It was a cold and windy day on the streets of Chicago, Illinois when I decided to make my first appearance into this world. It was January 1982. My mother, a beautiful black Labrador retriever, had decided to leave her comfortable home and explore the windy city. She had become involved with a dashing black mixed breed who was my father. Together they roamed around town until I arrived. I was taught by my parents that city life of a street dog was hard and sometimes cruel, and one had to be tough to survive.

I soon discovered that this life was not for me, and decided that a good education would be my best course for getting out of here. But, one day I was arrested by an aggressive dog catcher and thrown into the slammer. At this point things were not looking to good for me, until a guy dressed in a blue uniform walked in to the doggy jail and I overheard him say that he was from U.S. Customs and was scouting at few places for really smart and aggressive dogs that wanted to join law enforcement in the war on drugs.

I realized that this was my opportunity to better myself if he would give me a chance. I watched him walk down the aisle checking the other dogs out and finally walked up to my cell and stopped. He said, “My you're one big fellow.” I stood up giving him my best pose, standing tall and feet firmly planted. After passing his IQ test, I was released into his custody and transported to a strange place in Front Royal, Virginia.

I saw a sign that said I had arrived at the United States Custom's Canine Academy. After they gave me a great kennel and a bath, I settled in. It wasn't but a few days until I began training with a guy from Miami, Florida named Steve Leibowitz, who worked for the Metro-Dade Police Department. I don't like to brag, but we zipped right through all of the procedures they challenged me on. When graduation finally came, Steve and I went back to Miami to begin a new career. I stayed at Steve's house in a kennel and got to ride around in a snazzy van. I located the odor of narcotics and worked like a champion...until one day Steve was promoted to Sergeant.

I was told I would get a new handler, and I have to tell you, I wasn't at all pleased. One day while laying in my kennel I saw this guy walk up to the gate and look at me. He said his name was Jerry and he was going to be my new handler. I gave him a deep growl to show my dissatisfaction. He said, "Look, we have to get along if we are going to get the job done." I allowed him to come inside and sit down. We sat for 30 minutes or so getting to know one another, and struck up an agreement that we would "try each other out."

They moved my kennel over to Jerry's house in the back yard. When I arrived, I checked out the yard and found a pool and a hot tub. I figured if I worked hard enough I might just get to swim in that pool, so I busted butt teaching Jerry how to become a handler.

We made a great team. We searched everything...houses, boats, airplanes, cars, etc. Anyplace the drug smugglers tried to hide dope, we found it. Our mission was to get it off the streets before the kids got it. He knew when I found the odor of narcotics, that illegal drugs were near by.

On my days off, I swam in the pool to stay in shape and on occasion when Jerry was sitting in the hot tub, I would jump in on top of him and grab some of the space. Jerry and I became extremely close.

The years seem to fly by and we were knocking the smugglers down as fast as they would appear with more drugs. But one morning I woke up feeling tired and really didn't want to go to work, but Jerry had to go and I would not allow him to go without me. I found that as time passed by it was getting more difficult jumping into the big airplanes and crawling down those steep stairs of large boats. Jerry saw that I was having problems and asked me if I wanted to retire from Law Enforcement.

He said that I had given my heart and soul fighting crime and maybe I should consider taking it easy, just hanging out at our house and swimming in the pool. So after a lot of thought, I agreed.

After 9 years and 4 months on the job for the Metro-Dade Police Department, I retired. I received a lot of accomodations from my bosses at the Police Dept. and the County Commissioners. A party was held in my honor.

Jerry got all of my statistics together and it all figured up to $77,950,320.00 in drug money seized. 3,201 lbs. of cocaine, 1301 lbs. of marajuana, 18.6 lbs. of heroin. Heck, I even helped sieze 48 cars and truck used to move narcotics around South Florida, and can't remember how many boats and small airplanes that we seized.

Moose at Retirement Party
Moose at retirement party

After thinking back on my life as a Narcotics K-9, I thought my mother and dad would have been proud of me. I had given my all for society and my best buddy, Jerry. He and I were bonded together so close that it was painful to see him go to work without me. But I had taken another job in hand to protect our home until he returned at night, when we would sit by the pool and listen to the birds sing and the crickets chirp. I would look up at the stars in the night and wonder which one my mom and dad were sitting on, waiting for me.

On July 20, 1996 at 12:20 p.m. I asked Jerry to walk outside with me and sit by the pool. As we sat on the sidewalk near the pool, I looked up and indicated that it was time for me to go see my Mom & Pop. I told him not to worry, that I would see him later on when he joined me. I had done my best and now was the time for my rest.

I laid my head on Jerry's lap and shut my eyes. I could feel the tears on my cheek as my grateful master mourned my passing. As I drifted away from this world to the next, I saw my beautiful mother and my dashing father beckoning me to come home with them.

Yep, you're absolutely right. Jerry had my ashes placed in a nice box. And now, every night when he turns off the lights I'm still there with him, watching over that great pool and hot tub.

That's about all I can say about myself. So now you know the entire story about "Moose" the Metro-Dade Police Department Narcotics Canine from Homestead, Florida via Chicago, Illinois.

I miss you, buddy!


"American Trilogy"

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