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Concord department holds memorial for Charik

Wicked Local/John Walker

CONCORD, Mass. — He’s been her partner since he was just a puppy and has worked with her on countless cases, but now Concord Police Officer Sylvia Toumayan is saying goodbye to her German shepherd, Charik.

Suffering from canine degenerative myelopathy — a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs — Charik, 8 ½, had to be euthanized, and a memorial service is being held for the dog Friday.

Through his years with the department, Toumayan said Charik has built up an extensive resume. He has assisted Toumayan and the department with cases involving house and car break-ins, narcotics and finding missing people. He’s also responded to many calls from surrounding towns requesting mutual aid.

Most recently, Charik and Toumayan assisted Boston police after the Red Sox won the World Series in October, as members of the Concord Police Department are part of the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.

They also assisted in Boston after the Marathon bombings last April and in Watertown when suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended.

Toumayan, who was been with the department for 17 years, spoke to Wicked Local about her partner’s health earlier this year.

“It’s just really hard,” she said. “The hard part about it is there is nothing I can do.”

Toumayan thanked all the veterinarians who have taken care of Charik since he was young, including Wignall Animal Hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn and a retired veterinarian dentist, Dr. Laura LeVan, from Concord.