Retired MWD Earl coming home June 21 following Rhode Island Police ceremony

June 17, 2013

A lot has happened since the publication of my first article on June 4 about a possible reunion between an injured Marine and the MWD he left behind. That article left off with Lcpl. Bradley O’Keefe, a dog handler for the Marine Corps, locating his former K-9 partner Earl working with law enforcement in Rhode Island.

Guess what everyone! Earl will be coming home on Friday, June 21. A ceremony is set at the Rhode Island Police HQ’s for 2:30 p.m. The address is listed below.

Rhode Island State Police HQ
311 Danielson Pike
N. Scituate, RI 02857

It feels like only yesterday that Earl was located. After learning of Earl’s whereabouts, the family stated

“We are anxious to meet Earl and reunite him with Brad, but most of all we are just happy that he is safe and that we were able to locate him. There is already so much relief in that regard, that waiting a few days for contact from RI us is a simple task we are happy to follow.”

Things have progressed a lot over the past few weeks. On Tuesday, June 11, the family heard from the Rhode Island State Police that Lcpl. O’Keefe would be allowed to adopt Earl and bring him home. Rhode Island gave the final decision to Earls current handler, Trooper Maddox. Maddox said that although he and his family would miss Earl, he want’s to do the right thing by Brad and Earl.

I spoke with Brad’s sister on Facebook on June 17, and she gave me the good news that Earl will come home with Brad after the Friday ceremony.

For anyone who would like to send a personal thank you to the Rhode Island State Police, here’s their info:

Rhode Island State Police HQ
ATTN: Col Steven Odonnell
311 Danielson Pike
N. Scituate, RI 02857

A little information on Earl’s recent duties after retiring from the military have now surfaced as well. Earl went to Boston after the Boston Marathon bombings, but no specifics are known. This is something the family hopes to learn more about in the near future.

Brad would also like to learn more about what Earl did after his MWD was transferred to another handler. Social media is an excellent method to reunite MWD’s with their former handlers. Perhaps a few of Earl’s former handlers will come forward and make contact with the O’Keefe family and fill in the blanks.

This recently happened with the article written by Afghanistan veteran Staff Sgt. Blakely Pattison seeking MWD Luci, a 4-year-old black lab. Information began coming in only seven hours after the article went online. To date, Blakely and his family have received several messages concerning Luci.

Congratulations Brad, on being reunited with your best friend. May I suggest you get Earl a Kong toy at the first opportunity. It’s a must-have for all retired MWD’s.

Thank you both for your service to this country. You are truly American heroes. To follow the continuing story of Brad and Earl, their Facebook page is here.






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