IN MEMORY OF K9 NITRO, E.O.W June 28, 2021

“And it is exceedingly short, his galloping life. Dogs die so soon. I have my stories of that grief, no doubt many of you do also. It is almost a failure of will, a failure of love, to let them grow old—or so it feels. We would do anything to keep them with us, and to keep them young. The one gift we cannot give.”

Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

The History of U.P.K9

This organization was formed to honor the service of K9 Nitro, an Explosives Detection K9 for the Marquette MI Police Department. He was more than just a working dog, he was an ambassador of good will and a friendly face of the Marquette Police Department. His charm drew the attention of everyone he came into contact with and he was always eager to meet new people. His true measure was not felt until June 28, 2021 when he was diagnosed with an inoperable condition on his 8th birthday. Sadly, he never left the veterinary office that day
and the community lost their faithful K9. The true depth of his hold on the community and the strength of his grip on the hearts of those who knew him was not fully realized in life.

When K9 Nitro passed away, the outpouring of support was immense. I never fully
appreciated the depth of his outreach. Condolences were coming in from as far away as Spain and from all corners of our country. Individuals and organizations were offering their financial support to replace their beloved Nitro and I didn’t have a good mechanism in place to accept this support. I felt our K9 community was missing out on much needed resources.

One individual in particular has been very generous with our K9 needs, as well as many K9 needs throughout the state. Sharon M. Peters has been a huge supporter by providing K9 Hero Cards, armor for the dogs as well as emergency medical bags with Narcan to keep our pawtners safe. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and be another resource for K9 programs as my way to pay it forward. With that desire comes the inception of the Upper Peninsula K9 Training Group, or simply U.P.K9.

This couldn’t be possible without the assistance of Detroit Police Department K9 Handler (Ret) Mark Golembiewski for getting me in touch with the resources to prepare the required legal paperwork. Again, without K9 Nitro, I wouldn’t have made that connection. We were afforded the opportunity to have the paperwork completed properly and submitted to achieve 503c Non Profit status.

In Nitro’s memory we are proud to be able to launch this organization to support and provide for K9 Teams in the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

-John Waldo
Marquette Police Department K9 Officer (K9 Zepp)

*While I am an officer for the Marquette Police Department, the group is not affiliated with the department or the city.