Virginia Police Work Dogs: “So that you may live, my life is yours.”

Larry Bechtel, Sculptor It's been said that a dog is a man's best friend but dogs who are trained as police service dogs, without question, provide humans with much more than companionship – they help save lives which, at times, can mean losing their own life in the process.

The Virginia Police Work Dog Association law enforcement honored police work dogs in a ceremony and memorial dedication at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech on Friday, October 16, 2009.

The life-size bronze memorial of a German Shepherd was sculpted by Lawrence (Larry) Reid Bechtel. Bechtel is known for his work in life-size creations. He created the “Officer Down” sculpture to honor fallen officers for the Roanoke City Police Department. “Addison Caldwell” depicts the first student to enroll at Virginia Tech.

"Ready to Serve" honoring police work dogs, by sculptor Larry Bechtel True to his style as an artist, Bechtel spent time during the research phase with officers and service dogs on duty from the K-9 Unit so as to better understand the partnership, the challenge and the risk involved.

"There's a special bond between dogs and their handlers. I learned to appreciate the sensory sensitivity of Police Dogs and German Shepherds in particular. I came to admire these dogs, their alertness, intelligence, speed, and power."

The names of police dogs killed in the line of duty are engraved in the granite base honored by the inscription: "So that you may live, my life is yours."


Z. Kelly Queijo wrote Larry Bechtel – Sculptor and Storyteller, which includes a video interview with Bechtel.  WDB7 aired an interview with Larry Bechtel on 10/16/09.

Z. Kelly Queijo writes about business and technology, people and their passions.  She is a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You're invited to follow her on Twitter at @zkellyq

It's October
Virginia Police Work Dogs To Be Honored


  1. Larry’s been a real inspiration to me as an artist. He’s also been real supportive of efforts to get life drawing going here in town and helping people like me find studio space.

    It’s great to see him having continued success as a sculptor. I know he’s passionate about what he does — and it shows in the quality of work.

    Congrats, Larry!

    (BTW, if you want to see another piece of Larry’s here in Blacksburg, visit the public library… there’s a great bust there of C.S. Lewis.)

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