His name is Memphis, and he will never be forgotten.
On Monday afternoon, 40 people and 11 K-9s gathered at the Red Bank Veterinarian Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey to honor Memphis, a 10-year-old German Shepherd police dog before he was to be euthanized.
Kevin Geoghan, a Hazlet, NJ police officer, his wife Maria and Memphis, Geoghan’s K-9 partner of 8 1/2 years, took a final walk together between a lineup of Hazlet police officers, area K-9 police officers and their partners, mostly German Shepherds, and a lone bagpiper.
About three weeks ago, Memphis was diagnosed with cancer. He just recently stopped working, and was due to retire in May, Geoghan said.
“He almost made it,” he said.
Recently, Memphis was losing weight and having trouble walking, the dog’s veterinarian MaryBeth Morgan said. She ordered an MRI for the dog, but prior to the MRI did an X-ray screening. The screening showed multiple cancer nodules in his lungs.
“This (deciding to euthanize the dog) was an unselfish act, the final act of love,” she said. “Kevin (Geoghan) came to terms with his decision and did not want Memphis’ quality of life to suffer any further.”
“We should do this for our K-9s,” Monmouth County sheriff’s officer James Fay said. He was at the service with his partner, Falko.
Police Chief James Broderick said Memphis was the department’s first and only police K-9. Police dogs usually only work for five years, he said; however, Memphis was a strong dog and continued his career for an additional time.
“He was a worker. He has more than 100 narcotics arrests and numerous criminal arrests,” he said.
A few months ago, Geoghan said he got another German Shepherd because he knew Memphis was due to retire in May.
“Memphis was a bit jealous,” he said. “He knew I was going to work with Diablo.” However, in his heart he knows Memphis could and would never be replaced.
“He was a great dog.”