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End of shift for highly regarded Bow police dog Osci

Sunday News Correspondent

June 17. 2017 10:07PM
Police dog Osci is carried into Riverside Veterinary Hospital in Boscawen by his partner, Sgt. Art Merrigan, while Bow and New Hampshire State Police officers stood at attention. (Melissa Proulx/Sunday News Correspondent)

BOW - A retired and beloved police officer took his last ride through Bow on Friday.

K9 Osci was escorted by nearly a dozen members of Bow, Boscawen and New Hampshire State Police, the Bow Fire Department and the Emergency Management team through the town on his way to Riverside Veterinary Hospital in Boscawen, where he ended his watch.

The 13-year-old German shepherd had tried to walk in, but after standing for most of the ride up - the sirens along the way sparked a reaction that was second nature to him - he wasn't able to. His handler, Sgt. Art Merrigan, carried his partner inside instead.

The rest of the officers who had gathered stood at attention, saluting their former co-worker, as the two made their way up the ramp.

"He was a member of the Bow Police Department," said Chief Margaret Lougee. "That's why we do things like this. It's the least we can do when something like this happens."

Osci started serving the department in 2005 and retired in 2013. It was in that time that the dog, who came from Budapest, Hungary, successfully caught suspects, found missing people, sniffed out drugs and contraband, and helped build up community relations.

He was the second dog the department ever had.

Lougee, who was the student resource officer at the time, saw Osci and Merrigan mostly giving community demonstrations at town events or at the Bow schools. The two were always in sync, she recalled.

"Art just had a way of working with him," she said.

When it came to retirement, Osci best loved having free range of his family's home, though he was notorious for spilling water all over the floor.

Osci proved resilient until the end. He wasn't sick with anything such as cancer; his age had just caught up with him.

Merrigan and the rest of his family stood with Osci during his final moments. He lay on a yellow and blue floral bed, an American flag draped over him.

After he was gone, his former co-workers continued to stand watch outside the door of the room until his body was taken away. They all had waited in the lobby after Osci was brought inside.

After Osci retired, K9 Officer Roxy and her handler Matt Pratte filled the role.

The dogs are able to outlast humans at times - such as when it comes to finding a missing person, and they mirror the dedication and hard work of their handlers.

"You can't ask for a better employee," Lougee said.

General News Public Safety Animals Bow

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