Welcome to the new K9 Memorial UK website

Our story

We thought that this would be a great opportunity to tell the story of how our journey began to those of you who are new to us.

I had always dreamed about being Police Dog Handler, since I saw a Police Dog van go flying past me when i was 13.

I joined Essex Police in 1987, and spent the next 13 years learning to be a cop, applying and failing to join the dog section many times. I finally succeeded in 2000, probably the best day in my life.

Sabre

My first ‘partner’ was Sabre, who was quickly nicknamed ‘Mr Sibbs’. We attended the dog school at Mount Browne in Surrey for our initial 13 week course, and what a ball we had. It was a paid hobby. I loved it. And I loved Mr Sibbs. He was my best buddy.

We returned to Essex and began working (if you could call it that). Our relationship began to grow. But it was becoming increasingly apparent that he wasn’t going to be the bravest of Police Dogs. That didn’t bother me. I was still so proud of him and we were a team, trusting and relying on each other.

But there is always an elephant in the room. One day I would lose him….

Then that day arrived, I was at my sister’s wedding. The day before I’d taken him to the vets as he had been a bit under the weather. So I’d asked the kennel girls to keep an eye on him.

During the afternoon I got ‘that’ call that every handler dreads.

“We’re so sorry Paul, we didn’t have any option.” They had taken him to the vets and found he had cancer and his spleen had ruptured. It was the kindest thing not to bring him round from the anaesthetic. It still haunts me to this day that I wasn’t with him when he went.

Starting K9 Memorial

I was heartbroken.

My world had fallen apart. I used to sit in his kennel and smell his blanket just to try to be close to him.

As time went by, I wanted to find a way to remember him. But in the U.K there was only a plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum.

I thought that our Police Dogs deserved to much more so I teamed up with Essex sculptor John Doubleday and we began our journey to create a memorial that reflects the remarkable service and sacrifice that our Police Dogs give.

5 Replies to “Welcome to the new K9 Memorial UK website”

  1. It’s a great story. I love dogs as you do & totally agree with what you are doing. I have spnsored a couple of people fund-raising for the sculpture. I also follow you on twitter. It’s always sad when you announce that a dog has died but as you say they will be remembered. Fantastic work.
    Sheila.

  2. Dear Paul, thank you for sharing your story, especially hearing about Mr Sibbs. Never easy losing a best friend but losing a partner as well must be incredibly difficult.
    Thank you and your team so much for sorting out a beautiful memorial for these wonderful dogs, they give the job their all so a memorial is a fitting tribute to them all.
    Stay safe out there!

  3. Tissues were needed! Thank you for sharing your story. I think this is a fabulous chance for stories to be shared and people like me – who love to follow the work done by the police, dog handlers & their dogs – to be a part of what you do and say thank you. The bond you share is unbreakable, the work you do is amazing so thank you is all that can be said.

  4. I had the pleasure of sharing those memories with you and Mr Sibbs in 2000 and what great memories they are. Thanks for all your hard work in making the memorial buddy.

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