Although a dog’s life is short, this German Shepherd has dedicated six years of his brief life to protecting the community.
“We are saddened to share the death of retired K-9 Reno,” the Riverview Police Department said in a Facebook post on June 17. “He proudly served the Town of Riverview from 2013 to 2019. Our sympathies go out to his Master Detective (Eric) Thome and his family.
Reno retired prematurely after being diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, a condition that results in loss of coordination in the hind legs. He resigned from the police force in April 2019.
But even with this incurable disease, Reno lived to be 9½ years old. He died on June 3.
“Having had Reno when he was 13 months old, Reno really never left my side, only getting on board once when the family went on a cruise,” Thome said. “Every trip we’ve taken, Reno has come with the family. Reno was a constant part of our home, along with our three daughters, during his working years and even more so in retirement.
Thome said the loss had been difficult for the children, but especially for him and his wife’s eldest daughter, born a month before she had Reno in 2013.
“The time a manager spends with his K-9 partner is immeasurable and the bond created is unlike any other,” Thome said. “I always tell people that I spent more time with Reno than with my own kids when Reno was working. After the police department announced his death, the outpouring of the community was immense. It just shows the impact Reno had in the community during his tenure.