George + Colson
Dog Honors Memory of Fallen Officer by Making Everyone Smile
Henry + Colson
Until nine years ago, I always had at least one dog in my life.
Because of my schedule, personal life, and traveling—and the emotional attachment of my last dog—I went years without a dog in my life.
On Sunday, March 13, 2016, however, a series of events changed all that when an armed man assaulted a Prince George’s County, Maryland, police station, and Detective Jacai Colson #3693 was killed in the line of duty. I shared an office with Jacai, and we shared many mutual friends and coworkers.
"Through Colson, the memory of Detective Jacai Colson #3693, and his smile live on in this dog."
Shortly afterward, I saw a story about a litter of 10 puppies born in a foster home for Operation Paws for Homes. The foster parent, the wife of another officer, named the puppies after recently fallen officers. She named one of them Colson after my coworker.
I knew I needed to adopt that dog – not because I was ready for a puppy or planned for a puppy, but because that puppy felt like a part of my extended family. If Jacai’s family was not able or ready to adopt the puppy, I planned to adopt him and keep him in our family.
Colson was eight-weeks-old when I brought him home. He and his littermates had already been in the national and local news and this continued after his adoption. I created a Facebook page for Colson, called Colson’s Corner, which has nearly 700 followers. It documents the daily travels and experiences of Colson and his dad, which is me.
Ever since I adopted Colson, he has filled a hole in my life, making my day-to-day life more enjoyable. I had not realized how not having a dog for so long had left a void in my life until Colson filled it.
Jacai was known for his infectious smile. Colson carries on that memory for me. We often visit people in need of a smile, which includes Jacai’s friends and coworkers, and the people who were part of the tragic loss, such as dispatchers, hospital staff and doctors. If there is one common theme during all of Colson’s visits, it’s that he makes people smile. That same infectious smile Jacai was known for is carried on in the way Colson brings smiles to others.
Colson also makes his 600-plus Facebook followers smile. His pictures, videos and stories get many views and reactions. When I’m busy and don’t update the page, people send messages that they miss his updates.
Colson’s presence has brought many new friends into my life—people I would never have met if I had not adopted him. Through Colson, the memory of Detective Jacai Colson #3693, and his smile live on in this dog.
Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Henry (George) Norris won Operation Paws for Homes in Maryland a 2016 Holiday Wishes award.