The year was 1928. I had just turned 31 when I finished my training and enrolled into the New South Wales Police force. I never knew how immature people could be while working until I met my colleagues who were absolute fools. I was different. I liked to get the job done quickly and get on with life.
 
I came back from the office one day, tired from work, and saw my wife making dinner.
 
“Hey doll,” I said while taking off my buzzer and coat and placing them on the rack. I put my hat down and went to smell the food she was making.
 
“Hey Rob,” she said, placing creamed beef on toast onto the dinner table. I sat down across from her and started eating.
 
“How was your day?” She asked me.
 
“Same as usual. Boring. No one in that place takes their jobs seriously enough,” I said back. She told me that I need to lighten up and have fun, but no. These people needed to be working, not messing around.
 
The dull days continued as a blur and time passed quickly up until 1932. I was working at my desk when the chief came out of his office to deliver some ‘important news’.
 
“Attention coppers,” He said with demand. He whistled once and an Alsatian dog came waltzing out. “This is Laura,” He announced. “She’s going to be partnered up with one of you.” As if on cue, all the policemen started to inch forward towards the dog, started patting it and calling it cute names. Its fur was jet black with pure white on its socks and nose. I guess you could call it cute, but it was more majestic and strong, than adorable and fluffy.
 
“Jones!” said the chief interrupting my thoughts.
 
“Yes sir?” I asked.
 
“You’ll be Laura’s partner.” Around the room I heard annoyed grunts and felt everyone’s eyes on me.
 
“You want me to work with that thing!?” I blurted out.
 
“Yes,” He replied.
 
“But she’s just a stupid dog! She can’t do anything!” The dog looked at me unimpressed and I could already tell we weren’t going to get along. The chief gave me a stern look. “Fine,” I gave in. I turned to face the dog. “I guess I’m just going to have to deal with you now Lara,” I said annoyed. The dog growled at me.
 
“Oh, I forget to mention she hates it when you get her name wrong,” The chief told me mockingly.
 
Months had passed and although the dog had made it clear to me that she didn’t like me, everything was going rather smoothly.
 
Then the Great Depression hit. Stock markets had hit a low and people were running out of money. Luckily for me, my salary was well enough to keep me and my wife on our feet. It was still disappointing to see billions of people on the streets begging for food and money though.
 
It was 1935. Three years with Laura and we just hadn’t been getting along. Nothing would bring us together… Or so I thought…
 
I went home one night with Laura to find my wife Mandy on our kitchen floor. I felt sweat running down from my forehead down to my chin and could feel my heart pounding. I called the ambulance and told them what happened. They told me they were on their way.

I looked back towards Mandy, and Laura had been pouncing on her chest. I started shouting at Laura to stop because she was harming Mandy and only making it worse but soon enough, Mandy was awake. It was some kind of miracle! Laura had performed some kind of CPR on Mandy! It was at that moment that I realised…. I loved Laura.
 
From then on, Laura had been treated like royalty by me. I don’t know why I couldn’t see it before, but she really was man’s best friend.
 
I made her feel special and she returned those feelings. For the first time in ages, I had loosened up and was living life at its finest!
 
The year was 1937. It was Christmas eve and Laura and I were just assigned a case of a kidnapped girl in Windsor.
 
After searching for 30 long hours, Laura finally picked up the scent of the little girl and tracked it back to an abandoned house. She followed a trail to a creek where we found the pale distorted body of a girl in the water near some rocks. Although the girl was dead, we successfully captured the murderer and put him behind bars for his life. It was Laura’s biggest achievement and everyone down at the station was so proud of her, as was I.
 
Two years passed and the police were holding a carnival! Laura and I were both invited to walk in a parade along with all her dog friends! There was music, tug-o-war, and more than 50,000 people having the time of their lives. I let Laura go play while Mandy and I walked together on a late evening stroll down a path of trees.
 
We were walking down the aisle of jacarandas hand in hand when Mandy fell to the ground having a seizure. I tried to help her, but it was too late. By the time the ambulance came, she was already gone. Her hand still clasped in mine; I was reassuring her that everything was going to be okay, but I wasn’t telling her that… I was trying to calm myself down because I knew I wouldn’t take it well. I felt tears running down my cheeks. My eyes stinging at the thought that I would never hear her melodic voice again.
 
I tried to forget about everything, but that wasn’t very effective. From then on, I knew that I had to learn to cherish and appreciate everything that I’m so lucky to have.