June 29, 1999
Handler - Ad Snoek
Police of Rotterdam-Rijnmond Netherlands
I am a K-9 handler for 18 years and 41 years old. I had a special bond
with 3 dogs.. The first was "Waldo"a terrifying dog to look at.
When you appeared in front of the kennel he was so angry that it looks
like he pulled his lips over his nose. The only thing you saw was teeth.
A great dog, he saved my butt at least three times. At that moment, you
think that kind of dog only happens once in a life time......wrong!
After that I got another dog, a fine animal, but not that caliber of
Waldo, named, "Sandor." When he reached the age of 8
, the government changed the rules for the exams for police K-9s. It was
too difficult to change Sandor so he could pass the
new exams, so he had to leave the force. I got him a fine place to stay,
and he died at the age of 14. Then, I had to get a new dog.
It was august 1995. Suddenly the instructor appeared on the training
field with a new dog, his name was "Arpad" He was enormous,
73 centimeters high, had a head like a bull and his weight was over 50
kilograms. I immediately fell in love. I grabbed him from the
instructor and said, "he's mine!" So it happened. We became the best of
friends. He became a living legend. The power he had in him
was unbelieveable. No men stood straight when he attacked you. He was my
best friend, he was my pal, he was my everything and
he was unbeatable. At least that was what I thought, again wrong. On the
30th of April 1999
(that day our Queen celebrates her birthday) I had to work on the
National Festival. I noticed that Arpad was not in his best mood.
The whole day it was not Arpad. He was quiet, tired, no power, he was
ill! At the vets, after several check-ups, the outcome was
terrible. Arpad finally met his awful opponent, CANCER! Even when I
write this letter, the tears are rolling down from my cheeks,
Several specialists, .medicins and yes, they worked. Arpad became the
old one, unfortunately not for long. Within two weeks
his weight decreased from 48 to 32 kilograms and he suffered a lots of
pain. Then on the 29th of june 1999, I had to
euthanize my everything. He died at 20:03 p.m. that day in my arms, in
the company of my wife. That very day, a piece
of me died with ARPAD. I never never never will forget my friend. I have
a Bronze sculpture of his head in my living room
on a very special place. Again I say, thanks to ARPAD for being in my
life and being my friend. I know I will always be yours.
I think there must be a God, even for K-9 handlers, because after ARPAD,
I was depressed. I thought that I never be
so lucky to get a dog like ARPAD, or APPIE (his nick-name) again. God
decided different however. I got myself a new dog
named "Ricky." A great dog, very social, also for my family, my wife and
five kids, ages 18, 14, 8, 6 and 6 months.
ARPAD was not that social, but times they are a-changing, even the
community, so also the dogs. I am a very lucky guy.
I hope that you know what I mean. Greetings,
vriendelijke groeten , that's Dutch.
As you maybe can see on the photos,
Ricky has no tail, but he doesn't miss it.