Pajti wasn’t just any ordinary dog. He was a police dog, a K9 deputy with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department. “His personality is something that’s unbelievable. He could chase after a bad guy and apprehend him, and in the next five minutes that guy could be petting him,” said Pajti’s handler, Officer Brooks Grabill.
Pajti joined the Sheriff’s Department in 2013 and became Officer Grabill’s partner last summer. Said Grabill, “He’s a special dog. He’s worked his way into everyone’s heart. And he means a lot to this department and community.”
Grabill recognized how special Pajti was right away. “Lovable. I mean, that’s the first word you can come to,” he said. “You know, a lot of people have a perception of K-9s being kind of aggressive, because they’re bite dogs. But that’s not Pajti’s personality. It was work to him. His personality was to love everyone. I mean, he loved the attention. He loved being around people, kids. It didn’t matter, as long as he was in the public eye. That was him. It’s where he shined,” he said.
The dog’s illness became apparent after Grabill noticed him limping a few months prior. He also began to lose energy. The veterinarian eventually diagnosed Pajti with bone cancer, a variety that was spreading quickly and significantly affecting Pajti’s energy level. “This weekend, my wife and I—I was getting ready for work, and he normally runs around with the kids outside, playing, and he couldn’t do it. And so, my wife brought his bed outside and put it on the porch, so he could at least still be outside with us. And that was probably one of the hardest times.” Grabill became teary talking about the last few rough days.
On that last afternoon, members of the Lonoke Police Department and the North Little Rock Police Department met to give Pajti a final sendoff. Together they drove in a procession, Grabill riding with Pajti, to the Cabot Animal Shelter where the dog was to be euthanized. Grabill and Pajti walked through a ‘tunnel’ of law enforcement officers as they approached the shelter. Even though he was tired and limping the whole way, Pajti was in a good mood.
As a member of law enforcement, Pajti received his final radio call:
“K9 Pajti’s 10-7. Attention all units: This is Deputy K9 Pajti’s final ride. Deputy K9 Pajti: Thank you for your service to the citizens of Lonoke County and surrounding areas. Deputy Pajti, you have served in a special manner, and it has been an honor to serve with you. Rest in peace, we will take it from here.”