BROOKFIELD, CONN. -- K-9 Bruno, a beloved member of the Brookfield Police Department, may be gone, but his memory will live on as a work of art.
Meriden artist Rachael Chandler, who runs a pet portrait business called 4 Paws and a Paintbrush, recently presented a likeness of the late police dog to his handler, Police Officer Jeffrey Osuch.
It shows Bruno, a black German shepherd with big pointy ears, wearing a police badge and sitting under a rainbow.
The 11-year-old police dog, who had worked with Osuch for eight years, died in early July.
Chandler said Thursday that she had met Bruno and Osuch while working at a local veterinary hospital.
The police officer would bring his his canine partner for his shots, grooming and baths and Chandler fell in love with the sweet, friendly pooch with a goofy grin.
"It was that happy look on his face that I remember and wanted to capture," Chandler said of Bruno.
"He was so special, always so excited and ready to work," she said, adding: "What an awesome dog!"
Bruno helped police by sniffing out drugs, tracking suspects, searching for victims, and protecting his handlers.
In February, he helped find a suicidal teenager and also had taken part in public relations and informational demonstrations in the community.
He helped out numerous other police departments, including Bethel, Danbury and Newtown, and assisted with countless narcotics arrests, police said.
Bruno also helped police track down a bank robbery suspect.
He was the recipient of a life-saving award, three awards for exceptional service, and a Unit Citation.
Bruno was also praised in writing by many community leaders and residents.
Chandler said she made the painting to thank Brookfield police for their “outstanding service” and “dedication."
In turn, the department thanked the artist and the community for "their continued support of law enforcement."
"This is especially true in difficult times," said a police department Facebook post.
"Ofc. Bruno was an enormous asset to our agency and was loved by the entire community," the post read.
The K-9 and "his hard work will never be forgotten," it added.
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