Recently this simple shrine appeared along our walking path, at the base of the Ashton Grove sign at the corner of Yantis and Route 62. It commemorates Bungee, a New Albany police dog.
Bungee was New Albany’s first-ever police dog. He was a Belgian Malinois whose primary duty was narcotics detection, but he also was used in community outreach functions and school programs. He was trained to immediately leave the police car he rode in when an automatic door opened. Unfortunately, on the evening of May 25 the door opened in error and Bungee jumped out into moving traffic, where he was struck and killed.
This poignant little shrine to Bungee, with its picture, dog biscuit, and faded flowers, reminded me that dogs are not just pets, but also important working members of American society. There are police dogs like Bungee, and seeing-eye dogs that assist the blind, and explosive-sniffing dogs who are out doing their jobs every day. Recently, we’ve also heard about the brave Seal Team 6 dog that parachuted into the Pakistani compound in search of Osama bin Laden and the search-and-rescue dogs going through the rubble in Joplin, Missouri and other towns ravaged by tornadoes and powerful storms. I’m confident that all of those dogs perform their work faithfully and gladly, with a pant, and a wagging tail, and hopes for a dog biscuit and a pat on the head.
They’re not called Man’s Best Friend for nothing.