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Officer in Washington state receives stuffed animal that resembles fallen K-9

Posted at 11:59 AM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 11:59:09-05

PASCO, Wash. (KAPP/KVEW) -- A family in Washington state had a heartwarming gift for an officer who recently lost his police K-9.

Officer Josh Madsen lost his dog, K-9 Lemon, earlier this month after a medical crisis shortly after he retired from eight years of service with the Pasco Police Department in Pasco, Washington.

One family was touched by the dynamic duo.

Cassandra Berg, Nia and Bentley dropped off a very special gift -- a stuffed animal that looks like K-9 Lemon.

“It was a really awesome experience because you saw the love between them when he was alive,” Berg said holding back tears. “They were best friends and Lemon just eye contact the whole time and he never swayed from staring straight at him and you can just tell they were buddies."

Berg said her family had only met them once. Madsen told her family to come back and meet all the canines. The impact was so strong on her children. Her 7-year-old son even said he wants to work for the Pasco Police Department.

She heard about Lemon’s passing shortly after it was posted on Facebook. Her heart dropped and her son cried. As for her daughter – she thought about the stuffed animal for Madsen.

They took several pictures, which she sent off to make the stuffed toy with a company that specializes in this type of product called Cuddle Clones. She got it in about two weeks.

“It was so realistic,” Berg said. “When I pulled it out of the box I started crying.”

So, she talked to one officer and the receptionist about meeting up with Madsen at the station. He was called in and that’s when he opened the gift.

“Giving him back that friend even though it wasn't real, he's got him there,” she said. “And especially when I told him there's a pocket where you can put something special of Lemon's in there in his belly.”

Berg told KAPP-KVEW that Madsen even made the comment that his wife was going to bawl when she sees the toy.

“That's all I wanted was to make him feel a little bit better and to have something special,” she said. “I think they [her children] felt his emotion and to them, it was giving, too. They were just so excited to be able to do that for him.”

She hopes people will recognize the good people in this world and give back. While Lemon is gone physically, he’s in everyone’s hearts.

“He's going to be missed, and not just by me and my kids,” Berg said. “He's touched all the Tri-Cities from what it looks like.”

Berg has a message for Madsen.

“And Officer Madsen -- we couldn't have a better police officer out there -- a better caring police officer and I just hope that they all are healing from losing Lemon,” she said. “And so I would just say to Officer Madsen, keep being you because we all see it.”

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