A very sad, sobering reminder at how short our loyal dogs lives really are.
Taz, the last active duty member of the NYPD K-9 unit to have worked at Ground Zero after 9/11, has died of cardiac arrest.
“He was the best partner I ever had,” heartbroken Officer Scott Ryan said of the nine-year-old German shepherd he worked with for almost a decade.
Taz and Ryan worked 12-hour days at Ground Zero after Sept. 11, 2001, performing rescue and recovery.
“All the dogs – they all knew what we wanted them to do and they did it,” Ryan said.
Taz, named for the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character, was also a beloved member of Ryan’s family.
“He was easygoing,” Ryan recalled. “We liked to have fun, but when it came to work, we did what we had to do.”
While many other dogs that worked 9/11 recovery died or retired, Taz stayed on the job up until he died Sunday.
The strong, 90-pound pooch started losing weight in early Septembe, bounced and then fell sick again a few weeks ago.
Doctors speculated he had lymphoma but cardiac arrest claimed him before he could have surgery. Ryan couldn’t say whether Taz’s death was 9/11-related.
“He was faithful,” Ryan said of his partner. “We had the utmost trust in each other.”