I was the only one there for the last half hour of the lobby being open tonight so I got the opportunity to meet and have a very meaningful conversation with Officer Dionne Perkins who was keeping watch at the memorial.
As we talked it came over me what heavy duty she was actually doing, having to watch and listen and respond to all the public’s outpouring of loss and grief over what was done to Jedi.
That’s some heavy emotional labor. I felt so deeply blessed by her, when she listened to me tell her about my own CPTSD and how dogs have healed my heart, how traumatized I had been in life but how the unconditional love of dogs has brought me peace and deep healing. I told her I knew what a traumatic event Jedi’s murder was for Officer Ducre and for all the responding officers that night, and now for the whole precinct and SPD at large.
Officer Dionne and I spoke about the dogs in our lives and how much Officer Ducre must be hurting and we both started crying. I reached out to her and just said, “hugs?” And she turned towards me and just took me into her arms. In that moment we were two women who knew the moment we were occupying, the moment of the recognition of lived experience, the lived experience of the healing power of canines in our lives and in the lives of law enforcement, those brave and valiant dogs who put their full hearts and very lives into protecting their people at any and all costs to them.
There is no greater love than laying down one’s life for one’s friends. K9 Jedi did that for Officer Ducre, and though he suffered in agonizing pain from his stab wounds he was courageous and valiant to the very end. We humans have much to learn from him.
Rest in peace, brave warrior dog. You have earned your wings.