Honorary police officer Bogey goes to heaven
July 7, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo
Bogey, a “canine police officer” well known to the residents of Urasoe City died of old age on July 5. In his role as a police public-relations dog he was a symbol of traffic safety activities through the years. Originally a stray dog, this canine hero was promoted to the honorary position of police officer. Yasunori Tedokon, the 47 year-old owner of Bogey has been working with him on activities to convey the importance of road safety. He said, “Bogey was a family member, a colleague, and a comrade who fought against traffic accidents. To show our feelings of gratitude, we want to have something like a funeral for him,” so a “farewell ceremony” will be held for Bogey on July 10.
Bogey was picked up on the road in 1996 and was looked after by Tedokon, his colleague drivers in the Urashiro Taxi Company, and others in the community.
Bogey took part in, and gained fame through, road safety campaigns with a signboard on his neck telling passersby, “I am Bogey. My only wish is for your traffic safety.” In 2003, he was appointed as a public-relations dog for Urasoe Police Station and was given resident registration by the Urasoe Municipal Office. He has been involved in traffic safety classes for nursery schools and children centers both inside and outside the city.
However, his health deteriorated from around 2009, and did he could not stand at all in his last week. On the morning of July 5, Tedokon gave him some water before starting work and Bogey drank it as though he enjoyed it, but died in his sleep at around 11:00pm that night.
Many letters and flowers of sympathy were sent to his owner from people both inside and outside of Okinawa who read the news of his death on the Internet. Tedokon said, “He was 90 years old in human terms; he has worked hard and I miss him deeply, but he will live on in the minds of children forever – as a canine police officer.”
(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey）
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