Saying goodbye to Henry
PC Jonathan Myles, a dog handler with the Ministry of Defence Police, shares his memories of working with Police Dog Henry, who died suddenly at the age of five.
I joined the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) in 2003 and become a dog handler at the Atomic Weapon Establishment (AWE), near Reading, in 2019, after serving as a Project Servator officer for four years and working for 13 years with the Special Escort Group.
I had always wanted to be a dog handler and was delighted when I was given the opportunity to be selected for the role. I was even more delighted to be given Henry as my first Police Dog.
I was spoilt with Henry, he was very playful, loving but most of all a really good working dog. He was only 18 months old when I got given him, so he had been my shadow for the last four years.
When Henry and I worked together at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, alongside thousands of police and military colleagues from across UK, that had to be the highlight of his career.
It was a proud occasion for us both, to support Devon and Cornwall Police, and be part of such a significant policing and security operation for a weekend that brought together heads of state, political leaders and their entourages.
As always, Henry done an amazing job. A funny moment was almost bumping into Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, whilst he was jogging on the beach!
Other highlights of Henry’s career included searching Lords cricket ground and going up in a helicopter during regional training exercises.
It has to be said though, I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship Henry and I had with our colleagues at AWE, including MDP, Mitie and the CTS security teams, on both sites, who we worked with day in and day out.
On 23 June this year, Henry developed a twisted stomach, a fatal condition for dogs which progresses very quickly, meaning he only had hours to live.
Henry was home kennelled, and his sudden passing has been a difficult time for my wife, Melissa, and I, and our two children especially as we also lost our 15-year-old pet dog late last year.
Our friends and my colleagues have been very supportive. Henry touched many people’s hearts, we have been overwhelmed with sympathy messages, and are very grateful for everyone’s support.
Although short, Henry had a very fulfilling life as Police Dog and I feel incredibly lucky to have been his handler. For all the amazing experiences we had together and places we visited during his career, my wife will always say ‘his most favourite place was next to his dad’.