Thanks to the Lancashire Telegraph for this story of devotion!
Pining police dog emigrates
By David Bartlett
A PRIZE-WINNING police dog was so sad after his handler emigrated that he lost his job.
And now German Shepherd Diesel has really gone down – Down Under.
For former Lancashire police officer John Gallagher has paid 2,000 in airfares for Diesel to fly 12,000 miles to live with him in New Zealand.
When John, who lived in Sabden with his wife, Angela, and son Finn, 6, emigrated in late 2004, he pleaded with his bosses to let him take Diesel.
But police chiefs refused because Diesel did such a good job fighting crime in East Lancashire.
However, after John left he said Diesel pined for him so much that he no longer performed properly and lost his police job.
So officers sent Diesel back to his breeder in Blackpool, who contacted John to tell him he could have the dog after all.
Months before John emigrated, Diesel was named runner-up in the National Young Dog competition.
John is a sergeant in charge of training dogs and handlers at New Zealand’s police HQ in Wellington.
John’s dad, also John, of Ennerdale Avenue, Blackburn, said: “He was over the moon. He did everything humanly possible to get him over to New Zealand. John had been trying to get him but Lancashire Police wouldn’t let him go because he was such a good dog.”
John, 42, who lives in Wellington with his wife and son, said: “It’s been a long battle but I’ve had lots of help from people like Sheila Maw, an animal welfare visitor from Whalley who has played a big part in helping me.
“It cost 2,000 for him to be flown over but he’s worth every penny. He was on a flight for 30 hours and spent a day travelling to get to Heathrow Airport but when I saw him he was jumping and bouncing all over the place.