BURLINGTON, N.C. – She served, she protected and now her memory will live on thanks to a very talented artist with a kind heart.
The City of Burlington posted on its Facebook page thanking Debbie and Weldon Jenkins who surprised a Burlington Police Department officer with the portrait of late K-9 officer, Mishka.
The couple included a touching note with the portrait that reads, “In appreciation of you and all your fellow officers and the job you do every day. Debbie and Weldon Jenkins.”
"We wanted to surprise him," said Debbie Jenkins, "And it's kind of difficult to tell the Police Department that you want to come and pop in on somebody and bring them something - but you don't want to tell them what!"
"It's a tough thing to go through, so we just though that this would be a nice thing for him to remember her by," said Weldon Jenkins.
For fifty years, Weldon has been an artist. Once Debbie saw a post on Facebook about Sgt. Marsh's loss, she knew Weldon could do something great to honor the companion.
The beloved K-9 died in January of cancer. Mishka worked with Sgt. Richard Marsh until her retirement from the Burlington Police Department in 2012. She also saved Marsh’s life not once but twice in the line of duty.
He says he misses her dearly.
"It's hard when you have a partner who sleeps when you sleep, goes home with you, rides with you, and when you're off work, they're your buddy in your car," he said.
WFMY News 2 first met Mishka in 2016. That’s when we discovered Mishka was on a journey to check off her own “bucket list.”
In May of 2016, Mishka was diagnosed with cancer and given only months to live. Wanting to make the most of their moments left with Mishka -- Marsh and his wife created a bucket list.
During Mishka's career with the Burlington Police Department, she helped make more than 150 arrests.
She also won awards at police dog competitions.
Now Marsh will always have something to remember Mishka by thanks to the Jenkins.