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Military dog to be honored

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 31 2013 11:44:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2013 03:12:20 PM CDT

An army sergeant will say farewell to his best friend tomorrow. It's the first service of this kind in the area. The Pueblo Veterans Ritual Team will honor a K-9 solider with a procession and military honors.

Pueblo, Colo. -

An army sergeant will say farewell to his best friend tomorrow. It's the first service of this kind in the area. The Pueblo Veterans Ritual Team will honor a K-9 solider with a procession and military honors.

9-year-old Alf was diagnosed a year ago with degenerative myelopathy. It's a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. It's gotten so bad for Alf now he can't walk or even get up. So Sgt. Edward Pfeifer and his family decided to put Alf to sleep Thursday, but thanks to his service, Alf's loving, hard working spirit will live on.

Patrol dog staff sergeant Alf hasn't left Sergeant Edward Pfeifer's side for almost three years. The two met in Germany in 2010 and then spent nearly every day together for 19 months, including 9 months serving in Afghanistan.

"We were an awesome team,” said Sgt. Pfeifer. "We worked on the grounds a lot. Our job was to look for explosives."

Last May, just before the end of their deployment, Sergeant Pfeifer got the news that Alf had a spinal cord disease. He only had six months to a year to live.

"I broke down like it was going to be tomorrow - like tomorrow, tomorrow. But yeah, it hit me pretty hard."

Alf isn't just an army dog. He's part of the Pfeifer family.

"With Deja he's become my sixth child. I love him just as much as I love my children,” said Sgt. Pfeifer’s wife Jennifer Pfeifer.

On Thursday Alf will bark one last time.

"It’s times like this, especially times like this that make you appreciate what you have. You know, this dog's an amazing dog,” said Sgt. Pfeifer.

Alf won't be buried in a cemetery. He'll be cremated.

"He'll come home,” said Sgt. Pfeifer.

And it’s an honor that speaks louder than a bark for this K-9 solider. Alf's procession will start around 1:45 P.M. Thursday on Wheatridge Drive in Pueblo and end at the Roselawn Cemetary. The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. at the veterans' section of the cemetery.

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