The mobile rang in the dead of the night, sending shivers, as I expected the worst.
“Sergeant, she is breathing her last”, informed the voice on the other side.
Without wasting time, I raced out of the house and drove my car at the break-neck speed to reach the clinic. With no traffic and all traffic signals snoozing, I reached the reception of the clinic in under ten minutes.
Suddenly I felt heaviness in my legs as I had to drag myself to where she was. With my throat dry and heart-pounding, I reached her side. She was taped all over and wires of all sorts surrounded her. With her eyes closed, she appeared tired and lay still. Gathering courage that lay scattered in bits and pieces, I approached her.
Stroking her gently, I called her out.
“Diana. You have been the best partner I ever had and ever will. Without you I am incomplete. But now I want you to go ahead with your journey and end your suffering. You will be missed dearly”
She moved a bit or at least I thought she did and the next moment she was gone. Her heavy breathing chest came to stand-still. She lay motionless as if she was waiting for that final goodbye.
I couldn’t bear the pain of parting. My knees went weak. The guard that was holding my fort caved in, with a deluge of pain and sorrow. I collapsed near her, with pools of tears wetting my night suit.
…For she had sacrificed her life to save mine when we were chasing the drug peddler in the narrow shady lanes and by-lanes of the town on a no moon night, two days ago. We were tasked to trace, a fresh consignment of the drugs which was delivered in the city, on a tip-off by the informer. I had set out with Diana. She had never failed in her job for she was well trained, strong, sharp, and agile. She had a proven and perfect track record of five years since she joined us.
Letting her lead me, I followed her, matching my pace with hers. As she went around the corner, which was darker than the rest of the area, I inched cautiously. As I took the turn, I spotted her glowing eyes. It was unusual for her to stop and wait for me to catch up with her, lest she had discovered something suspicious. I was about to step ahead when she leaped in my direction and grabbed the hand of a masked man brandishing a knife, the blade of which shone brightly, a step behind me. The masked man growled in pain and stabbed Diana with another knife using the other hand. Now it was Diana’s turn to howl. In a span of a second the hell had broken loose. Turning towards them, I dashed and knocked the masked man. As he got off the balance and stumbled, I knocked him further. Once he was on the ground, biting the dust, I clutched his hands. The backup squad joined us by then. Giving the charge of the masked man to the squad, I rushed towards Diana. She was in pain. Her otherwise bright eyes were turning dull with every passing moment for she had a deep injury in her chest and had suffered a heavy blood loss. Holding her in my arms, I hurried towards the police van. Soon I was on the way to the clinic, all the while calling out to Diana and making the arrangements for her in the clinic via walky-talky.
Diana was a beautiful, fierce and fearless, alert, squarely built Belgian Malinois breed adopted into the K9 squad and I, Sergeant Dimitri was her handler.
The mission was successful as we nabbed the peddler with a huge stock of drugs but I had lost Diana forever. Mission was sure to fetch me a bravery medal and a promotion for me. But without Diana on my side, it was a zero-sum game!