Carter County says goodbye to Deputy Diesel

Published 10:20 am Thursday, January 15, 2015


Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 marked the “End of Watch” for one of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department’s most beloved deputies, K-9 Deputy Diesel.
Deputy Diesel was forced to retire in October after his veterinarian discovered Diesel was suffering from a very aggressive form of bone cancer.
“He was limping real bad. I thought he had sprained his knee,” said Deputy Dave Ryan, Diesel’s long time partner and handler. When Diesel did not improve, Ryan took him to see his veterinarian, Dr. Ric Jablonski at Roan Mountain Animal Hospital, and that is when the cancer was detected.
At the time, Jablonski was not able to say how long Diesel would survive.
Members of the Carter County Commission unanimously passed a resolution in October allowing Diesel to be retired from service and awarded custody of him to Ryan.
“I’m not going to let him suffer. I’m not going to be selfish,” Ryan said. “This has just ripped my heart out.
“People say it’s just a dog, but he’s not. He’s my family,” he added.
Diesel and Ryan began their partnership six years ago and have been inseparable ever since. The two worked in the sheriff’s department’s patrol division for a time, but were later assigned to the School Resource Officer program.
Ryan loved working with the children and, he said, so did Diesel.
“He loved kids,” Ryan said. “He would let them pet him and even pull on his ears, and he never barked or offered to snap at them.”
Since his retirement, Diesel was able to rest at home and spend time with not only Ryan but his other “family” as well – Ryan’s girlfriend Tiffany Scalf and her son Colby Blevins.
The difficult day for this family came on Tuesday when they had to make a choice to keep Diesel from suffering any more with his illness.
“I have lost my partner and my friend,” Ryan said. “He was a great dog to everyone.”

Photo contributed by Tiffany Scalf Diesel is seen with Deputy Dave Ryan and Tiffany Scalf.

Photo contributed by Tiffany Scalf
Diesel is seen with Deputy Dave Ryan and Tiffany Scalf.

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