K9 Hero Pillow Project
K9 Hero Pillow Project
Who is Dian?
K9s Page 1
K9s Page 2
K9s Page 3
Order a Pillow

CWD Carlos2

CWD Boss

LEO Bono


LEO Nina



LEO Beau



MWD Chyan

Gracie Girl

CWD Kyra

CWD Mazzie


MWD Gabe

MWD Erich (Vietnam)

Beau & Belle

Nina & Romulus

MWD Kevin

MWD Fajka (Jackie)

MWD Coba


LEO Thor

LEO Klaus

LEO Boris

LEO Arres

LEO Lando

CWD Nero

LEO Bear

LEO Canon

Miss Patty

Nico & Layla

MWD Grief


CWD Chanel

LEO Sirius, 9/11

LEO Utah


Sweet Eva

MWD Nora

Muffyn Lyn

LEOs Brandon
& Furax

The Maverick

LEO Amigo





LEO Cole

LEO Kali



LEO Maverick


MWD Marco

LEO Donar

LEO Credo

LEO Rakkar

MWD Rico

Playa May

MWD Lucas

MWD Tasli

CWD Narnia

MWD Stormy (Vietnam)


LEO Bruno

MWD Sara

LEO Thor

MWD Barri

LEO Viper

MWD Sinner (Vietnam)

LEO Gazza

MWD Buddy

CJ & Dallas



Service K9 Chevy

Cody & Karma

LEO Binkie

LEO Robby

MWD Quick

CWD Zorro

LEO Boyd

Maggie & Lucy

CWD Rico

MWD Chef

SAR Anna

LEO Aren

LEO Kobus

MWD Jukon

Chomper Dog

My Sample

LEO Jojo

MWD Emir

LEO Lakota



LEO Jethro

MWD Alik

CWD Carlos


I've had wonderful dogs all my life...dogs touch my soul. And I've felt the pain of having to help them cross The Rainbow Bridge. I hope these pillows can help bring comfort to those who cared for, partnered with and loved these K9 Heroes and beloved family dogs.

Cost: Free to any K9s lost while still active duty (Military, LEO, or Search and Rescue K9s), K9s in retirement $50, Family dogs $60. See the Order a Pillow link above for more details.

LIKE my Facebook K9 Hero Pillow Project page to see posts of the latest pillows as they are finished.

And feel free to contact me if you have questions: dian@mousetrax.com

100. CWD Carlos

This is a very special pillow and a surprise to Ruby from me. For those who have followed my K9 Hero Pillow Project, you'll remember that my first K9 pillow was of Carlos. (Look down to pillow #1.) However, although Ruby loves that pillow, it was my first attempt at machine embroidering K9 images and it wasn't as nice as I eventually learned to make them. Carlos' warrior 'brother,' CWD Boss, recently passed. I made a pillow to honor Boss and realized it was time to also properly honor CWD Carlos with a nicer pillow. After all, Carlos was the 2013 Miltary Hero of the Year, among many other awards for his service (as well as one of my first K9 Hero friends)! So I slipped this pillow in the box with Boss' pillow. Note that MWD Alik was also a 'brother' to Carlos.

Be sure to scroll down to read Ruby's touching words describing Carlos' career and see more pictures of this sweet Hero!


"Explosive Detection Dog CWD Carlos retired in 2011 at 8 years old from protecting US and ISAF forces in continuous deployment for nearly 5 years. CWD Carlos, who worked with the US Army's 3rd & 4th Infantry Divisions, Special Forces and ISAF, was credited with actual finds on missions that saved countless American Soldier lives. Due to aging and medical issues, he was retired in Kabul and waited for someone to adopt him.

"In November 2011, Carlos took his "Freedom Flight" HOME to Colorado Springs and was adopted into the Ridpath family. Carlos had a silly side that never failed to bring smiles and laughter to whoever was around. He had a zest for life and found joy in everything he did, although to look deep into his eyes you could see the shadows of the years spent in war zones.

"The 5 years in Iraq and Afghanistan took a toll on his body and his retirement years were fraught with one medical issue after another that included cancer, spleen and laryngeal paralysis surgeries, cardiomyopathy, pneumonia, vestibular disease and colitis, but he valiantly fought through each one with a Never Give Up attitude.

"Carlos loved to go places and never met a stranger. He traveled from Los Angeles to Washington DC (Capitol Hill), up and down the front range of Colorado and to Dallas as an Ambassador for our nation’s war dogs in order to bring awareness to the contributions of all working dogs. He received a USWDA Medal of Recognition, was honored in Colorado Springs as a "2012 Hometown Hero", was the Pueblo Chieftain Hero Dog of 2013 and also the 2013 Military Hero Dog in the Hero Dog Awards. A true Hero who saved countless lives while deployed, a Warrior with a zest for life in spite of challenging medical issues: CWD Carlos inspired everyone he met!

"Carlos changed our lives for the better and although he won many physical and medical battles, his body was tired and the final battle with Degenerative Myelopathy could not be won and we allowed him to leave this earth with the dignity befitting a noble warrior.

"He had a commanding presence and we still miss our handsome warrior so very much. Always our Hero – Always in our Hearts – Never Forgotten! CWD K9 Hero Carlos, 1-03-04  - 11-29-14"



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99. CWD Boss

Ruby was mom to CWD Carlos and MWD Alik, both K9 war heroes. Now she's loss Boss, another of her adopted K9 Heroes. This pillow was a personal gift from me to honor Boss for all he's done for us and to Ruby for what she continues to do to help these war heroes. If you can, please donate to Ruby's War Dog Memorial fund. See her link here: http://wardogmemorialcolorado.org/ And be sure to scroll down to read about K9 Hero Boss and see more photos. Rest easy, Boss...we know you were much loved and are much missed!


"Contract Working Dog (CWD) Boss was a Mine Detection Dog that spent 11 years of his life in Kuwait protecting civilians and various American interests. Selflessly, he worked long hard hours in scorching heat on searing sand not knowing his work would save lives. For 11 years, he never knew what it was like to lay on a soft bed, feel the loving touch of family or walk on grass until in the late fall of 2014 when Mission K9 Rescue brought him home to the United States.

"In April of 2015, we adopted CWD Boss and he finally knew what being loved as a family member was and the feel of soft cool grass to lay on. He was a gentle soul with a warrior's heart that just wanted to be loved. He not only brought smiles to our faces with his ball playing antics but was the best therapy after a long day at work.

"As a working dog for so many years, although he loved the retired life, he still wanted to work. He loved meeting people and easily fell into the role of an Ambassador for the War Dog Memorial Colorado, spreading the word about War Dogs. He drew people to him with his soulful eyes that said “love me”, and love him they did.

"During his two years with us, he attended events at numerous venues up and down the front range of Colorado, was part of several news stories about War Dogs, appeared in television commercials, participated in Veterans Day parades and was even part of the grand entry at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

"Although Boss had a warrior's heart, all those years working took a toll on his body and while he wanted to keep going, his body couldn’t win the final battle with several medical issues. Our hearts were shattered on 1 May 2017 when we had to say Farewell to our warrior and beloved son.

"Never Forgotten – Always in our Hearts! CWD K9 Hero Boss, 7-30-03 - 5-01-17"


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98. LEO Bono

Anne from K9 Hero Haven sponsored this pillow for Chris to honor his long-time partner, K9 Hero Bono. Anne wrote the sad notice (see below) on their K9 Hero Haven Facebook page when this K9 Hero passed. Rest easy, Bono. Thank you for your service!


K9 Bono CJ-41 
1/09/09 - 4/24/17
Retired US Customs and Border Protection from Detroit

Two weeks ago K9 Bono CJ-41 came to K9 Hero Haven as one of our rehabilitation dogs. He retired after 7 years of service from US Customs and Border Protection from Detroit.

K9 Bono had surgery on Friday for his neuter and had his shots updated. We took him for ice cream Friday night. He never seem to bounce back after surgery. I planned on taking him back to my vet this morning after work. He didn't make it thru the night.

I brought him in to vet to check the cause of death. They found a tumor on the right side of his heart. They said they are fast growing and his time would have been limited. They explained that it was not something that could of been repaired with surgery. Unfortunately nothing showed with lab work.

K9 Bono worked beside his handler Chris for 7 years. He will be greatly missed. Chris stayed in contact with me almost daily checking on him and loved him dearly.

Thank you for service K9 Bono. Even thou you were at K9 Hero Haven briefly... We loved you and will miss you. Rest easy K9 Bono.

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97. Eli

Gail works with a Greyhound rescue group and recently received a pillow from her sister to honor her dog, Chase, who recently passed away. When her neighbor's dog, Eli, passed away, Gail wanted to also honor him, so she sponsored this pillow. Rest easy, Eli!

From Jane, Eli's mom...
"I rescued Eli when he was 1 and had him for 10 years.  I have horses and would take Eli to trail rides and camping with me, he would sleep in my trailer while I rode.  I am in a horse club so a lot of my friends were there with their dogs, all would play and got along great.

When Eli had to be put down due to cancer, I was devastated.  My neighbor had lost her dog several months earlier (Chase).  Her sister had one of your pillows made for her and then in turn my wonderful neighbor had one made for me.

Eli never did anything special but when he was gone it left a hole in my heart.  The pillows you make are so special, so forever he will be with me.  Thank you for the wonderful gift."


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96. LEO Nina

Holly, from We Ride to Provide*, sponsored this pillow for her husband, the Chief. Recently, they lost their beloved, retired LEO K9, Beau...a pound puppy turned LEO K9 Hero. Nina, who Holly calls Nina Banina, took over when Beau retired and she is now semi-retired. This pillow was a gift to Chief as a tribute to Nina's life and career.

(This particular photo was quite a hit at the recent We Ride to Provide memorial event, as people later posed next to the poster version of it...also tilting their heads. Very cute!)

Holly explains..."K9 Nina was 13 months old when Chief brought her home. She was born on Sept 19, 2009. She trained during K9 Beau's last years of work, taking a break now and then to just be a dog. When K9 Beau officially retired in Dec 2012, K9 Nina had been already working for a few months. She is the 2nd K9 in the history of the City of Porterdale, GA. K9 Nina is semi-retired now and enjoying relaxing at home with Mom, Scooter and Gizmo."


Chief with his gift.

K9 Hero pillows of Beau Beau and Nina Banina
where they now reside.

* We Ride to Provide gives sponsored emergency K9 first aid kits to
K9 units, to help ensure that on the job emergencies can be handled
ASAP to help save these LEO K9 Heroes. If you love what these K9 Heroes
do to protect our communities...go like their page and donate to a kit if you can!

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95. LEO Jag

Retired LEO, Becki, sponsored this pillow for her fellow LEO who was partnered with K9 Hero Jag. Jag's career was cut short due to terminal cancer. K9 Hero Jag cross the Rainbow Bridge a few years ago. Read Jag's details and see several more photos or Jag and his partner, below.


"Canine handler Officer Scott Huteson and the entire Milwaukie Police Department are mourning the loss of K9 "Jag".  The much beloved German Shephard was diagnosed with inoperable malignant bone cancer in early December 2012.  After consulting with handler Officer Huteson and veterinarian Dr. Chris Bonnell at VCA Southeast Portland Animal Hospital, Chief Bob Jordan made the difficult decision to euthanize the ailing dog.

"Jag and Officer Huteson have worked as a team since June 2009 to track fleeing criminal suspects, and to locate evidence dropped during suspect attempts to elude police. 

"Members of Milwaukie's Public Safety Advisory Committee, who were instrumental in acquiring funds for the department's canine program, visited Jag during his last days to say goodbye.

"While working, Jag was on a strict veterinarian-supervised diet, but Officer Huteson always treated Jag to a cheeseburger as reward after a successful suspect capture.  During Jag's final week, he was allowed many cheeseburger snacks without having to work for them.  He will be missed.  Jag was five years old."



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94. Meggie

This is another one just for me. I started fostering rescued collies late in 2016 and decided to embroider photos of each dog we foster and frame them to hang in our hallway. This is our second rescued foster, Meggie. Our first, Kyrie, was a cancer survivor. Both Kyrie and Meggie are now safe and living in wonderful, loving homes. It's very hard to let these fosters go, but sending them to loving homes means we have room (we also have our two permanent Goldens) to help save more collies in the future.


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93. LEO Beau

Loreen, founder and amazing artist of The K9 Hero Portrait Project held a raffle to help raise fund to cover the cost of painting additional K9 Hero Portraits. I donated a custom pillow to her raffle. The winner was Bobbie Kennett. However, in a very sweet move, Bobbie told Loreen that she was giving her prize back to Loreen's care and that Loreen should choose a worthy recipient of this prize.

At the time, Loreen was just finishing up a surprise portrait of LEO K9 Hero Beau that would be given to Holly and Chief, founder of We Ride to Provide...providing emergency care kits to K9 Officers to help ensure they survive wounds they might suffer in the line of duty, as well as being Beau's mom and dad/partner. Loreen was planning to present the portrait, along with a couple others, at a special tribute event honoring K9 Heroes lost in 2016. Loreen knew the recipient of this 'pay it forward' pillow should be Holly and Chief, to honor their beloved K9 Hero Beau. Loreen also knew it would be special to me because we have two Goldens who we love very much. She was right...I love all dogs, but I admit some are just a little more special to me. Beau fell into that group.

Be sure to scroll down to see more photos and read Beau's bio. This rescued 'pound puppy' became a Police Sgt. K9 Hero.


"K9 Beau began his career with Chief Cripps in 2008. Beau was the first K9 in the history of the Town of Porterdale, GA. During his career he took many drugs off the street, caused several bad guys to end up in jail, found an Alzheimer's patient and alerted on several thousand $'s in drug money at the Atlanta Airport.

"He served his community from 2008 - 2012, when at the age of 10, Chief Cripps decided to retire him so that he could enjoy several years of down time - much deserved!

"K9 Beau retired in December of 2012 and was given to Chief Cripps and his wife, Holly. K9 Beau was healthy and happy as of 12/25/16 and then on 12/26 he began to show signs of rapid deterioration. Over the next 3 days it was obvious to Chief and Holly that K9 Beau had given all he had to give. He was transported to his life long vet, where she discovered a large tumor at his right flank. K9 Beau passed peacefully on 12/28/16 with his dad whispering to him that he would be okay and mommy gently stroking his back as he took his last breath.

"On 3/4/17 We Ride To Provide paid tribute to K9 Beau and 55 other fallen K9's."



"Run fast and search wide sweet Beau...
your K9 brothers will take it from here."

"Thank you for the most amazing pillow for my baby!"

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92. Chase

A new friend and I were chatting and she learned that I make these K9 Pillows. Her sister's beloved dog had recently passed, so she quickly said she wanted a pillow as a birthday gift for her sister. Recently Chase's pillow was given to Karen's sister Gail and she loved it. It makes me feel so good when those whose hearts are broken now have one of my pillows to hug or just comfort them as it sits on the couch or bed next to them...as their beloved dog used to do before it crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Scroll down to see that Chase's pillow will now provide that type of comfort for Gail.


"I just received the beautiful pillow you made with Chase's picture. I absolutely love it.

"Chase was an exceptional dog. We went through many classes together and he ended up as a therapy dog touching so many lives. Twice a month we visited in-home hospice patients and the Veterans' Home in Union Grove, WI...the guys just loved him. Once a month we went to the local library R.E.A.D. program where the kids came in and read to him. PetSmart allowed us to come into their store to promote greyhound adoption once a month. He kept me very busy. Just about everything I did involved Chase. I miss him so much.

"The pillow is a special tribute to Chase. The detail in the picture is amazing. As it sits on my couch I feel close to him. Chase will always be with me on the couch. What a special gift!"

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91. Dakota

UPDATE: Staci's other dog, Niko, saw the pillow on the dresser and took it to the bed to lay on it. Humans aren't the only ones who mourn. (Scroll further down to see a picture of Niko with Dakota's pillow.)

Staci does a lot to support K9 Heroes and dogs in general. Recently she lost one of her own, her beloved Dakota. Loreen Pantaleone, of The K9 Hero Portrait Project is a friend of Staci's and wanted to help her heart heal, so Loreen sponsored this pillow as a surprise for Staci and her daughter, who miss Dakota so much. Be sure to scroll down to read more about Dakota and see more photos.


"I rescued Dakota from a good friend when he was 8 weeks old. He was the most adorable little cocker spaniel/ mix. He loved cheese and would do anything to get a piece of it. He was my little side kick and went everywhere with me. Definitely a momma boy. He had numerous nicknames such as Coco and Coco Beans and even just Beans.

"About a year or so ago, he got very ill and I found out he was a Diabetic. He lost weight quickly and was on insulin twice a day. Over the last month, he became gravely ill but fought everyday. He loved his squeaky ball and that was the only toy he would really play with.

"He is greatly missed by his big yet younger fur brother Niko. And the house just is not the same without my little boy. Thank you again for keeping his memory alive. I will sleep with this pillow every night."

Dakota's favorite squeaky ball and collar memorial.
(More photos below)



Staci received the pillow and posted this Thank You on Facebook.

Niko apparently finds comfort from the pillow, too.

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90. MWD Chyan

Tracy purchased this pillow to help heal her own heart. Chyan lived with her for a short time before moving to his 'furever' home (see below for his detailed bio). But Tracy also would doggie sit for Chyan when needed, so she loved him like her own beloved boy and misses him very much. I hope hugging this pillow helps you feel a little closer to your beloved K9 Hero, Tracy.


"MWD Chyan - D233, PEDD, was a Belgium Malinois who was born in Germany on May 01, 1999. At the age of two, Chyan entered K-9 basic training at Lackland Air Force base. MWD Chyan completed his training and was certified as a explosive detection, scout, tracker and patrol dog. 

"Because Chyan was at the top of his class, he was then sent to Camp Pendleton, California, for additional training in "Special Operations." In 2002 he was assigned to "Special Ops" and from this date to 2010 his service record was unattainable. What is known, however, is that during this time frame MWD Chyan was positioned in many areas of Europe, he was in Antwerp, Belgium, Germany, and Bosnia, as well as in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan several times.

"At the age of 11 and maturing, Chyan was reassigned to the 92nd Detachment MP's in Bosnia and worked with Sgt. Hiller in security.

"In the fall of 2011 the Veterinary Corp retired MWD Chyan and he was adopted by Father Stephen Rooney and the Sisters of "Our Lady on the River" parish that's located in Marine City, Michigan. This was so fitting for such a brave and heroic Military Working Dog, who had been through so much...to live out the rest of his life in an abundance of love and affection at the parish.

"On May 01, 2014 Father Stephen Rooney and the Sisters threw Chyan a big blast 15th birthday party with special treats and party favors. Four days later Chyan past on.

"Chyan may no longer walk the grounds of the parish, but he will forever live in the hearts of those who loved and cared for him."

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89. Gracie Girl

UPDATE: Scroll down to see Gracie with her pillow...apparently she approves!

Many of you know Loreen, the amazing artist and founder of The K9 Hero Portrait Project. Her incredible talent honors K9 & Equine Heroes with beautifully realistic painted portraits. She's also my friend and she inspired me to start this K9 Hero Pillow Project. So this pillow of her doggie, Gracie Girl, who is her studio partner and ever present watcher, is my gift to her to honor her work and pay tribute to sweet Gracie, who is nearly 15 and alive and well for her age in Feb, 2016. Be sure to scroll down to read Loreen's bio for Gracie Girl.


"In mid 2002, Gracie and four other pups were roaming an area in Surry County, Virginia, near a recent raided property known as Bad Newz Kennel. Rescuers determined Gracie and her siblings looked similar to other dogs found on the property notorious for dog fighting.

"We adopted Gracie and drove a total of 11 hours to pick her up. Although she has severe separation anxiety and destroyed two doors, steel windows, concrete pillars, and every crate imaginable, she is the sweetest tempered girl.

"Since moving to the country and starting The K9 Hero Portrait Project, Gracie has been my studio buddy, overseeing each K9 painting and even helping in anatomy when I don't have good photos of noses.<grin> If I'm painting at 2 in the morning, Gracie is less than five feet from me. She won't go to bed unless I do. She's almost 15 years old and has slowed down some, and even has a cute head tilt from vestibular, but she's still Gracie Girl."

Gracie apparently approves!

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88. CWD Kyra

This was a sponsored gift to Bill, Kyra's adopted dad, from Ruby. Sadly, Kyra pass, although she did get to enjoy a very loving retirement. Be sure to scroll down to read the touching story of Kyra's life and last day.


"Thank you so much for the wonderful pillow! You did a fantastic job designing and making! The picture of Kyra is fantastic. When I opened the package and saw what was inside, I have to admit my eyes watered right up. Thank you very much Dian. You mentioned you'd like a bio on Kyra… Maria Goodavage wrote a beautiful tribute to Kyra that you can use...

"It's with a very heavy heart that I bring you the news that much-beloved retired contract working dog Kyra crossed the bridge yesterday at age 13. "Today at about 13:00 hours Kyra and I have become temporarily separated when she departed on her final deployment," her best friend/adoptive dad Bill wrote me yesterday. https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v7/fe/1/16/1f622.png

"When Bill adopted Kyra in December 2012, he was trying to heal the pain from losing his cherished old detection dog, Macho. He was overjoyed that Christmas. He wrote me, "Who says there's no such thing as Santa...Having Kyra in my life is the best Christmas present I could have gotten." (I had a small role in patching him through to the organization that gave him Kyra, thus my knowledge of what happened early on.)

"Not much is known about Kyra's time as a CWD, but Bill learned she had spent about seven years deployed in the Middle East. Way, way too long. She desperately needed a loving home, and Bill and his other dog, Fuzi, gave her the best. Together, they were a family. Bill and I have been in touch regularly throughout this time, and it's safe to say that Bill is one the most loving, caring, doting doggy daddies on the planet.

"He did everything for her, and as her health started to decline because of a tumor that would end up blinding her (he had taken her for very expensive medical treatments that may have helped for a while), Bill turned his home into a scent palace. In each room he had a different air freshener so she could easily navigate using her strongest sense. Plus he had strips of carpeting she could follow down the hall to guide her. Between Bill's love and care, and Fuzi being a great older brother, she still managed to thrive in their lakeside home near Dallas.

"Earlier this month, Bill had his own physical setback and had to be hospitalized for a couple of days. He was very worried about how his dogs would fare without him, since the "three musketeers" had never been apart this long. A couple of days after Bill's return, Kyra herself started having physical issues. She didn't seem to have the wherewithal to move sometimes. Bill wanted to recover fast so he could take care of her. Today he went to the pet store to get her a special pad, and when he came back, he saw her walking near the lakeside in the back of his house, looking almost like her old self as she sniffed around the grass in the sunshine. He was relieved to see her looking so relaxed and happy, and didn't want to bother her as she enjoyed this time. A few minutes later, he looked out back again and she was lying in the grass. He decided to bring her up to the patio out of the sun. She was unresponsive. He picked her up and put her in his truck and raced to the vet's. "I knew it was to late, but I didn't want to admit it," he wrote me.

"If ever there was a way for a dog to go, it's to go peacefully, in a favorite place in the sunshine by a lake. "This is the first time in her life she was able to decide on her own where and when," Bill writes. "I'm just so happy she had this choice. Not happy she made it, but she deserved and earned it without question. I'm just so glad I was able to help her and be part of her life."

"Sweet Fuzi has been looking for his "sister" since she passed. He had often comforted Kyra when she had panic attacks from her blindness, and did what he could if he thought she needed help. It breaks Bill's already broken heart to know Fuzi is missing her, too. Fortunately they have each other. Last night, Fuzi was lying on Bill's left foot, just as Kyra used to do.

"Bill has had Macho watching out for him from beyond for a few years. Now he has two of the best-ever guardian angels flanking him. Kyra, thank you for giving your all during all those years of work. You are a great, great dog. Go chase those Kongs with Macho, and enjoy your transition from heaven on earth with Bill and Fuzi to the real deal.

"And Bill, thank you for taking in Kyra and for showing her the most stable, loving home she could have wished for. You'll meet again. But stay here on earth with us for a few more decades. We need a lot more people like you here.

"Thank you again Dian for all the support you have given to our K9 Warriors!


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87. CWD Mazzie

UPDATE: Scroll below to see CWD Mazzie with his pillow!
I donated a customized pillow to Ruby's Colorado War Dog Memorial funding auction recently and Linda won the auction. Mazzie is a now retired Contract Working Dog who was rescued by Mission K9 Rescue and brought home from Kuwait to the US on October 31, 2015. Mazzie served five years as a working war dog in Kuwait. Once on US soil, he was fostered by Karen in Houston. In March, 2016, Linda and her family drove from Utah to Houston to officially adopt Mazzie as their own.

Mazzie is a 6.5 yr old German Shepherd. Linda says he's a bit timid, but the sweetest dog and they are thrilled to have him as part of their family. He is much loved and still enjoying a well deserved retirement in 2017. In fact, Mazzie has his own Facebook page, so you can keep up with this K9 Hero's life by liking his page here: https://www.facebook.com/cwdmazzie/

Enjoy your retirement K9 Hero Mazzie and thank you to all involved in helping save this K9 Hero from an uncertain fate! Also, thank you Linda for helping support Ruby's efforts for the creation of a War Dog Memorial in Colorado and for giving this Hero a loving home!


CWD Mazzie LOVES his tribute pillow and mom, Linda,
says "Thanks again for the beautiful pillow, which I will always cherish."

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86. Kyrie

This one was just for me! At the end of 2016, I joined Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois. My first dog when I was a little girl was a collie that looked like Lassie. So I wanted to help out these wonderful dogs. My first rescued foster, who lived with us for a couple months until we found her a wonderful new "furever" home, was Kyrie. You'll notice her lower jaw is twisted. That's because she suffered from a rare form of oral cancer as a pup and had to have it and her lower, right jaw removed! So her jaw is crooked and her tongue hangs out...which makes her look adorable! Kyrie is alive, well and very happy in her new home with her dad and merle collie 'brother,' Stosh. So I decided I'd make framed embroideries for any collies we foster and hang them in our hallway...so we'll never forget any of them.


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85. MWD Gabe

MWD Gabe needs no introduction to those of us who pay attention to the K9 Community, because Gabe made quite a mark in the world. Many will recognize Gabe as the 2016 Hero Dog of the Year. Partnered with SFC Charles Shuck, Gabe and Chuck were quite a team. Saving lives on the battlefield, as well as continuing to save K9 lives through Gabe's legacy site Gabe to the Rescue.

But what I personally feel is one of the most heartwarming things about Gabe is that he was literally a "Pound Puppy" who was rescued from an uncertain fate to become a lifesaving War Hero and Hero Dog of the Year. There are tons of photos I could share, as well as tons of details about Gabe and the fact that he has his own book, but I'll leave that to anyone interested, since it's very easy to learn all about K9 Hero Gabe by simply googling K9 Hero Gabe. But you can learn a lot by viewing Gabe's Hero Dog tribute video here: https://youtu.be/rKkRWDlwn0o

This pillow was a sponsored gift to SFC Shuck from Helen Grant. I was quite honored to make it since Gabe was my first personal connection to the Military Working Dog world by easily falling in love with Gabe. Sadly, Gabe passed not long after becoming the 2012 Hero Dog of the Year, but Gabe and his legacy will live on...forever! (Be sure to scroll down to see more.)


Gabe, the war hero


Gabe, the hero advocate


Gabe...smoozing with the legendary Betty White.


SFC Shuck accepting MWD Gabe's
2016 Hero Dog of the Year award
on stage in Hollywood

Gabe, aka Pooh Bear, was also a featured hero by
The K9 Hero Portrait Project

Chuck recently received the K9 Hero Pillow,
which is now prominently displayed on Gabe's Hero mantle

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84. MWD Erich (Vietnam)

UPDATE: See the photo of Gary, so happy to have his Erich pillow to hug and feel close again. He said, maybe now he can sleep!

As I've often said, ALL these K9s & dogs become very special to me once I get to honor them with my work, but there are some that do carry special significance and this is one of those. My brother was a Marine who was killed in Vietnam in 1966. So all Nam vets are extra special to me. (Be sure to continue scrolling to see all the photos.)

Gary sent me a note quite awhile ago asking...

"One day, should you ever have the opportunity...my hero gave all and was left to die there. This picture is all I have left after 50 years in my wallet. Perhaps before we're both gone. Bless you for what you do no matter what!"

I also learned that Gary is a Patriot Guard Rider (PGR), as am I since 2007. So, of course, this was going to be a free pillow, but it also did qualify as a free LODD (Line of Duty Death) because, disgracefully, K9s were considered "equipment" back then and were left in country to their fate or put down as they were considered too dangerous (a fact we know is not true with so many now coming home to retire in homes).

We chatted more about Gary's time in Nam and my brother's, as well as us being PGRs and although he offered to pay, I told him I would make his pillow and it would be free. His reply is why I do this!

"Outstanding! You have no idea! My heart is doing a dance. You've helped me complete the first good day I've had for quite a while! I haven't the words. My pup was everything to me. Not a day goes by... you know what I mean. And I'm so proud of the younguns that serve now!! Proud of you as well. PGR as long as I can as best I can! He'll sleep beside me now, and perhaps I'll be able to sleep again!"


This photo below is the original photo Gary sent me...the one he carries in his Wallet. However, I had trouble getting much definition from this photo to work well with my embroidery software. So the first attempt at a pillow had to be scrapped. There was just a bit too much background. Gary tried to zoom into the photo to capture a better face shot of Erich (below). That didn't work too well either. However, over the years, Gary has become quite the sketch artist! So he reworked the photo into the above sketch, which is what I was able to digitize into a fairly decent pillow image to honor Gary and Erich's service together.


"We were the first USN K-9 unit in USA history. Trained our pups from green as sentry dogs at Lackland AFB in '66 and deployed to DaNang, Vietnam in February of '67 where we served in any number of venues and capacities as time went on.

"When my tour was up, I held him for the last time, wept, tried to explain for hours.

"Dick King assumed the leash, and Erich became depressed and eventually became like a pound puppy toward the end. Passed due to complications with the heat I'm told. I miss him more than I can explain.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you."

Here are two photos of Gary...as a Patriot Guard Rider and also attending an opening of a War Dog Memorial. Thank you for your service Gary Curtiss...and your continued service as a Patriot Guard Rider. Gary asked that the stitching on the pillow be in red to honor our current military...RED ON FRIDAY, TILL THEY ALL COME HOME! I hope this pillow helps to heal your heart a bit!


Gary with his K9 Hero Erich pillow.

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83. Beau & Belle

Beau and Belle are alive and well. I made these pillows awhile ago, but they were Christmas gifts, so I had to wait to show them. Be sure to scroll down to see all the photos and Gail's details about these Boykin Spaniels, as well as see the pretty picture of Connie with her Christmas gifts, which Gail told me she just loves!



"We have had 4 Boykins now. My mother's maiden name was Boykin, so we got Jessie Belle. Grandfather was Jessie. Mom's middle name was Belle. Jessie Belle died when she was 14. Then Connie wanted one and got Lillie Marie. Again, family names. Lillie was 16 and a half when she died. She was Connie's life.

"After a few months she really wanted a brother and sister. She bought them from a man in Texas and having two has been a challenge. They have been to 'Sit Means Sit' and that was God sent. They love being together and play constantly. They are 9 months and their weight has stayed steady for both. Now 35 pounds. She loves them so much. Boykins are the South Carolina state dog."

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82. Nina & Romulus

Nina and Romulus were two peas in a pod, but Nina passed away November 3rd, 2016 and Romulus is sad. Romulus is still alive and he is ten now. He is still mourning Nina's passing. This is the first time in his life that Romulus has gone without a companion. These pillows are a gift from Shyann to her dad. Please scroll down to see Romulus' pillow and also to read Shyann's details about these two beloved family dogs.


Nina was a rescued dog my step mom had from the time Nina Louise was young. She helped her get through a lot of tough times. Nina was loving and gentle. She has been in my daughter's life since she was a baby and when we would visit Nina would always make sure Romulus, who was a puppy himself at that age, was always being gentle with my baby girl. If Romulus got to excited Nina would step in between baby and puppy. Nina was soft, so soft. Like her fur was made from soft down. She would lay her head in our laps and look up at us with love. Nina was incredibly playful and loved going to the river or hiking with my parents. To say Nina was cherished is an understatement.


Now on to Romy. My dad had always had a Rottweiler in our home for as long as I can remember. Romulus came to us after the oldest Rotty, Zeus, passed on from age. Romulus is this giant hulking beast with a heart of gold. So long as you're family or inside his fence. He is also a fighter. Known to take on wily raccoons or anything else he deems dangerous to my father. He is so gentle with my daughter. They grew up together and despite his hulking girth he remains gentle with her. The bond he shares with my father is amazing. Romulus is not just some dog to our family. He is a member of this family and it shows. He sleeps between my parents each night in what my daddy calls "the valley of love," so that he can cuddle with them both every night.

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81. MWD Kevin

MWD Kevin and his "sister" MWD Jackie are still alive and mostly well in 2016, living with a loving retired military family. I usually combine the stories when I have two pillows together, but I decided these K9 Heroes each deserved their own listing. So be sure to scroll down to read about Kevin's career and see more photos, as well as view Jackie's profiles and additional photos.


MWD Kevin - When my husband and I moved to Joint Base San Antonio in 2012 we decided we were going to get a dog. We didn't have one previously because of all the Air Force moves, but my husband's health has been a longtime struggle for him, he is medically retired from the Air Force, and we thought it would be a good idea to get a dog to keep him company. We hadn't thought of an MWD (Military Working Dog) until the Security Forces Commander mentioned that option to us.

Once we heard more about the MWD program and that we could actually adopt a MWD, we were sold. MWD Kevin was 7 1/2 years old when the folks from the MWD school Lackland called us to meet him. Kevin was a special search dog that spent his military career with the US Army. The folks from the school said they weren't able to tell us more about what he did but we were able to find out some things about his career.

We received partial medical records with Kevin, including a shot record. We noted an Army engineer battalion on the shot record...my husband looked the unit up online and connected with them via Facebook. The unit remembered Kevin and was able to put us in contact with Kevin's second handler. My husband spoke to the handler and found out that Kevin spent two tours of duty in Iraq. His first trip out on his second tour found him as a passenger in a STRYKER vehicle. Irony sought to be resolved and the STRYKER hit an IED. Everyone in the vehicle was OK and Kevin was dispatched out of the vehicle to sweep for additional explosives around the area. Thankfully, there were none. On another mission, they had a tip of a significant stash of weapons, ammo, and cash somewhere in a particular village. It didn't take Kevin long to discover the cache of illegal goods...it was about 9 feet up and 8 feet back buried in a big stack of hay. They found a significant amount of AK47 ammunition loaded into magazines, RPGs and launchers, and large bundles of cash - much of it US Dollars.

We are so honored to have a theater-proven war dog as part of our family. Kevin is not good with kids and he is very defensive around most people. We don't know if this as a result of his time in Iraq, but since he served our country, we vowed to make him as happy and comfortable as we could in retirement! Kevin's has had several major medical issues and doesn't walk particularly well anymore, but he is a very happy boy around our family.

We thank the US War Dog Association, the Sage Foundation, the DDOC Foundation, amongst others, for financially helping with his medical and pharmacy needs. Kevin has been part of our family for more than 4 wonderful years and we are so proud of his service to our country!


MWD Kevin & MWD Jackie, the first meeting.

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80. MWD Fajka (Jackie)

MWD Jackie and her "brother" MWD Kevin are still alive and well in 2016, living with a loving retired military family. I often combine the stories when I have two pillows together, but I decided these K9 Heroes each deserved their own listing. So be sure to scroll down to read about Jackie career and see more photos, as well as view Kevin's profiles and additional photos.


MWD Fajka (Jackie) - About a year and a half after adopting MWD Kevin my husband and I decided to adopt another MWD before we moved away from Joint Base San Antonio. Since Kevin is an Alpha male, on our adoption form we requested a female. When the folks at the Lackland MWD school called us to "meet" MWD Fajka we were thrilled. Fajka was a ball of fire, she barely listened to the handlers and wanted to play non-stop. I could see by the look on my husband's face that she was going to become part of our family!

We adopted Fajka just before her two year birthday. The day we completed the paperwork at Lackland we found out a little bit more about our girl.

Fajka was whelped in the Czech Republic to a breeder that the US Air Force uses to purchase MWDs. Fajka is patrol dog qualified but did not make it through her specialized training. They told us she wasn't "focused" enough, which we could believe based on meeting with her! We decided to re-name Fajka because no one at Lackland could tell us how to pronounce "Fajka", and any combination we tried didn't seem to sound quite right. We looked online and "fajka" can be translated to mean a pipe for smoking tobacco...maybe her name because of her black, smoke like color? Since she didn't seem to respond to "Fajka" we re-named her Jacqueline or Jackie. After a rough first four days at home with Kevin in which there were several fights, Kevin and Jackie started to get along. What became harder for us at first was the fact that Jackie had never been in a house, everything was new to her...and she wasn't potty trained! But, we got through all that and it didn't take long for her to respond to her new name and actually start listening. More than two years later she is such a good girl, she is incredibly smart and over the years she will follow an MWD command to the detail...we think she knew the commands all along, she just didn't want to work! The military's loss has truly been our gain. Her loving playfulness keeps Kevin going and they get along better than we ever could have imagined. We are truly lucky people to have her!


MWD Kevin & MWD Jackie, the first meeting.

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79. MWD Coba

Many of us who pay attention to the Military K9 Community knew about Coba as she was in retirement with Louisa, co-founder of Mission K9 Rescue. In late Fall of 2016 Coba suddenly was showing pain in her back. Louisa rushed her to the vet and we all held our breath that this K9 war hero would be okay. A few days later, we were heartbroken to learn that Coba cross the Rainbow Bridge! This pillow was a sponsored gift to Louisa from Judie Mindrum. Be sure to scroll down to read the details of Coba illustrious career, as well as more photos of K9 Hero Coba.


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78. William

William came to Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois in 2011. Kim was the foster coordinator and went to evaluate him. But when their eyes locked, she fell in love with him and took him home with her. He lived happily with Kim and Brad until 2016 when he sadly passed away. Kim's friend, Cathy...also with Collie Rescue of Greater IL...sponsored this pillow to help heal Kim and Brad's hearts, as they miss William very much. As Kim says..."He was quite a special guy!"


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77. LEO Thor

K9 Thor died November 22, 2016 after suffering injuries while attempting an apprehension of an abduction suspect in a densely wooded area. Officers responded to a nearby motel after receiving reports that a woman who had been abducted was being held there. As officers arrived the abduction suspect, who was reported to be armed, fled into thick woods behind the motel. K9 Thor located the subject in thickets and was released for an apprehension. Members of the Connecticut State Police located Thor suffering from numerous cuts and internal bleeding. It is believed that Thor was kicked by the suspect or was injured in a fall. Thor was taken to a local animal hospital where he died after being reunited with his handler. The suspect was taken into custody. K9 Thor had served with the Wethersfield Police Department for two years.

Thank you for your courage and service to our country, K9 Hero Thor. Sincere condolences to his partner Ofc. Martins and the Connecticut State Police.


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76. LEO Klaus

LEO K9 Klaus sadly passed away unexpectedly on November 28, 2016. He was a member of the Kenosha (WI) County Sheriff's Department. Klaus was active duty when he suddenly became ill and was rushed to an emergency vet. Klaus was diagnosed as having internal bleeding due to a mass on his spleen. Additional tests showed more masses on his liver. Very sadly, his partner Deputy Lanctot and the Department made the painful decision to allow K9 Klaus to cross the Rainbow Bridge. Klaus passes peacefully with his partner at his side.

(See more details and photos below...)


Klaus was born in Germany in February, 2010 and was trained at TOPS Kennel in Grayslake, IL. Klaus was acquired by the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department and became partnered with Deputy Lanctot in 2011, when they began training together. Soon they were patrolling as a Kenosha County K9 Team, generally working the second shift and primarily working along the I-94 corridor.

Klaus served his community for five years. Together, Klaus and Deputy Lanctot made hundreds of drug and criminal arrests. They also conducted many public demonstrations, school searches and public relations events.

Klaus will be missed by many and we send our sincere condolences to his Kenosha Community, his LEO colleagues and particularly to Deputy Lanctot, who misses his partner very much.


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75. LEO Boris

Anne from K9 Hero Haven sponsored two pillow of K9 Boris...one for them, Boris' retirement family, and one for Boris' former partner, who is also receiving his ashes.

Please be sure to scroll down to see details about Boris' career, words from his family and many more photos.


"K9 Boris: 6/7/04- 10/27/16

"With a heavy and sad heart, I am posting the loss of one of ours tonight. We are deeply saddened by the loss of K9 Boris. K9 Boris was an ambassador for K9 Hero Haven. He was imported from Holland and served as a police K9 for Asheville, NC from 2006 -2015 then retired to K9 Hero Haven in PA. He was an amazing police dog who found 21 suspects who would never have been identified without him, he located a woman who was dying from hypothermia and blood loss thereby saving her life, he found over 200 pounds of narcotics valued over $1.5 million and he found over $200,000 in drug money.

"Tonight he was lying with Mike when he fell over and went into a seizure and died in Mike's arms. He was Mike's dog and loved to follow him everywhere and always laid close to him. He slept in bed with us...usually between us. Boris loved going to events and he loved people. He was a favorite around the area among not only Asheville PD, but other surrounding areas for his loving personality and keen nose. Boris will be deeply missed.

"The first picture posted below was taken just an hour ago before he died. As you can see, his death came suddenly. My only comfort is knowing he died in Mike's arms tonight. May he be greeted by K9 Rakkar, his police K9 sidekick from Asheville, NC and all the other K9s who have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. May you have endless bones and kongs. Remember how much we loved you. We will miss you and you will never be forgotten."

(More photos below...)



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74. LEO Arres

UPDATE: Ofc Harmon is now certified with his new partner, Igor. See a photo below...

I posted my offer for a free Line of Duty Death K9 Hero Pillow and Ofc. Harmon, Arres' partner, saw it; and, thankfully, he responded back to me. So I was able to obtain his favorite photo of Arres...playing in the snow. Below is the official notice of K9 Arres passing, but please make sure you scroll down further to not only see several more photos of Arres, but also read Ofc. Harmon's heartbreaking words to his pal, his partner, his hero.

"It is with great sadness the Chamberlain Police Department [SD] announces that we have lost one of our own. K9 'Arres' died unexpectedly this morning from a rare internal complication. Arres was Office Garrett Harmon's partner. Together, working as a team, they were a key component in not only taking drugs off of our streets, but also acting as a deterrent to criminals bringing illegal narcotics into our communities.

"Arres will be greatly missed by many in the community, especially his Law Enforcement Family."


"On 11-2-16, I had to say goodbye to my best friend and partner. We had worked a shift on 11-1-16 and the next day I had to say goodbye. Arres' passing was unexpected and tore at my heart. Arres passed away from a rare intestinal complication. Arres passed while in surgery. He was pain free and that's all I could asked for.

"Arres came to me in 2013, once certified we hit the streets hard. He was more than just a dog. Arres was my partner. It was a true blessing having him at home and work. Arres showed and taught me many things. He showed me that I could trust him no matter what, whether it was locating hidden drugs, or criminals/danger coming up behind us.

"Arres you always had my 6. You showed me what commitment was, partnership, respect, honor, pride and unconditional love. I returned the favor, buddy. Arres I missed you from the time we said goodbye and I miss you more everyday. I will take it from here my friend. Rest Easy! ~Garrett"



Ofc. Harmon of Chamberlain, SD, PD shared this great picture (below) as he just received his pillow honoring his beloved partner Arres, who recently passed in the line of duty and he included these words...

"Look what I received for Christmas, it made me tear up, but I am so extremely thankful for everything. Thank you for all that you do. My friends and fellow K9 officers think what you are doing is touching more people's heart than you know, I shared with them what you have done for me along with many others. They told me to tell you thank you."

Stay Safe Ofc. Harmon and good luck with your new partner. Give Arres' pillow a hug from me.

April, 2017 Update

"Well it's official, I told you I would send you a picture of my new partner Igor when we finished training... Well the 14 weeks are done and we are now certified. I just wanted to say thank you again for what you have done for me but also for all the other lives you have touched as well!"

Good luck, guys! Thank you for keeping the world safer and STAY SAFE!

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73. LEO Lando

Winthrop Harbor is a community near my home. All K9/dog losses are sad to me, but I feel a special connection to those K9s who work near where I live. Thanks to Cmdr Bitton for personally replying to me via email with details so I could successfully honor K9 Lando. And it was especially hard hearing that Ofc. Bogdala's young daughter is taking Lando's loss particularly hard. I sincerely hope this small token helps Lando's family heal some.

November 3, 2016 - Winthrop Harbor, IL - It is with great sadness that the Winthrop Harbor Police Department announces that today was End of Watch for our active K9, Lando. Tragically this healthy, 3-year old German Shephard collapsed during light training and could not be revived. Lando was born in 2013 and underwent his initial training at TOPS Kennels. WHPD K9 Officer Bill Bogdala trained with Lando in advanced tracking, drug interdiction and search techniques through June 12, 2015 when he began active duty for our department. Lando served with honor for our department and many others through mutual aid. Our condolences go out to Ofc. Bogdala and all who knew and worked with K9 Lando.

Cmdr. M. Bitton



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72. CWD Nero

CWD K9 Hero Nero was a retired war hero who had a rough life serving our country, but had a sweet, loving retirement with Judie, who cared for him and loved him deeply. He was special to me and many of my online friends, too. Judie was in the process of taking Nero for special medical treatment in the hopes to help him enjoy retirement longer, but he very sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Please see below for Judie's touching details of Nero's career and life. Many wanted to sponsor this pillow, but Carol Otto was first to request, so the honor was hers. Judie also adopted Jukon who previously passed. See his tribute and photos further down the page. And my personal thanks to Judie for being such a wonderful supporter of K9 Hero Pillow Project.

Rest in Peace, Nero...you served above and beyond!



"This brave and eager boy was whelped on Sept 16, 2005. He was owned by trainers and was sold to
a contract company who did business with the Army Spec. Forces in Afghanistan. The contract company
worked these dogs 7 days a week, 365 days a year with no breaks unless sick or unable. He served there for 7 years. So he had no protectors, he had no handler who loved him, he only had men who hated their job and they abused him.

"When he got to the age of 9, they finally agreed to let him go….they had starved him down and beaten him till he had no trust in anyone but…he wanted to [trust]. He was great at his job….so great the enemy had a huge bounty on his head, specifically his ears. He got injured in an explosion once and the gal who was the flight navigator took pity on him and asked if she could pet him….she fell in love with him…and the soldier had no pity for him. Thank you Jenn for comforting him.

"Mission K9 Rescue was the one who got him out of Afghanistan. He was their first…and they never forgot him, they loved him dearly. Thank you Kris and Louisa. Upon arrival he was found in bloat but survived that, even in horrid pain he never soiled his kennel, he had so much pride! They fostered him till he was well and adjusted and then they reached out to me. I knew I’d take him….I knew I had to have him. On April 17th, 2015 we met them half way...they from Houston and we from Gainesville. One look…I loved him. I was ready to get to work….getting to know him.

"He was terrified of us. He knew nothing of us…and we had many adjustments, but no anger, no punishment, no refusal to understand him. He had suffered enough. He had so much to learn and he did. He tolerated 5 cats…..he put up with me not letting him kill small animals in the yard. We never could handle his feet, but lots of dogs are that way. We got his pain under control, he got cancer and we got that under control, but it was never in remission.

"He was a loving boy, he was sly like a fox…smart! Very smart. He fooled everyone into thinking he didn’t know English…he just didn’t want to take commands! But he did….to a point. We spoiled him, loved him
and he died suddenly and with the kindness of strangers I let him go to God. Angels in the night, far from home...lost and suffering they got us to a vet, Dr Dimon of Warner Robbins set him free.

"The world needs to know about Contract Working Dogs' plight. This boy lived it and survived as a loving dog who wanted to meet everyone…get love from everyone….and he gave us so much of his love.


"Thank you, Mission K9 Rescue, The United States War Dog Association, Timberview Pet Clinic and all the friends and family who came and loved on him….cared for him. They never brought anything but love into his life."

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71. LEO Bear

K9 Bear was a member of the Kenosha (WI) County Sheriff's Department. Bear crossed the Rainbow Bridge while in retirement in September, 2016. Although I normally only donate free K9 Hero Pillows for Line of Duty Deaths, I personally sponsored this one because Kenosha, WI is a neighboring community where I can often be found. This one was somewhat personal to me. Rest in Peace, K9 Hero Bear.

"The Sheriff's Department regrets to announce the death of retired K9 Bear. Bear was a valued member of our Department from 2007 until his retirement in 2014. Bear will be missed by his handler Sgt. Klinkhammer and his family. Thank you for your service Bear, Rest in Peace! The Department would like to thank Kenosha Animal Hospital for their treatment of all of our K9's and especially today when this tough decision was made."


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70. LEO Canon

Police K9 Hero Canon was a member of the Richland, MS, Police Department and partner to Ofc Daniels, and, of course, also a family member. Canon was still serving our country and the Richland community when he was strickened by a serious illness that ultimately took his life. Thank you K9 Hero Canon for your courage and service to our country. More photos below, including the official announcement from the Richland PD with details of K9 Hero Canon's career.


Posted from the Richland Police Department Facebook page...

It is with a sadden and heavy heart that the Ridgeland Police Department reports the loss of one of our K9 officers this morning. Canon was a widely recognized officer with the Ridgeland Police Department for nearly 9 years where he served with honor, pride and professionalism. Canon displayed the same temperament as expected from human officers with his firmness when it was time to work but showed a loving and compassion side when he knew to keep it low key. Canon was the st...ar of many presentations held in front of kindergarten classes, elementary schools, churches, civic organizations and birthday party celebrations. Officer Ray Daniels was his handler and on most occasions when he met the public the comments would be "Where is your dog Canon?"

Please keep Officer Daniels and his family in your prayers as these K9's are a part of their family. Also the Ridgeland Police Department and our community who will be mourning the loss of Canon.

More photos below...


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69. Miss Patty

UPDATE: Read a bio of Miss Patty further below. And BRAVO to those who adopt older dogs to make sure they finish their lives with love!
Miss Patty was a beloved family member who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in Aug, 2016. Her 'dad' is taking it very hard, so her 'mom' felt a pillow would not only help their hearts heal, but would allow them to make sure that Miss Patty didn't miss traveling with them for the holidays...in spirit at least.


"Miss Patty came into our lives when we least expected to be adopting or rescuing a pet.  But, when I saw her photo on the SPCA website, I knew I could not leave her there. Her age was posted "between 13-15 years old". When we went to see her, she was so unattached to anything or anyone, she just walked around. My husband said we could not leave her there....yay!!!!

"Within the next few weeks, we had 9 rotten teeth removed and that is when Miss Patty came to life!!  Poor baby was in so much misery, but after her mouth was cleaned up, we really felt she became younger and younger each day, much to our delight. She lived with us exactly 2 years and 5 months and this little old lady taught us so much about love.

"We will never forget her, ever! Run free sweet Patty, you were loved so much!!"

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68. Nico & Layla

Asha bid on my donated pillow for Mission K9 Rescue's recent auction and she won. But the donation was for one pillow and she has two sweet dogs, who she loves very much and so does her mom. So she paid for a second pillow and I created matching pillows as gifts for her mom. Nico's photo was grayscale, so I converted Layla's professional pink image to grayscale, too. Asha says these two own her heart and although Layla is apprently deaf...she KNOWS when someone opens a cheese wrapper. Yes, we dog lovers know how that happens! And yes, Nico Zayn and Layla Nikita are both alive and well...and very much loved.



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67. MWD Grief

I created MWD Grief's pillow in late summer (2016) and sent it off to Wayne, who held on to it for a time because he had a special card made that was being sent around the US to have it signed by all those whose lives were saved one fateful day in Afghanistan...thanks to MWD Grief giving his life to save so many. Grief's handler, Alfred (pictured below with Grief) explains that day in his own words further below. So be sure to scroll down to read more details and see more photos.


I was paired up with Grief a short time after I was station at Camp Pendleton. He was a 2yr old German shepherd from Germany, a "green" dog, which means he came straight from training and only had basic training so working with him was not only a learning experience but a growing one. I think it made our story more interesting that we both experienced everything for the first time. Before deploying to Afghanistan we had worked a mission with the Secret Service which was a great experience for both of us.

We were deployed for about 5 months when we conducted our last mission which was with the Army. During a search of a compound that we were going to occupy that night, we were hit by an IED that was waist high in a wall. Because of this Grief was killed instantly and I sustained multiple injuries that required immediate evacuation. We can never know why these things happen but what I do know is Grief possibly saved my life that day and now forever is with me.

Grief was 4 when he died. MWD Grief M107 03/18/2006 - 10/24/2010


Loreen's beautiful portrait of K9 Hero Grief,
through her K9 Hero Portrait Project
presented to Alfred with Alfred's dad


Alfred's Facebook post when he received his "Alive Day" gift.

Alfred is currently in the process of writing their book,
"Surviving with Grief" that should be released mid 2017.

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66. LEO Ty Vom Friedrichsfelder Eck

LEO K9 Ty from California City Police Dept, CA, died September 7th, 2016 from injuries sustained on Aug 3, 2016 during the apprehension of a suspect during a barricade. The subject was holding a woman and child hostage. Ty and his handler entered the home in an attempt to rescue the hostages. During the apprehension, the subject fell on Ty, breaking his back. Ty endured emergency surgery, but passed from surgery complications. LEO K9 Hero Ty Vom Friedrichsfelder Eck was trained in narcotics detection and criminal apprehension.

Our deepest sympathies to Ofc Rivera. We know how close you two were! (I'll be mailing this pillow out this week.) More photos below...


Ty's handler's goodbye.



Ahhh! This is so bittersweet. Vinny (Ofc Rivera) sent me a message that he received his pillow honoring his partner, Ty. Below are some of his words...

"I just received the pillow. Thank you so very much. I cannot express how perfect it is and how many memories just the picture brings back. It means the world to me! And that tribute is perfect.

"I put it on my bed and my other pup, Meech, was already laying on it when I came back. He and Ty were best of friends

"They'd greet each other at the door after long shifts, snuggle up near each other. When Ty passed, Meech would stare at the garage door for hours after I'd walked in. I can only assume waiting on Ty to come through."

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65. CWD Chanel

CWD Chanel was born Jan 8, 2005. She was an MDD, a Mine Detection Dog. As a Contract Working Dog, Chanel served for 8.5 years. She was obviously very good at her job having been active duty for 8.5 years, a fact for which her adopted mom, Patty, greatly admired her. Chanel was deployed in Nangahar Province, Afghanistan, sniffing millions of square meters of mine-affected land, saving countless lives from death or injuries.

Chanel was brought back to the United States with the help of Mission K9 Rescue and the Department of State. She was adopted May 30, 2015 by Patty, who says...'Chanel was the light of my life. She was truly loyal and took to her retirement as best as she could under her health circumstances. She was a gentle dog. Everyone who met her fell instantly in love with her. I will miss her forever.'

Sadly, after all those years of courage and service to our country, Chanel didn't get a lot of time to enjoy her retirement as health issues plagued her body. Chanel's EOW (End of Watch) came at 4:30 pm on August 16, 2016.

She is still and will always be honored, respected, loved and missed by her family.

Chanel's pillow was a sponsored gift from Judie Mindrum to Patty. More photos below...



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64. LEO Sirius, 9/11

All the K9s and family dogs honored with K9 Hero Pillows are special. They are special to their partners and families and they become very special to me as I get to know their story and spend hours looking at their beautiful faces. But some do have special significance and Sirius is one of those.

I became online friends with Debbie Stonebraker years ago...an amazing artist specializing in dogs and particularly Labs. Through her, I eventually also became friends with David Lim, who was partnered with K9 Sirius. I was honored that Debbie allowed me to use her beautiful portrait of LEO K9 Sirius as the model for my sponsored gift of a K9 Hero Pillow to David to honor Sirius...the only LEO K9 LODD (Line of Duty Death) on 9/11 due to the towers collapsing.

It's hard to see the lettering in this photo, but the ribbon says WTC HERO. And, per David's request, the wording under Sirius' image is the inscription on Sirius' bowl, after it was recovered..."I gave my life so you could save others."

Read more and see more photos below...


On the morning of September 11, 2001, Port Authority Police Officer David Lim and his K9 partner, Officer Sirius, were patrolling the World Trade Center towers. Then terror struck. David put Sirius in his kennel, in their tower office, so he could rush to help. When the towers collapsed, Sirius became one of the many victims...and the only LEO K9 lost that day.

Law Enforcement Officers David Lim & K9 Sirius

Sirius' recovered flag drapped body
carried out with honors by fellow Port Authority PD Officers


The memorial service for K9 Sirius

Debbie Stonebraker presenting her portrait of
Sirius to David and the Port Authority

LIKE Debbie's Facebook art page here:
and check out her site here:


David with Sirius' bowl, presented to him with the engraved words
"I gave my life so you could save others"

David and Sirius with Bill Clinton


The sign on the NY dog run named in Sirius' honor.


David loves his pillow and sent this photo to me on Facebook with his thanks.

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63. LEO Utah

I felt the need to sponsor this pillow myself. Not only because Utah was from our neighboring county in Illinois, but also because he reminded me of our sweet Lexi, a black lab who we lost to cancer, also at 13 yrs, in May, 2016. Here is Utah's story...

LEO Utah was an explosive detection Officer with the DuPage (IL) County Sheriff's Office. Utah, a 13 year old Black Labrador Retriever, passed away on September 7th, 2016. Sheriff John Zaruba says..."Utah was one of the rarest K9s the Sheriff's Office has ever had. K9 Utah was at one time the only Explosive Detection K9 in DuPage County. He spent his life protecting the citizens of DuPage County in and out of the DuPage County Courthouse until he retired in 2012."

K9 Utah was donated to the sheriff's office by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Utah and his handler, Deputy Ken Diebert, spent ten weeks in Virginia where the canine was trained and certified in the detection of over 19,000 different types of explosives. Utah's primary duty was the DuPage County courthouse where he and Deputy Diebert searched packages and vehicles. During his career, K9 Utah also searched public and private facilities for explosives, guns, bullets and other threats before visits from former President George Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton and many others.

"K9 Utah was a fantastic Explosive Detection K9, as well as the best partner anyone could ask for." said Diebert. "Utah crossed the rainbow bridge Wednesday, he will be sorely missed, but his presence will be felt in the hallways of the courthouse forever."

See their Thank You photo below...


Dian, I gave Deputy Diebert and Utah’s sister (Jewel) your pillow. They loved it, they wanted me to share their photo with you. Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

Dawn, Public Information Officer, DuPage County Sheriff’s Office

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62. Pepper

Pepper was a much loved family dog who passed away in Sept, 2016 at the age of 14. His pillow was a sponsored gift from Katie, a family friend. They loved the pillow. Mom cried, dad couldn't stop staring at it and their young son just wanted to keep hugging it.


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61. Sweet Eva

Sweet Eva has a heartbreaking story that turned out wonderfully for her in the end thanks to two loving people who gave this abandoned ol' lady a wonderful home, which allowed her to enjoy the rest of her life, happily.

In 2014 some piece of crap human dumped Eva in Philly. She was found tied to a post, starving! Eva, a Cane Corso dog, was old and severely underweight. The vet didn't give her much hope. But Jenny and Danny adopted her and gave her a wonderful home with lots of love, so she thrived until the fall of 2016, when she passed.

You'll notice on the pillow, which was a sponsored gift from Eva's (and her family's) friend, Jennifer Stinger, that there is an embroidered Phoenix. Jenny and Danny like to envision the white markings on Eva's chest as a Phoenix...because like the Phoenix, Sweet Eva also rose from the ashes...of her abandonment...to live on. So that was an important design element to include.

You can read Sweet Eva's story, and see many more photos, on Dogster: "An Abandoned Senior Dog Becomes a Hospice Foster Then a Family Member" She also had (has) her own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Sweet-Eva-308418299315288/), where you can learn more about Eva. as well as thank her family for saving this ol' girl and giving her the love she deserved.



Sweet Eva's family loved the pillow and particularly appreciated the fact that the Phoenix was there, too.

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60. MWD Nora

MWD Nora was a Marine who spent her career on US soil working as a Drug Detection Dog in California. When she retired, she became a member of the Mission K9 Rescue team as one of their beloved ambassadors. Sadly, Nora passed away from cancer on July 30, 2016.

I made two pillows to honor this Marine K9. One was sponsored by Louisa from Mission K9 Rescue, (the one with K115). When Louisa was in the Military, she was Nora's vet tech and loved this sweet girl. This pillow was a gift from Louisa to Nora's Military handler. The second one was a sponsored gift from Loreen, of The K9 Hero Portrait Project. That pillow was sent to Bob, who is also from Mission K9 Rescue. Bob was Nora's "dad," who cared for Nora in retirement until her passing.



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59. Muffyn Lyn

(Word from Muffyn's mom...)

Muffyn Lyn Goodwin, August 2, 2002-April 25, 2016

Muffyn was by my side from 6 weeks old. She was the most loyal and loving little girl. I couldn't have asked for a better little girl to share my life with for almost 14 years.

She loved to ride in her convertible. She loved to roll around her backyard, sliding down the hill on her back. She loved her window seat where she would wait for mom and Pawpaw to come home from work every afternoon where she would 'sing' for us and greet us with her beautiful smile. She loved her dental treats, her mints, and dental chews. But her favorite treat was lettuce. She was a very regal girl, always sat with her paws crossed.

She wore tshirts from the time she came home, as she got cold easily. She would always get embarrassed any time you took her tshirt off, whether for a bath or just to change her shirt, she would run and hide until she was dressed again. She had the best personality. There will never be another Muffyn Lyn, but I think she would love the little girl I adopted in June, Willow Lynn.


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58. LEOs Brandon & Furax

Tate County Sheriff Deputy Brandon Finley and his partner, LEO K9 Furax, were quite the team. Then a bullet hit Deputy Finley in the head and both their lives changed drastically! Brandon spent years working on his recovery from tramatic brain injury and Furax was sold off to a man who only wanted him for security and pretty much left him tied up in a yard for six years. Furax was finally rescued by Mission K9 Rescue and the old dog, who was now mostly blind and deaf, was shown on their Facebook page in the hopes of finding Furax a good home in which to live out his years.

Incredibly, a Finley family member saw Furax and adopted him so he could be reunited with Brandon. The reunion took place on September 10, 2016. (See more photos below).

This was a very hard one to do. First and foremost because of the heartbreaking story of these two heroes whose lives have been forever altered. For me, it was also a bit stressful because I was asked to make this pillow just days before the reunion. The photo was important because it was the last photo of them together, during a major drug bust, prior to their world's changing. But it was a hard photo to convert to a stitch file. Condensing it meant few clear features are seen and human faces don't seem to work too well. My first attempt turned out terribly and was trashed. I then removed the majority of the background image to lower the stitch count. Still, it's not my best work, but I was happy to be able to send this pillow overnight to make it in time for the reunion.

And as you can see in the additional photos below, as Louisa from Mission K9 Rescue told me, Brandon just kept touching the pillow, so apparently he loved it. I have offered to do another of just Furax, for free, if Brandon wants it. However, maybe he's now just happy to have his partner returned and the pillow of the two of them together is enough?




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57. The Maverick

Maverick came to Jennifer's family after they discovered they couldn't have children. He was a wonderful, curious and smart puppy. So much so that he was brought to the hospital and counseling center with Jennifer every day to work for the first year and a half of his life. He was so popular and brought so many smiles to the staff and patients that they started researching the development of a pet therapy program. 2016 marks the second anniversary of the Beyond Words pet therapy program...designed to comfort medical and behavioral health patients, as well as their families and the staff treating them.

Unfortunately, Maverick was attacked by another dog while he was out walking with Jennifer and has since become way too protective of her; so, sadly, he cannot come to work with her any longer. These days Maverick lives a quiet life at home with his family, but he leaves the legacy of a alternative therapy program. He is truly The Maverick!

You can learn more about Maverick's inspired pet therapy program at this link: http://www.fhn.org/fhnTherapydogprogram-overview.asp


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56. LEO Amigo

I'll be sending this free Line of Duty Death (LODD) K9 Hero Pillow to Amigo's handler as a tribute to this K9 Hero's life and service to our country. The hikers he rescued suffered 'minor injuries,' but Amigo paid the ultimate price for saving their lives. I HOPE they understand and appreciate this fact! (More details below...)


POLICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Line of Duty Death: K9 Amigo

"It is with deep sadness that the Kingman Police Department (Arizona) reports that K9 Amigo paid the ultimate sacrifice and has succumbed to his injuries.”

Amigo, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois and his handlers had been on a search for two hikers who needed rescue from the top of the mountain on Wednesday; both were found and treated for minor injuries. At the same time, Amigo started to show symptoms of heat exhaustion and was rushed to a local veterinary clinic. Later that evening, he was moved to a specialized veterinary hospital in Las Vegas where he had been improving, however the report came that Amigo suffered ” a sudden medical event” and died early Saturday morning.

“This is a very sad occasion. The bond between our handlers and their dogs is very strong and the officer is devastated by the loss. While they are working dogs, these animals also become a close and important part of the individual police officer’s family as well as the rest of the KPD family. Clearly, we have lost one of our own.” stated Robert J. DeVries, Chief of Police.

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55. Jangles

[Words below from the soldier who sponsored this pillow...]

"Jangles was an Australian Shepherd. Her owner, Whitney, got her when Whitney was 15 and the only time they where apart was when Whitney went off to college. But even after being gone, they never lost their bond. Jangles was very protective, never letting strangers get too close. When people came to the door, she was always the first to be there barking...letting any would be intruders know to stay back. Even after visitors were welcomed in, she always had a watchful eye...even if she knew you. She loved Whitney very much and Whitney loved her.

"Jangles got bit by a tick and got tick fever which destroyed her liver first, then her kidneys. Whitney did all she could for about six weeks. But Jangle's kidneys never recovered. She stopped eating and drinking. They were giving her IV fluids at home to see if it would flush her kidneys out enough to recover, but sadly it didn't work. Choosing to put Jangles to rest to end the suffering was a hard decision to make, but we knew it need to be made.

"Even though Jangles was not a working dog; to me, in so many ways, she embodied every meaning of the term GUARDIAN OF THE NIGHT. Jangles was 11 years old when she passed. Rest easy sweet baby."


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54. Gracie

Gracie is still going at age 15! She lives in Canada with her family. Renee and her family adopted Gracie when she was not quite one year old as a rescue dog. Gracie is a lovely dog who loves walks, car rides and watching football with her dad. Her family is so grateful to have her in their lives. They say she is absolutely adorable and she loves her family, too. They say they couldn't have asked for a better or nicer dog. Everybody in the neighbourhood loves Gracie, too.

And as you can see from some additional pictures further below, she looks great in glasses and hats.




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53. Raven Von Hayden

Raven is my friend Debbie's dog. Debbie loves purple and she being a fellow Patriot Guard Rider, I wanted to make it special for her. Raven is still with us, but she's very sick with cancer. Sadly, Raven is also quite young. As Debbie explains..."Raven was diagnosed with lymphoma five days before her 4th birthday. She was given two weeks to two months to live. She's still here four and a half months later, but I can see the toll it's taking on her. She still has the spark in her eyes; and when I no longer see it, I will have a difficult decision to make."

This pillow was a gift to her from Judie Mindrum. Good luck, Raven! Hugs to you both...Debbie & Raven. (See Update below.)


Raven received her pillow 8/31/16...but very sadly, she crossed
The Rainbow Bridge on 9/1/16. Rest easy now, girl...no more pain!<tears>

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52. Liam

Liam has recently gone through some very rough days. His family was devastated when they learned that he was very sick. Their friend, Becki, wanted to honor Liam, so she sponsored a pillow for him, assuming he would not be around much longer and she hoped this would heal the pain that his family seemed to be heading for when they throught they'd have to say goodbye to him. But Liam would have none of it. After surgery and more tests and more meds...suddenly he started to rebound! He's doing better now and we're keeping high hopes that his rally continues.

By the way, Liam "told" his mom that he thinks the problem was simply not enough steaks in his diet! <smile>

Good luck to you, Liam...we're rooting for you that you continue to feel better and stay around for a long time yet. Oh, and we hope your mom agrees that lots of steaks is very good for you! <grin> (More pictures below.)



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51. LEO Cole

LEO Cole was with his partner, Ofc Smith, working in Peru, IL at 2am when K9 Cole was suddenly showing signs that something was terribly wrong. Ofc Smith rushed him to a vet and then an emergency clinic as his condition got worse. LEO K9 Cole was suffering from 'mesenteric torsion'...a twisting of the intestines. Mortality for this terrible illness is about 100%! Despite efforts to save Cole, very sadly by 7am, LEO K9 Hero Cole had died.

LEO K9 Cole was a male German shepherd born in 2013. He had a nose for narcotic detection, but also training in pursuit, tracking and crime scene search. Cole entered service with Peru Police Department in 2014 with Ofc Smith. Cole was a replacement for LEO K9 Kali. Kali was a female Belgian Malinois who was also previously partnered with Ofc Smith. LEO Kali was killed in a squad car accident in summer 2013 while K9 Ofc Kali and Ofc Smith were responding to an armed robbery call on the north side of Peru.

Mesenteric torsion was once thought to be a rare condition, but evidence shows it occurring with increasing incidence and occurs more commonly in German shepherds. (See this link to learn more about Mesenteric torsion: http://web-dvm.net/mesenterictorsion.html )

I'd hoped to send a free Line of Duty Death (LODD) K9 Hero Pillow to Ofc Smith to honor K9 Hero Cole, but could not find much information. Then his sister-in-law saw my request and contacted me. Charity passed me photos of Cole, gave me a mailing address and then also told me how terrible Ofc Smith was feeling because this was the second K9 partner he'd lost in a couple years. I learned about LEO K9 Kali, who was KIA. So I knew I had to send him two pillows. I just could not honor K9 Cole without also honoring his previous partner, K9 Kali.

See Kali's pillow and learn more about her below: LEO Kali


"Thank you so much for the beautiful tribute pillows for Kali and Cole. We truly appreciate your generosity and gift. We absolutely love them."

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50. LEO Kali

LEO K9 Kali was killed in August of 2013. She was Ofc Smith's first partner. After her death, Ofc Smith partnered with LEO K9 Cole, who died from a sudden and terrible illness. Read about LEO K9 Cole here: LEO Cole

K9 Ofc Kali had been with the Peru, IL Police Department for two years when Ofc Smith and K9 Kali were responding to a robbery call at a mobile phone store. Their cruiser proceeded through a red light with lights and sirens, but someone apparently not aware broadsided them. Kali was ejected and died about an hour later at an emergency animal hospital. Ofc Smith was also treated and released for his injuries.

Kali was fully trained for narcotics detection, searching and tracking. Watch LEO K9 Kali's memorial tribute video and hear her EOW call here: https://youtu.be/xrcPRkSxjh4 (Have tissue ready!)


"Thank you so much for the beautiful tribute pillows for Kali and Cole. We truly appreciate your generosity and gift. We absolutely love them."

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49. Tanner

Every K9 pillow I make for a dog who has passed is hard because I have to try not to focus on the dog too much or I'd be crying all the time when dealing with a dog's death. But this one was extremely hard and caused me to choke up nearly the entire time I was making it. Not only because poor Tanner had to be put down due to fluid filling his heart just shy of his 4th birthday, but also because Tanner was my dog's, Tango and DejaVu's, littermate brother! I saw Tanner when he was a little baby when we were meeting our neighbor's pups to decide which one(s) would come home with us. We took Deja and Tango, Candy took Tanner home. We kept in touch as they all grew up. Tanner was the biggest pup and our Tango was the next biggest. Knowing that Tanner is no longer out there breaks my heart. Rest easy now Tanner...no more pain! <tears> (More pictures below.)



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48. Misty

Misty is alive and well and living in The Netherlands with my long time friend and fellow Microsoft MVP, Hans and his family. This one was tricky because Misty has such soulful eyes...and as Hans says, "she knows how to use them." So I actually stitched this one out twice. The first time didn't do her eyes justice. Hans said it was okay, but I wasn't satisfied. So I fussed with the graphic image and got her eyes more defined, but that also messed up her actual colors a bit. However, now her eyes are better than my first try.



Misty is still alive and well and she apparently likes her pillow. Also, the other photo below shows her visiting a senior center and bringing a little joy to its residents.


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47. LEO Maverick

LEO K9 Maverick was a K9 police officer with the Topeka, KS Police Department. Very sadly, in early August, 2016, Maverick was working a training exercise, but soon after he suffered a seizure and was rushed to a vet. Tragically, this stunning K9 Officer died of a brain aneurysm. Condolences to his partner, Ofc Heusted. This free pillow will be sent to Maverick's partner/family in the hopes that it gives them some comfort to help heal the pain of Maverick's loss. You can read the complete department announcement below.

(Thank you to all who purchase pillows or donate, which allows me to make/send free pillow to K9 Heroes who are lost in the line of duty!)


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46. Roxie

I normally enjoy watching these K9 images stitch out on my machine, but this one was a bit hard for me because Roxie resembled our beloved Lexi, who cross the Rainbow Bridge a couple months ago. Plus, sweet Roxie is also fighting a serious health battle. So her friend, Becki, wanted to honor Roxie and help comfort her family with this K9 Hero Pillow. Family dogs may not receive medals for heroism, but to their families...they are heroes who help make life a wonderful journey. So to celebrate Roxie's "Happy Life," her family had a special doggie party (more pics below) to celebrate Roxie's life by showing her how special she is and for making their lives better because she's been in it. Good luck Roxie on the rest of your life's journey!

(You can keep up with Roxie's life on her "brother's" Facebook page, "Teddy the Spaz Man", it's a fun doggie page.)

UPDATE: Roxie's family received her pillow on 8/8/16. VERY sadly,
Roxie "told" her family that she was ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge
on 8/9/16. She did. Run free, Roxie...no more pain!




This was SO sweet! Shortly after receiving Roxie's pillow, the family...with the three remaining doggies...had a vaction planned. They knew it wouldn't seem the same without Roxie, so they took "Roxie" with them in the manner of her pillow.

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45. MWD Marco

MWD Marco passed away in mid May, 2016. This pillow is a gift to his adopted mom, Donna, from her friend, Louisa, who helped deliver Marco to Donna, the mother of a handler. Sadly, Marco had to have his leg amputated before he got out of service, due to severely tearing ligaments in his leg. More sadly, after years of brave service to our country, Marco passed away from cancer after only a few months in retirement. Thank you for your courage and service to our country, Marco!


Marco in retirement...which sadly wasn't long enough!


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44. LEO Donar

This is one I really like, because LEO K9 Donar is alive and well and still working with his partner, Ofc Diaz.

Loreen, master artist of The K9 Hero Portrait Project, held an auction to help sponsor the portrait she'll be painting of France's LEO K9 Hero, Diesel, who was killed during the subsequent terrorist hunt after the Paris attack. To help, I donated one K9 Hero Pillow and one of my American Flag lapghans. Ofc. Diaz offered the highest price for these items and was the winner of my donations, benefitting Diesel's portrait project. (And I'm THRILLED and didn't realize that our names will now be on the plaque presented to France with Loreen's portrait!)

Thank you Ofc. Diaz for your generous donation for these items and thank you Ofc. Diaz and K9 Donar for your courage and service to our country. Stay safe out there!

See more photos and a bio of K9 Donar below.


"Donar Marcona is a two year old German Shepherd born 6/13/14 in the Czech Republic. He came to the US at 9 months and was taken on by Officer Rich Diaz of the Salinas Police Department (CA). The K9 team attended patrol school in July of 2015. They have been working the streets of Salinas since their graduation.

"Donar is a dedicated patrol K9 focusing on tracking, searching for, locating and apprehending bad guys. He's always watching his partner's back and is always ready to protect his fellow officers and citizens of Salinas.

"While at home, Donar loves a good game of fetch. There's no such thing as a bad time to chase his ball. Meal time is the only thing better than his toys. He thinks he's a lap dog and enjoys cuddling on the couch with his family."



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43. LEO Credo

LEO K9 Credo was a LODD (Line Of Duty Death). One June 28, 2016, LEO K9 Credo succumbed to injuries sustained during a SWAT call-out involving a barricaded suspect wanted in connection with an assault with a deadly weapon investigation. The subject opened fire striking Credo. He was rushed to a local veterinary hospital where he died of his wounds. The subject was who shot him was killed by return fire from officers on scene. Credo was a 4 yr old Belgian Malinois who served the department for 2 yrs along side his handler Ofc Mike Parcells. Credo worked Patrol & Narcotics and was involved in over 30 apprehensions.

Condolences can be sent to: Police Chief Robert G. Luna, Long Beach Police Dept, 400 W. Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802

This pillow was donated by Dian Chapman. Thank you for your courage LEO K9 Hero Credo, rest in peace.


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42. LEO Rakkar

Michael sponsored this pillow to surprise his wife, Anne, with this favorite image of their adopted LEO K9, Rakkar, who passed away in 2015. They run K9 Hero Haven. Rakkar was their own adopted K9. Rakkar was a Belgian Malinois who worked as a Police K9 in Ashville, NC from Aug 2006-Oct 2012. He was trained in narcotics detection, human tracking and apprehension. Michael and Anne adopted him in 2014. Rakkar was born 5/16/2003 and sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 8/24/2015. He could always be found with his kong ball, he even slept with it in his mouth. LEO K9 Rakkar had a great work record and was a wonderful companion after retirement.


"We recieved the pillow and it is wonderful. Here is a pic of it on Rakkar's shelf, its his own little memorial. And thank you for the card, it means a lot."

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41. MWD Rico

Many of you will remember MWD Rico from the touching stories of his final day and funeral in the summer of 2016. Rico was a Marine Sergeant K9 who served two tours in Afghanistan. He was part of more than 240 missions and survived some 30 firefights. Rico lived for 12.5 years.

When it was time for Rico to retire, his soldier/partner asked his parents to adopt him as the soldier was still serving. Danielle sponsored one pillow to honor her husband's partner, MWD Rico. However, when I read the stories of how close Rico became with the soldier's dad who adopted him, I knew I needed to donate a second pillow for the father. The dad, who was a retired Marine, was initially a bit concerned about adopting a military K9, knowing the dog had also been trained for security. But they quickly bonded. Both the dad and the soldier helped the elderly Rico to his final rest.

When it was time to make the pillows, Danielle and I agreed that I would make one red with gold lettering, to go to the soldier. These Marine colors (scarlet/gold) would honor their service together. And the more naturally matching black pillow would go to the dad, to honor their retirement time together.

"We got the pillows yesterday. My father in law cried when he saw them. Beautiful work."


“There was not a moment when it wasn’t his mission or his goal to be by my side. I was everything to him. And he was everything to me,” Beckley Jr. told 24 Hour News 8 Friday.


'Friday, after more than a year apart, Beckley Jr. was finally reunited with Rico. The patriotic pup retired from the service in 2012, and has living with Beckley’s parents. But it isn’t hard to see — Rico is in poor health. Time has slowly taken its toll on him. So on Saturday morning, the Beckley family made the difficult decision to put him down — and say their final farewell.'


'What followed was a true military send-off. Russ Jr. lowered the American flag to half-staff. Visitors paid their respects at a homemade memorial. And then, father and son — both dressed in their Marine blues — carried out the war dog in a flag-draped coffin.

'The Beckley’s are a four-generation Marine Corps family — five, if you count Rico. Russ Jr. earned a Purple Heart in 2011 after he was injured in combat.

'Immediately after the service, the family drove Rico to Grand Rapids to be cremated. They plan to create a special place to honor him inside their home.'

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40. Playa May

Playa was a beloved family dog. Poor Playa had to wait some time to have her pillow made, since many Hero dogs became priority before I could make time to get to her pillow. And then I had to wait before showing these, since the pillow was a surprise from Playa's parents' mom. They loved the pillow! Details about Playa May below...


"Playa May was born May 11th 2005. Her name came from the place we were married on May 12th 2005, Playa Del Carmen, we didn't get to pick her only because she was the last in the litter to be had. But we certainly got the best. She trained easily and learned all the tricks, the best being the bark after you showed her the Hook Em Horns sign for UT. She most loved swimming in our pool and did it as a puppy, she was the first to jump in even as construction was still underway. We played all kinds of tennis ball games with her, and she loved it. In November of 2013 we noticed a lump on her neck and after biopsy found out our sweet girl had high grade lymphoma. Treatment with steroids was the option we chose. We loved on her even more everyday until she passed with dignity on January 8th 2014. Not a day goes by that we don't miss her."

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39. MWD Lucas

In 2016, MWD Lucas is 10 yrs old and is enjoying retirement with his mom, an active duty vet tech serving our country in Germany and caring for our K9 Heroes. In fact, that's how she and Lucas met. Sally cared for Lucas after meeting him in 2013. When Lucas was retired, Sally said she was "given an amazing opportunity to adopt him in 2014." They currently enjoy each other's company as Sally continues to serve our country in Germany. Sally says Lucas loves to play ball and go for walks with her.


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38. MWD Tasli

In 2016, MWD Marine Sgt Tasli is 10 yrs old and enjoying retirement, since 2013, with his "girlfriend," Golden Retriever Gracie. Sgt. Tasli served one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan with his partner and dad, Soldier "Erik." Tasli was part of the MEF III unit, explosive detection dog. Sgt Tasli was initially trained at Lackland Airforce Base as a puppy. He was a quick study and was soon sent to war. Now that he is retired, he loves spending time with Gracie. She helped him settle into civilian life, as he was very apprehensive at first to live in a home. Tasli now follows Gracie everywhere and they can be seen sitting close to one another wherever they may be. He is very protective of her and he is enjoying his retirement years. Be sure to look below for some great photos of Tasli (and Erik) serving our country and also enjoying his retirement. This pillow was a Father's Day surprise for Soldier Erik from his mom and Tasli.

"Thank you so much for the pillow that you recently sent me of my K9 partner Tasli! We served two tours together in Afghanistan in the Marine Corps. It came out beautifully! Thank you!"






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37. CWD Narnia

CWD Narnia went to Iraq at the age of just one. She was then transferred directly to Afghanistan. Narnia's mom, Courtney, met her when she was five, in Kabul. Sadly, Narnia was suffering from PTSD and refused to work. Courtney also suffers from PTSD, so they formed an instant bond. The kennel master told Courtney that if she could get her out of the country, she could keep her. It turned out that there were six retired dogs that also needed a way home, so those involved managed to get them all out.

"Narnia has been my best friend ever since! She's ten now and unfortunately slowing down. She still gets scared at thunder and guns shots on TV, but she has gotten better than she was. And with her support, my PTSD has eased, too. I love this girl with all my heart."


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36. MWD Stormy (Vietnam)

This one is a very special pillow and I was honored to make it. It was given to Ron Aiello, the founder of US War Dogs Assn. Ron was a Marine in Vietnam and a dog handler. He was upset about how war dogs were treated after their service, so he started US War Dogs Assn to help make sure MWDs (Military Working Dogs) are treated with the respect they deserve during and after their service and also to help with various care package, medicines, service awards and so much more. Ron is one of the best advocates MWDs have!

So when his wife, Judy, asked if she could sponsor a surprise pillow for me to make of Stormy to give Ron for Father's Day, I jumped at the chance to honor Stormy, his partner in Vietnam...just as Loreen Pantaleone, master K9 artist and founder of the K9 Hero Portrait Project, did when she painted a portrait of Stormy for Ron. She used B/W photos of Stormy from the era and created a color masterpiece. And good thing, because she sent me a digital copy of the portrait (below) so I could use it to digitize within my embroidery software to turn out a wonderful image of beautiful K9 Hero, Stormy. And Ron loves it. See further below for photographic proof. <smile>



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35. CWD FEMA Sage

CWD FEMA Sage served at Ground Zero after 9/11. She helped after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and also searched for missing teen, Natalee Holloway and even helped locate terrorists' remains from Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon. Sage and her partner, Diane, served together searching for missing soldiers in Iraq 2007-2008. After Sage's passing, Diane created the Sage Foundation, in honor of her partner and hero, Sage...to pay it forward to help other "Dogs Who Serve." You can find out more about the Sage Foundation on their Facebook page or at their web site: http://sagefoundationfordogs.org/ Special thanks to Helen Grant for sponsoring this pillow.


"The pillow came today and it's absolutely beautiful!!! I can't thank you enough! Oh, and I noticed that you are a Guard Rider and thought you might like this. When Sage died, the PGA escorted her cremains in a side car down main street led by the Roswell PD, Fire Rescue, State Police and Chaves Co. Sheriffs Dept. At the church, she was met with a flag line and over 200 people came to her service. The Army was there to do the flag folding ceremony and to play taps. Governor Susanna Martinez declared the day "Sage Day" throughout the state and flags we flown at half staff."

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34. LEO Bruno

Most everyone in the K9 community will remember LEO K9 Bruno of the Anaheim Police Department. Bruno was shot, taking the bullets to save his partner, Ofc Young. Details went viral as Bruno went through surgery and pictures of him with a jaw brace were heartwrenching. But Bruno survived and it looked like he would enjoy his retirement. But after a time, Bruno became very ill due to complications from his injuries. When it was clear that Bruno would have to cross the Rainbow Bridge, I've been told that Ofc. Young asked the Vet to help him go while in the back of a squad vs in a sterile vet room, in the arms of his beloved partner. Special thanks to Helen Grant and Michelle O'Brien for their generous donations to sponsor Bruno's pillow, which will also help pay it forward to a future LEO K9 Hero.


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33.MWD Sara

MWD Sara passed away in spring 2016.


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32. LEO Thor

LEO Thor was MWD Barri's "brother"...both living with Krystal and, very sadly, both passing away within a short time of each other. Thor was battling cancer when his fight ended in May, 2016. Having two heroes lost in a short time, I knew I had to also memorialize Thor with a pillow after Barri's was finished.


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31. MWD Barri

Navy MWD, PEDD Barri passed away in spring, 2016. This pillow was made for Krystal, Barri's mom, as a gift from her friend Louisa.


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30. LEO Viper

On May 6, 2016, LEO K9 Viper passed.

The Norwalk, OH Police Department released the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that we, the men and women of the Norwalk Police Department, announce the passing of our beloved K9 and fellow officer, Viper. We ask that you keep the NPD family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time; especially Viper's best friend and partner, Officer Jared Ferris and his family. Rest in peace Viper, you are loved and missed."


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29.MWD Sinner (Vietnam)

All my dog pillows are special and each dog ends up in a special place in my heart once I've watched their faces appear to me on these pillows. But this one was unique because it was the first Vietnam K9 I've been able to honor. My brother was a Marine in Vietnam, who was KIA. All those who have served are special to me, but especially those who served in Nam and dealt with how this country treated them back then! Sadly, our Military Working Dogs were not treated any better then! They were simply considered "equipment." Most all were either put down after the war, assuming they were too dangerous to live out retirement with a family, or worse...most were left in Vietnam! (Breaks my heart!) This is the only picture that Veteran Gary had of his beloved partner, MWD Sinner. It was my honor to help pay tribute to this K9 Hero.


Gary sent me this wonderful picture and a very sweet and touching card, as well as a fantastic Vietnam Dog Handler Assn patch for my Patriot Guard biker vest. He was thrilled with his pillow "like a kid at Christmas" and gave me a very meaningful thank you.

To Gary...I'm so glad my work helped your heart heal some! Dian ~

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28.LEO Gazza

LEO Gazza was a police dog in New Zealand who was shot in the line of duty. Thankfully, K9 Hero Portrait Project artist, Loreen Pantaleone, was able to obtain the mailing address, as well as Gazza's partner's name, so I could make a pillow to honor this Hero K9. Special thanks to Judie Mindrum, who donated to this pillow to cover the costly overseas shipping costs. (News report below pictures.)


NZ News report:

"Police dog Gazza has been officially farewelled today after he was shot and killed on duty last week (April 2016). Draped in a New Zealand flag and a police hat on top of him, police have paid tribute to their four-legged friend and colleague. "His job was to obey, serve and protect. This he bravely did." The four-year-old German shepherd was shot dead in Porirua on Friday by Pita Tekira, a man police had been searching for since the start of April. Tekira had broken out of his electronically monitored bracelet in Hawke's Bay and was wanted on a number of charges.

"During a search of a property in Kokiri Cres, Gazza was fatally shot while a police officer, who was not Gazza's handler, jumped out a second-storey window to escape Tekira. Following an overnight standoff with police at a separate address, Tekira was found dead in the upper level having barricaded the second storey. Gazza was the seventh dog to be fatally shot since 1972, but the 24th to be killed on duty. His legacy will live on, however, with his nephews and nieces being born as part of the police dog breeding programme."

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27. MWD Buddy

Buddy's mom, Tracy, provided his bio...(below the pictures)


I flew to Lackland AFB to adopt Buddy on April 15, 2010 and flew him home with me. My son is a graduate of the Air Force Academy '08 and his roomates father is a pilot with Continental Airlines. He helped make sure that all airports we flew into knew that they had a veteran onboard and to treat him with respect. I live in Michian.

It took about 4 months to bring him around to get the hint he did not have to work any longer. When I first brought him home, I remember that he sat down in the garage in front of a shelf unit and would not budge to come indoors. What had happened was that my son had left some ammunition on the shelf and Buddy was still on duty, trying to alert me to his "find". I have 2 other dogs when he entered our home and it was these 2 who taught him how to play and just be a dog. Buddy's favorite way to play was to roll onto his back with all 4's up in the air and wait until I or anyone else would come and rough house with him a bit.

Buddy was diagnosed with two cancerous masses. One was in his Pancreous and the other was around his heart causing him breathing difficulties. With the progression of time, Buddy's back end and hips became more and more an issue for him. At the end he could stand only for short amounts of time and would fall without warning. The cold weather played havoc on his breathing issues. I had to make the decision to end his suffering on Dec. 29th, 2012.

Buddy was the dog that some dog people refer to as my "heart" dog. He captured my heart and he had eyes that seemed to peer into my soul and touch me in the deepest parts of my heart. He was my constant guardian and protector, ever on duty and always at my side. I have lost many pets over the years but the bond and the loyalty that he showed me is something I have never experienced before. He has left an enormous hole in my heart that constantly aches to see him, hug him and be at his side. I only pray that I was worthy of his devotion and the incredible love he gave me. The thought that helped my aching heart is that he is now totally healed. No longer in pain. He can run and run to his hearts desire. But the one thing I am SURE of is that Heaven has a new angel guarding its gates and that one day we will be reunited because our time together on Earth was much to short.

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26. CJ & Dallas

Becki from the K9 community saw my pillows and sponsored three, one each for some of her good friends. This is CJ & Dallas, buddies and beloved members of the family. This was also my first doggie double pillow.


Becki's gift to CJ & Dallas' mom arrived safely and she LOVES IT!

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25. Osiris

Becki from the K9 community saw my pillows and sponsored three, one each for some of her good friends. This is Osiris, a beloved member of the family.


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24. Molly

Becki from the K9 community saw my pillows and sponsored three, one each for some of her good friends. This is Molly, a beloved member of the family.


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23. Service K9 Chevy

After chatting with the soldier about Cody & Karma (#22 below), I learned that he's a wounded soldier currently residing in Bethesda with his Service K9, Chevy. Once I learned this, I just had to offer to make a free pillow for him of his service K9, which he happily accepted. This is Chevy, a Service K9 Hero, watching over and helping his wounded soldier.


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22. Cody & Karma

A soldier requested and paid for two pillows of his family dogs as a surprise for his wife. (Yes, I edited out Cody's tongue. This was a favorite picture, but he asked if I could modify it, which I did.)



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21. LEO Binkie

Binkie was Officer McClelland's first partner, whose ashes now reside in a memorial in their home. Binkie was a Mal/Mastiff. I love his name. I love his name, kinda like calling the big biker...Tiny.

LEO Binkie was flown in from Germany and graduated the NAPWDA K-9 academy in 2003. Binkie worked for the City of New Lexington, OH, from March 24, 2003 until January 1, 2007. During this time Binkie assisted in seizing narcotics, tracking and apprehending wanted suspects, assisted with barricaded suspects, and performed demos for the public. On January 1, 2007 Binkie transferred to the Marietta (OH) Police Department where Binkie worked until he fell ill in August of 2007. On January 1, 2009 Binke passed away due to his illness.


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20. LEO Robby

If you attended the 2016 Police Magazine Convention in Las Vegas, Robby and Matt were part of your security team.

At age 2, K9 Robby, a Belgian Malinois, came to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in April of 2009 from Holland. Once he arrived, Robby began his training as one of the department’s bomb dogs; his training also covered criminal apprehension and patrol work.

On Tuesday, March 15, during a veterinary visit, doctors determined that there was a mass in his throat which was inoperable.

K9 Robby was partnered with Senior K9 Specialist Deputy Max Anderson who served his country as a Security Police K9 Officer in the United States Air Force for 16 years, and after retirement joined the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in 2013. During their successful partnership at The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, K9 Robby’s primary responsibility was the safety and security of thousands of people during large public and private events. K9 Robby’s astonishing career also included capturing a number of criminals attempting to evade law enforcement. Just last week Team Robby and Max, while working patrol, assisted in capturing a thief who had stolen a motorcycle, and also captured a home invasion suspect.

RIP K9 Robby EOW 03-16-16 — Miss you buddy!

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department stated that in lieu of flowers, that donations can be made to provide vests to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit in the name of K-9 Robby. You can forward your support to the Richland County Sheriff’s Foundation, PO Box 1182 Columbia, South Carolina 29202.


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19. MWD Quick

MWD Quick is currently deployed (as of April 2016) in the Middle East with his soldier. He learned about my pillows through the US War Dog Facebook group and asked for a pillow to honor his partner. It'll be sent to his mom until they both return home safely! His shipping costs were covered by a donation from a friend who loves MWDs and also works with Veterans. Here's a little info about Quick from his soldier...who said the pillow is AWESOME.

"MWD Quick, born December 2009. He has been working his entire life. Quick has been on 3 deployments over seas serving as a single purpose explosive detection dog. Quick and I have been together for 3 years now. I would say that every time we went out, I came back safely because of him. He is truly a hero."


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18. CWD Zorro

(It's a bit hard to see, but Zorro's pillow is on dark, brown/redish faux fur.)

"OMG! It's beautiful.

Zorro was a mine detection dog in Afghanistan. He spent his life over there working often times seven days a week. His kennel master told me that because of his drive and disposition he was the best. He said that if all of the dogs he got were like Zorro he would never have an issue. He loved people and he loved to work.

He arrived in the US in September of 2014. When he arrived he presented with massive nose bleeds. After many tests it was determined that he had severe liver damage. I decided that it was best if he live out his life with me. At the time, I felt like I was helping him. In reality, I fell madly in love with him. I only had him a year, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. He was a hero in Afghanistan. He saved lives over there, but in America he made mine better."


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17. LEO Boyd

You may remember Ofc Hickey of Marietta, OH, who fought for (and won) adoption of his partner Ajax versus having him auctioned off. This is Boyd, his previous partner who was retired and living with Ofc Hickey and his family. A good friend of theirs was kind enough to reply to my K9 Hero Pillow request and also furnished me with a wonderful bio to learn about Boyd.

K-9 Boyd was born in December 2001 at Officer Matt Hickey's house, he came from a litter of 8. His father was K-9 Marco who was Marietta PD's first K-9. Marco came from Germany, he was a police k-9 and got injured in Germany on duty, he was sent to the United States where he was partnered with Officer Hickey. Boyd was the only K-9 out of the litter who tested and passed the police K-9 academy. He worked on the road from 2003-2012. During his career Boyd had many apprehensions and a large amount of narcotics seizures. He assisted many departments including the highway patrol and other surrounding agencies. Boyd retired in 2013 and was able to enjoy his last few years. He had a stroke in 2015 and his health continued to decline. He passed peacefully with now retired Officer Hickey, his wife Sandra, and friends at his side. He passed 3/15/16.


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17. Maggie May & Lucy Lou

These were my personal gifts to wonderful neighbors of two Goldens who I love and were also the first human and K9 friends we met when we moved here in 2010. I love seeing Maggie and Lucy taking their daily walk by our house. But now they are both 11, having been together since pups. Sadly, Maggie is now blind and Lucy is suffering from bone cancer that is taking its toll on her teeth. Bill & Linda are the type of neighbors everyone wishes they had, so I felt the need to honor their sweet girls with pillows.

"I can't begin to thank you enough for the wonderful pillows of our "Golden Girls." I treasure them!


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16. CWD Rico

CWD Rico passed away in March, 2016. Rico was born Jan 2004 and served in Iraq working contracts with Baghdad Embassy Security Forces and TWISS. His handler was Darrian Parham, American K9. He served with the Army and Marines at Camp Prosperity. Rico retired and lived with a family who loved him very much. He was a Tervuren, a Belgium Sheepdog. The pillow itself was made using donated black faux fur. (And, although the photo makes the pillow look quite large, it was approximately the same size as all the pillows I make for our Hero K9s.)

"How totally awesome is this!!! Thank you so very much Dian Chapman, Judie Mindrum, and Rondi Fahey for all the love and support you have given me over these last few weeks to make sure I had a few things to hold on to of my precious Rico! Thank you will never be enough!"


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15. MWD Chef

MWD Chef was a "Navy man," which is why his mom asked that his name be in blue, a color I had been using for LEO K9s. Plus, she said he always looked good in blue. I'd also recently been gifted with a bunch of faux fur fabric, so I gave it a shot at his mom's request. It was a little trickier to handle, but it worked out well and was well worth the extra effort. And now she can "pet" the pillow as well as hug it. Chef passed away awhile ago in retirement.

"Look what came in the mail while I was gone this week. Hand made with love by Dian Chapman! Simply amazing and stunning. My son Jordan says "that's sick!"" (Urban Lingo: That's Sick = that's exceptionally cool.<g>)


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14. SAR Anna

SAR (Search And Rescue) K9 Anna passed away several years ago. But her mom/partner saw my pillows and commissioned one to honor Anna. Anna was one of the brave SAR K9 who worked Ground Zero just after 9/11. Anna helped locate a couple of Firefighter victims. Very sadly, Anna became a 9/11 victim about 10 months later when she passed due to illnesses she acquired from working at the site.

"The Pillow arrived. Oh wow. How beautiful. Makes me have tears. God blessed you with a wonderful and healing talent. Thank you so much."


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13. LEO Aren

LEO Aren worked for the Port Authority of Alleghency County Police Dept, PA. Aren was stabbed to death while trying to apprehend a criminal on Jan 31, 2016. Thankfully, I saw an address for Condolences, so I was able to make this pillow to send to Aren's partner/family.


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12. LEO Kobus

LEO Kobus was a Police K9 for the Omaha Police Department. Kobus was KIA in January 2016. The Omaha PD finally replied to my plea for contact info and sent me Kobus' partner's name and mailing address, so I was able to make a Hero Pillow to honor this brave K9 and mail this pillow to his family.


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11. MWD Jukon

Jukon was a Patrol/Explosives dog for the US Air Force. Bak's family (Bak was another MWD who passed, see below) commissioned this pillow for their friends and fellow retired Hero K9 family...Jukon's family.

"I went out to check on the mail and when I saw the box, I knew I was going to do some crying. Oh, yes. When Jukon's name is put before me I lose it. But it all centers around love, love can make you cry and it's a good thing. I promise. A loving gift from the Peirsol family honoring Jukon, a pillow made by Dian Chapman. His beautiful face right there with a way to hug him when the pain of missing him is just too much that day. Dian, it's beautiful! I love it. I cried so hard and had this to hold and be comforted with. Who knew something could help so much?"



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10. Chomper

This one wasn't a war dog or a police dog...this was a beloved childhood family dog. A mom saw my pillows and wanted a special gift for her grown daughter. She always called her pet "Chomper Dog." Her mom said, she cried when she saw her gift! It was a hard picture to do because Chomper was so dark. But blue shading did help, although it didn't show up well in the pictures

"Finally got to deliver the pillow, she loved it! She caressed it, then cried, then hugged it! She said how it looked so much like him even knew which picture was used. She commented how the blue created his shadow! She loved it. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!"


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9. My Dog Sample

Sadly, although I've made several attempts to contact handlers of the many K9s KIA or passed to date in 2016, only Jethro and Jojo's family replied, so I haven't been able to make more Hero Pillows to honor more K9s. Since I had time, I decided to make a wall hanging for myself of my favorite picture of our pups...to show off what my machine and software can do. I'll soon frame this image of my pups. Although I hope to honor K9 Heroes, I do know that, although all dogs may not be heroes to our country, many are heroes to their families.


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8. LEO Jojo

K9 Sheriff Officer Jojo was from San Bernardino and was involved with the search in the aftermath of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. However, very tragically, while Jojo was training with his partner, he choked and died in January, 2016. His partner tried desperately to save Jojo, but was unable to clear his throat. Jojo's police department successfully replied to my Facebook request to honor him. So this pillow was sent off to his partner in the hopes it helps a bit for his heart to heal.

"Thank you so much for such a thoughtful gift Dian, we know you didn't have to and we truly appreciate it."


In April, I received this very nice Thank You card from JoJo's Family.
I'm happy to know they DID successfully receive the pillow.

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7. MWD Emir

Emir was a Military Hero who was in retirement and actually passed awhile ago. But his "brother," Uli, who not only trained with Emir at Lackland, but also ended up in the same retirement home...recently passed. When more than one K9 Hero lives in the same home, it's only fair to make sure their family has pillows for all who have passed. So I just made this pillow to honor Emir. Their mom said that she will display both Emir's and Uli's pillow at Uli's Military K9 Memorial in March/2016.


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6. LEO Lakota

Lakota was a police officer K9. A few years back, he and his partner were involved in a terrible crash that literally cut their cruiser in two! Lakota suffered several terrible injuries, but surgeries saved him. However, he had to retire, which he did...living with his partner, who also survived the crash. Lakota was nominated for Law Enforcement K9 of the year. Sadly, he passed away at the end of 2015.

"We received this beautiful pillow today from an awesome [Lakota] fan! Thank You so much! We love it!!!"


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5. MWD Uli

Uli was a military dog who was in retirement with his Army veteran mom. Age started to take his health and he very sadly passed in February 2016. Emir (further above) was not only his "brother in training" but also lived together in retirement. Both their pillows were displayed at Uli's memorial help at their local VFW in March 2016.

"Uli's beautiful memory pillow. Thank You Dian Chapman, its amazing and will be treasured forever."



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4. MWD Bak

Bak was an MWD who was in retirement with a loving Army family. In February, 2016, he became very ill and was rushed to the vet. Although they tried hard to save him, he very sadly passed. Bak was known as a ball-aholic, so even his hero portrait was painted with balls at his side. So, rather than using his official military photo, I found a perfect shot with his beloved tennis ball.

"My family has a tactile reaction to hugging the Bak pillow you made. It is REAL. The release of pain is REAL. You have NO IDEA how your talents and kindness heal them. Thank you."


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3. LEO Jethro

Jethro was a Police Officer K9 who was killed in the line of duty, January 2016, while trying to apprehend a criminal who severely wounded Jethro. He passed away the next day. So sad...his funeral was the day of what would have been his 3rd Birthday.

"My daughter was out of town and just got back this morning. I saved it for her to open. She just opened it a bit ago and loves it. She is sleeping on the couch holding it now! Thank you!"

UPDATE: August, 2016...the scumbag who shot Jethro was given 45 years in jail! Glad you got some justice, Jethro.


Baby K9 Hero Jethro

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2. MWD Alik

Shortly after Carlos, Alik's "brother," passed away from age and several illnesses, his "brother" at home with Ruby's family, Military Working Dog Alik suddenly became ill and passed only a few months later. This second loss was an obvious blow to his family.

"My Angel Alik's pillow arrived today. I have been holding it and staring at his handsome face. Now, Carlos and Alik's pillows sit side by side on my dresser so their faces are the last thing I will see before I shut out the light. Words really can't tell you how much my heart says Thank You. You have given me such special healing gifts."


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1. CWD Carlos, 2013 Military Hero Dog of the Year

When I was first learning about military dogs, I discovered Carlos and a Facebook plea to help pay for his much needed surgery. I made a donation and eventually became friends with his retirement owner, Ruby. Carlos was one of the most special K9s to me and it hurt a LOT when he finally succumbed to his health issues. You can see a video of Carlos' Hero Dog Award video here: https://vimeo.com/81285780

Carlos was my first pillow attempt.

"I am crying. I got my pillow and am holding Carlos tightly against my chest. Tears won't stop falling. You did something so special for me. How can I ever tell you how much it means to me or ever repay you?"


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