After seven years of impeccable service, retired police service dog (PSD) Hawkes has officially been memorialized on canvas.
Vernon-based artist, Patricia Neil Lawton painted the portrait of Hawkes, after reading about his retirement last month in the newspaper.
“I just had to paint Hawkes as he is just the cutest dog,” she told The Morning Star.
Hawkes handler, Cpl. Brady Kyle, was presented with the painting on Monday, April 3.
“He’ll love it,” said Kyle.
Hawkes retired on Friday, Feb. 24, after seven years of service in the Okanagan and Peace River region of the province.
After being born in Innisfail, Alta., on Sept. 15, 2015, Hawkes was paired with his “fur-ever” handler, Kyle, and the two were inseparable ever since.
Throughout his career, Hawkes assisted the police in tracking down evidence, drugs and aided in the apprehension of numerous dangerous suspects.
“PSD Hawkes, thank you for your dedicated service and for always being ready when called on to ensure the safety of your handler, other officers, and the public over the past seven years,” the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said. “We hope you enjoy a comfortable and much deserved retirement with your family!”
Asked if Hawkes will recognize himself when the portrait is hung up, Kyle remarked that dogs have gotten a lot smarter now.
“He sits and watches TV with me, as I watch a lot of outdoorsy shows, so it’s quite possible he will.”
Kyle also said that, although he has a new service dog, Phantom, Hawkes still rides along in his cruiser, except in a luxurious seat in the back, where he can enjoy retirement.