amy — July 22, 2011 @ 9:58 am

  40. Thank you so much for this! I agree with the others from our community, we are extremely thankful for the care you provided for Shadow so that he may live as a family pet with the Long family. I have never been more proud of living in Terre Haute as I have been since his horrible event took place and the community rallied together to help Officer Long’s Family and show their support.

    Comment by Amy — July 22, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  41. Dr. Johnson:
    Thank you from a retired officer for what you did for Shadow. In 1999 I was involved in chasing a suspect here in Jacksonville, FL. My officers and I cornered the car, and the driver bailed out shooting. K9 Titan of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office took the first bullet for us. The suspect did not survive, but neither did Titan. I had his handler load with him in his arms into another squad car, called our Vet at home, and they met at the clinic. Sadly, Titan was gone. Dr. Skip Hightman still says he has no idea how he dressed at 100 mph.
    It is the dedication of Vets like you and Skip that make the work of the K9 units better. Thanks for your dedication in saving Shadow. He joins a long line of K9 officers that have gone into the breach for their handlers, and the public. Hopefully he will recover fully and be back on the road, doing what he does best.

    Comment by Jim Crosby — July 22, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  42. I cried through the whole story. As a pet owner and daughter and granddaughter of Police officers, I understand how hard this is for Officer Longs family! I want to thank you for all you did for Shadow! He will be a very special part of their family when he gets to go home to the Longs. I only hope that somehow Shadow will know that Brent didnt leave him but will be with him always. I often wonder how an animal deals with an unexspected loss like this.Thanks again for all you did and thank you Officer Long!You will be missed!!!!

    Comment by Belinda Rogers — July 22, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  43. As Shadow walked by his handler’s casket, he stopped and was smelling – very sad. You have to wonder what he’s thinking.

    Comment by Tammy Boatman — July 22, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

  44. Thank You! ….

    Comment by Sherry Devlin — July 22, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  45. What a wonderful job everyone involved in saving Shadow did. I do hope Shadow continues to impove living with officer Longs family. Unfortunately I’ve read stories of service dogs dying when their partner dies. Blessings to the Long family for their loss. I hope having Shadow with them will help heal their pain. Thank you Officer Long and Shadow for your service and sacrifice. God Bless.

    Comment by Deb — July 23, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  46. Thank you so much for taking such good care of this great hero! I live in Terre Haute and my brother is on the force.I am so proud of every officer on the THPD! I am glad there was some good in this tragic event.Thank you all and God Bless! Huge Thanks to Shadow!!

    Comment by Cheryl Myska — July 23, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  47. Dr. Johnson,
    Thank you for this beautifully written accounting of your team’s skills and compassion in repairing Shadow’s injuries. In restoring Shadow to good health, I’m sure your efforts have brought some solace to Officer Long’s family. Such a tragic loss but not without hope because of you, your team, and, of course, the dedicated service of Officer Long and his partner, Shadow. Blessings on all.

    Comment by Donna Aguiar — July 23, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

  48. 2.100 “likes” is a new record. :)
    Let me add mine, too!

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — July 24, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  49. Thank you, everyone!

    Comment by Dr. Tony Johnson — July 24, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  50. Thank you so much Dr Johnson for the great story of what happened to Shadow. I too live in Terre Haute, & it has been a stressful time.
    I didn’t know Officer Long, but I have felt much sadness over the whole ordeal. I hope Shadow will heal quickly & get back to the Long family. God Bless You & your staff for all you did.

    Comment by Deb — July 24, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

  51. What a GREAT story. I started crying part way through it and tears flowed as I read through to the end. What an amazing dog and an amazing group of people to take care of him. Shadow is blessed by having you all around.

    Officer Long can rest in peace knowing the bad guy is dead and Shadow is alive and well, thanks to you. AMAZING JOB BY AMAZING PEOPLE! Thank you for sharing the story with us.

    Comment by Breezanemom — July 26, 2011 @ 8:40 am

  52. I live near Terre Haute and one of my first questions after the tragedy that took Officer Long’s life was “Who’s Shadow’s vet?” I was greatly relieved to learn he’d been taken to Purdue. Thanks so much for taking such great care of him.

    I must say, though, I’m a bit disappointed in your portrayal of Shadow and other police dogs as being trained to be biters, etc. They’re not. They’re trained to do what their handlers tell them. I’m a reporter and cover the police beat. I’ve been fortunate to “meet” several K-9s and learn about them. None have been the least vicious. However, if a handler had told one of them to take me down, he certainly would do so without worrying about my tender flesh!

    I also have been involved in revamping a humane society and animal control service, and I’ve worked for a vet. While I don’t profess to be an expert in K-9 handling or veterinary practice, I do have enough animal behavior learning and experience to know ANY dog shot in the face is going to be wary and upset and difficult to calm down. In addition, police K-9s generally are given their commands in German or Dutch. It must’ve been a very confusing and scary, not to mention painful, experience for Shadow, especially, as you said, he was looking for Officer Long.

    Perhaps you could do a future blog on K-9 officers and their care and handling, and include a follow up on Shadow.

    Comment by Andrea McCann — July 27, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

  53. Again…….what a beautifully written account of what happened that tragic day. Thank you Dr. T. Johnson for taking the time to share this with us, and the wonderful way you unfolded the events of that day. It brought many tears. Also want to thank the brave officers who sacrifice so much of themselves every single day.
    My son is a Police Officer in NC, born in Terre Haute, and I’m a proud owner of a Police dog. May God bring real comfort & peace to Officer Brent Long’s family, friends, & fellow Officers. May shadow also bring some comfort to the Long family knowing the closeness between him and his handler Officer Long

    Comment by Annie — July 28, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  54. Again…….what a beautifully written account of what happened that tragic day. Thank you Dr. T. Johnson for taking the time to share this with us, and the wonderful way you unfolded the events of that day. It brought many tears. Also want to thank the brave officers who sacrifice so much of themselves every single day.
    My son is a Police Officer in NC, born in Terre Haute, and I’m a proud owner of a Police dog. So this story hits home. May God bring real comfort & peace to Officer Brent Long’s family, friends, & fellow Officers. May shadow also bring some comfort to the Long family knowing the closeness between him and his handler Officer Long. Will continue to pray for the family and God’s healing.
    B.A.King
    Oshkosh Wisconsin

    Comment by Annie — July 28, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  55. I pray for comfort and peace to the family of fallen Officer Brent Long. What a terrible tragedy.

    My minds eye has created a picture from the discription of the bullet’s trajectory in Shadow’s shooting of a dog rearing high, either in an effort to attack or protect. I understand what Andrea McCann said about the K-9 training. The dogs are trained to obey their handlers commands. Officer Long may have given one, but there also may not have been time. No one was there who can tell us when he was shot. At a certain point, instinct will take over and a command will be unnecessary. Ultimately, Shadow was unable to save his master but, nevertheless, he will carry the fragments of a bullet that attest to his being a hero.

    Comment by Sunny — July 29, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

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