Years ago as I started to compile my Life List (the list of random and exciting things I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime) I call it a Life List instead of a "bucket list" because bucket list just seems morbid...
One of my Life List goals was "painting a police dog". I left the goal a little vague because sometimes making the goals too specific can put too much strain on the goal.
Fast forward a few years... I worked part time at a Paint and Sip business in town and met a women (Hi Maureen!) who connected me to a non profit organization called Washoe County K9 Partners. "The organization focuses on raising money to provide needed equipment, gear, and training above the standard equipment the agencies provide. For example, bullet proof vests, bite suits and other training equipment, GPS collars and drones for tracking, state of the art dog “boxes” for the vehicles, and training seminars when agencies can’t afford to send their teams." -Washoe County K9 partners
How awesome is that?! I had no idea an organization like this even existed! I fell in love with this group and what they work so hard to do.
After attending a few board meetings and learning about the upcoming retiring K-9's (Cezar and Rony) I was thrilled they accepted my offer to paint their portraits and WCK9 partners asked if I would present the portraits to the officers at their annual gala in 2019. I was a ball of nerves (public speaking or groups of people... Yikes!). Handing over the two portraits to their officers and shaking their hands, thanking them for their service for our community has been a huge honor highlight for me! I was not only able to check off "painting a police dog" off my life list but I learned a lot about what goes into, buying, training a K9 and the bond they have with their handlers. Since painting Cezar and Rony I have also painted Murphy! Hoping I can continue this tradition and maybe paint other retired service dogs in other communities if the opportunities arise!
Murphy, Cezar, and Rony all retired for different reasons but the value of their contributions in our community are immeasurable. Here are some facts about these incredible k9s!
Cezar and Deputy Daniel- "Cezar’s ability to perform at a high level in all areas made him a great asset to the Sheriff’s Office. His high level of control made him a crowd favorite during public demonstrations, allowing him to serve as a true ambassador between the public and law enforcement." - WCK9 Partners
Rony and Sergeant Jason- "Rony has an incredible crime-fighting record that includes taking millions of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs off the street, apprehending dangerous fugitives, and recovering evidence to assist with investigations."-WCK9 Partners
Murphy and Frankie Gamboa- "Murphy is a high drive Springer Spaniel born in Ireland. He has been instrumental in seizing thousands of pounds of narcotics traveling through Nevada. When he inst working he likes to play with children and the family boxer."- WCKP Partners
Murphy's retirement ceremony at the Barks and Badges event where I presented his watercolor portrait to his handler and family.
A special thanks for Washoe County K9 Partners for all the time and amazing events they host each year to help raise money for our local K9's. Such a fantastic group of volunteers and I am beyond grateful for this opportunity!
Check our Washoe County K9 Partners Facebook page for upcoming events, meet and greets with the K9's, or to donate to this great cause!