Sergeant pens poignant good-bye to his K9 companion

K9's last ride
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On Saturday, the Massachusetts State Police shared a sergeant’s final good-bye to his K9 companion. The touching letter, written by Sgt. Erik F. Ramsland, is written for K9 Dozer, who was set free from his suffering, after a battle with cancer.

Ramsland wrote of “Dozer’s Last Ride,”

We regret to inform you of the passing of K-9 Dozer, partner of Sgt. Erik Ramsland.

K-9 Dozer was born in the Netherlands on April 14, 2004 and joined the Massachusetts State Police on June 9, 2006. Dozer completed NESPAC Basic Patrol School with K-9 Britt, Dakar, Nanuk, Frankie, and Tyco (Greenfield PD), which was taught by Lt Jerry Molet. Dozer went on to complete NESPAC narcotic detection school, taught by Sgt. Stephen Smith (ret). Upon graduation, Dozer took over for K-9 Wolf, allowing him to enjoy retirement.

Dozer had a long and productive career spanning over nine years, answering well over a thousand calls for service for the citizens of the Commonwealth. Dozer was a motivated and hard-working dog, who wanted nothing more than to work. Dozer located many illegal narcotics, wanted persons, lost adults, and missing children during his career.


The recount of Dozer’s accomplishments continued:

Dozer was a social dog and performed in many public demonstrations. Dozer was kind to children and adults alike, and seemed to enjoy the affection he received. Conversely, Dozer showed no hesitation, nor mercy, on those that chose to take the hard way, and he was forced to apprehend.

As Dozer grew older, his drive never slowed, but his body started to show his age. Long tracks were followed by slow starts in the morning. Jumping in and out of cruiser windows, got a little slower. In November of 2013, Dozer was joined by K-9 Vlk.

Dozer and Vlk got along great. They played together and worked together. After Vlk completed Patrol School, Dozer and Vlk worked together daily. Vlk did most of the patrol calls, and Dozer performed all of the narcotic calls. After Vlk completed narcotic detection school, Dozer and Vlk continued to work together. The younger Vlk had youth and enthusiasm at his side. Dozer however, had wisdom and experience to guide him. The two made a great team.

Dozer successfully recertified for patrol duties for one more year, and narcotic duties for two more years. Then, one day in the fall of 2015, Dozer decided not to go to work. He did not want to get into his cruiser. He chose to take his first day off in 9 years. Dozer never did a call after that day. He drove around in the cruiser a few times, going to court or to a meeting, which he enjoyed, but he decided it was time to retire.
Dozer spent his retirement trying to be a house dog. He moved from the kennel, to the garage, to the house. His days were spent bringing all the sticks and logs from the woods to the yard. Every stick. Every log. In between, he napped in the sun, or the shade, depending on the temperature. Often in the flower gardens. Nights were spent with his family. Dozer was always with his family, never alone.

With an explanation of the enemy this courageous dog was unable to defeat:

In the end, it was cancer. The dog that would never quit, would not quit. But now, it was a fight to live.
Dozers last ride in his cruiser was to the Veterinary Surgery Center of Sturbridge, where Dr. Paul McCarthy eased him of his suffering. Dozer passed away in his cruiser, with his family, and those that loved him. Dozer was brought home and laid to rest next to K-9 Wolf.
Play time my friend, you have earned it.

(Photos via Massachusetts State Police FB page)

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  1. So sorry for your loss. Beautiful guy! So hard to lose a pet, but he was so much more. What a great loss for his community too.

  2. Dozer had a long stellar career and by the sounds of it a life filled with love. My condolences to Dozer’s partner Sgt. Erik F. Ramsland, his family and fellow police officers, I know he will be missed. Another brave K-9 watching over our pups at the Rainbow Bridge. Rest in peace beautiful boy you have earned it.

  3. Run free Dozer, with the health of a puppy. No more cancer, no more pain, no more tirednessess. You served the world with all you had, never faltering, never hesitating. Your humans loved you dearly, you were such an important family member. You are missed and will forever be. The world is do proud of you, and your hard work is so appreciated.

  4. Sooo sorry I feel the sadness in your heart ❤️ know he is with you always
    Time heals all wounds prayersRIP my Friend????????????????????????????????????????????


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