(My wonderful Husband presented me with this letter today and asked if I liked it enough, would I post it to my blog. It's wonderful honey! I love it.)
My Husband writes:
From this blog you have learned what it is like to be an animal control officer and now what it is to live with and love an ACO. We got together before she became 461, her dream job. We both went through the PC 832 course at the same time but at different times of the day. She was working at the Main Jail twelve hours a day and going to 832 classes and somehow dealing with two kids. Sometime later she got hired on as an ACO, and then we moved into a house together. Of course this house had to have a barn and a pasture for horses, she found one but it has no A/C (barn and pasture were more important).
And I learned that ACO's all have at least one pet if not a small Zoo. We have horses, dogs, cat (cats until our 20 year old cat passed on) fish, chickens. I think you get the idea. All in contradiction to the evil dog catcher that hates animals. We had a recent addition to the family, Bear our Foster dog. Well it seems that I was the last to know that he was staying with us (Those ACO's area a sneaky bunch!) Thanks 450! Bear will be our second shelter dog. Hera was going to be a foster dog but she found a home with 461 and when we moved in together she bonded with me. Then 461 got the hound dog bug from 450 ( thanks again), so we got Milly the Treeing Walker Coonhound. At first she was chewing and peeing in the house then we got her on track. 461 had a Golden Retriever, Shadow. He was an old dog when we first met and he lived about three years beyond the six months the vet gave him. All we required of Shadow was to eat sleep and play ball when he wanted to. Then one day 461 calls me at work, Shadow is down and it is time. I went with her to put him to sleep (she said I was the first to do that) we both had a good cry on the way home.
Now 461 has mentioned about no off switch, boy is that true! I have helped her with a neighbor's horse that was bleeding out (off duty). Responding to a horse stable in the path of a grass fire to move horses to safety (off duty) and once we fostered two kittens (we did not keep them!) because she could not euthanize another kitten that day. I took pictures of our vet stitching up one of our horses after she tore herself up running through a fence during a thunder storm and 461 having been a vet tech assisted. I told her I should have a reserve ACO badge for all the assists I have done.
Like being married to a peace officer, military, fireman, etc. you have to understand them. Many years ago I was a Correctional Officer; I think this is why I understand 461. She works a ten hour shift (if she's lucky) and there are those days she just wants to sit by herself for a while when she gets home. She knows when she is ready I will listen to whatever it was that day that got to her. She knows that I will always listen to the funny, not so funny and sometimes horrible things she encounters. I don't know at times how she and her fellow officers do it. But thank God someone does. I understand why she can't work normal hours or have weekends off and why I sometimes only see her when she is sleeping. And I try not to worry about the threats of violence and death she gets from those oh so caring pet owners.
But on top of it all I am very proud of 461, she is an amazing woman. A while back one of my brothers told me I should not let her be in this job because it was dangerous, I told him yes but she loves it and I would never tell her to stop doing what she loves.