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K9 Osci – Bow, New Hampshire

Died – 6/16/17
Handler – Sgt. Art Merrigan

End of shift for highly regarded Bow police dog Osci

A retired and beloved police officer took his last ride through Bow on Friday. K9 Osci was escorted by nearly a dozen members of Bow, Boscawen and New Hampshire State Police, the Bow Fire Department and the Emergency Management team through the town on his way to Riverside Veterinary Hospital in Boscawen, where he ended his watch. The 13-year-old German shepherd had tried to walk in, but after standing for most of the ride up – the sirens along the way sparked a reaction that was second nature to him – he wasn’t able to. His handler, Sgt. Art Merrigan, carried his partner inside instead. The rest of the officers who had gathered stood at attention, saluting their former co-worker, as the two made their way up the ramp. “He was a member of the Bow Police Department,” said Chief Margaret Lougee. “That’s why we do things like this. It’s the least we can do when something like this happens.” Osci started serving the department in 2005 and retired in 2013. It was in that time that the dog, who came from Budapest, Hungary, successfully caught suspects, found missing people, sniffed out drugs and contraband, and helped build up community relations. He was the second dog the department ever had. Lougee, who was the student resource officer at the time, saw Osci and Merrigan mostly giving community demonstrations at town events or at the Bow schools. The two were always in sync, she recalled. “Art just had a way of working with him,” she said. When it came to retirement, Osci best loved having free range of his family’s home, though he was notorious for spilling water all over the floor. Osci proved resilient until the end. He wasn’t sick with anything such as cancer; his age had just caught up with him.Merrigan and the rest of his family stood with Osci during his final moments. He lay on a yellow and blue floral bed, an American flag draped over him. After he was gone, his former co-workers continued to stand watch outside the door of the room until his body was taken away. They all had waited in the lobby after Osci was brought inside. After Osci retired, K9 Officer Roxy and her handler Matt Pratte filled the role. The dogs are able to outlast humans at times – such as when it comes to finding a missing person, and they mirror the dedication and hard work of their handlers. “You can’t ask for a better employee,” Lougee said.

Submitted By Jim Cortina

James A. Cortina has been involved with police dogs since 1972 and currently on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. Jim has been appointed as Treasurer since its inception in 1991. Jim is one of the charter members of the C.P.W.D.A. organization. Since 1975 he has been a certified professional dog trainer and received his Master Trainer Certification in 1985. During his career he has provided armed K-9 strike crowd control for security agencies in Connecticut and out of state security companies. In conjunction with other members of the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. Board of Directors, he helped to draft Connecticut Statute 53-247(e) “Intentional Injury or Killing of Police K-9” which was passed by the Senate in 1993 and also assisted in implementing the prestigious Daniel Wasson Memorial K-9 Award in 1992. In 1993 he helped coordinate the North American Police Work Dog Association Nationals in New London, Connecticut. He was appointed Training Director for the New London County Work Dog Association from 1985-1987. He performed decoy work for Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc. in police K-9 demonstrations, trained several local police department canines, and coordinated training workshops for out-of-state police departments. He participated in the United States Police K-9 Association Trials in Croton on Hudson, New York in 1985 as a decoy. He is an avid photographer and received photography awards in 1989, 1990, and 1991 and currently takes photographs for the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association Inc.