Monday would have been Doug and the late Anne Kaiser's 46th wedding anniversary.
It was a day of struggle for Doug Kaiser, one of life's really good eggs.
Tuesday, however, was sunny side up for Kaiser, as he was honored for carrying out the wishes of the woman he treasured for four-plus decades.
"She would have thought this to be a great day,'' Doug Kaiser said moments before he was honored by the Moline City Council and the Moline Police Department, for generously donating the money -- in honor of his late wife -- to purchase Moline's latest K-9. This is all her. This is her influence on me to give something back. It's even better that it is to better the K-9 unit, since she loved dogs so much.''
Thank you, Anne Kaiser.
Anne Kaiser, "Annie'' to those near and dear to her, left us in 2015, just 62 years into a compassionate and forever-giving life.
Anne, I am told, was dedicated to her faith, her husband, her parents, and those around her. She was all-in trying to make the world a better place. She possessed an amazing passion, a love and understanding of animals. It grabbed her by the heart as a child and stayed with her until that December day she passed nearly two years ago.
"Her goal was that there would be no pounds and no shelters and every animal had a great home,'' Doug Kaiser said. "If she could, she would have had them all at our house. That's what made her Annie, that's what always made her special.''
It was that love -- especially of her own pets - that pushed Doug Kaiser-- a wonderful soul himself -- to honor his wife's memory with such a generous donation.
The sizable gift allowed Moline Police to purchase a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois in May of this year. Annie and Officer Derrick Cullison, have been doing great work in the community since the dog's arrival.
"MPD is touched by Mr. Kaiser’s generous donation,'' Captain Trevor Fisk said. "It’s not every day we have somebody reach out to us wanting to donate a significant amount of money to support a police program. Yet, he is that somebody. You appreciate his down-to-earth demeanor and understand how much he misses and loved his wife. You also understand how much she loved animals.''
Capt. Fisk said Doug Kaiser had but one request regarding his donation.
"He asked if we could name the dog "Annie,''and we told him we would be honored to do as much,'' Capt. Fisk said.
It was then that Doug Kaiser unselfishly penned a check for the amount of a new K-9 and K-9 officer training. Annie replaces the retired K-9, Luna.
"It will be one of the fondest memories of my career,'' Capt. Fisk added. "It is our hope that K-9 Annie will make a difference in Moline and help keep our community safe.''
Officer Cullison, a seven-year veteran of the Moline Police Department, says Annie is the perfect partner and is already a valuable member of the department.
"She just turned 2 and is still young for a working dog,'' Officer Cullison said, noting the K-9 is from Poland, but all her commands are in English.
"Police canines are often picked out by their drive, and Annie sure has a lot of drive. It is great to see what she is capable of and I enjoy seeing her get better the more we work together. K-9 Annie is a dual-purpose dog which means she is trained in narcotics detection, article searches, tracking, and apprehension. It also builds community relations by conducting demonstrations to the public and at our local schools.''
Doug Kaiser said he is touched that Officer Cullison and Capt. Fisk allow him regular visits with Annie and are diligent with email updates on her progress.
"I have seen growth on all fronts with her,'' Kaiser said. "My Annie would be so happy and so proud at how well she is doing. She would be impressed with Officer Cullison and the rest of the department. She made me understand how important it is to give back. She made me understand a lot of things in life.''
Officer Cullison might have said it best it comes to the impact Doug and Annie Kaiser have had on the K-9 unit at the Moline Police Department.
"I am honored to be Annie’s handler and to share the story of how she got her name,'' he said.
Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309-757-8388 or at Jmarx@qconline.com.
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