Richard Moore III decided he wanted to do something special to remember Mick, the Portland police dog who died last year in a shootout that wounded his police partner.

Moore had read about the fatal shooting and set out to make a large bronze sculpture of the dog, honored with a public memorial that drew hundreds to Hillsboro stadium in May 2014.

“I was moved by how sad it was, of course, and wanted to do something to help in my own sort of small way,” Moore said.

The 42-year-old Southeast Portland resident has been making sculptures for more than 20 years while working as a notary. Sometimes he gets a commission; other times, his creations spill from his imagination.

Working out of his home in a spare back bedroom that he’s turned into a studio, Moore has used photos of Mick and other Portland police dogs to create the approximately 50-pound oil clay sculpture.

At first, he planned to make a small bust of the German shepherd, but police convinced him to do a full sculpture.

Once completed and bronzed, he plans to donate it to the Police Bureau.

The sculpture – still a work in progress – stands out for its size amid his collection of other sculptures, including an octopus with human hands and not-yet-completed Viking bust.

Moore took measurements from a similar-sized Portland police dog named Maverick and made the Mick memorial sculpture larger than life size, actually 1 ¼-times the size of a German shepherd.

He anticipates it will take about another six months to finish, including replicating the police canine badge on the dog’s harness. He began work in April.

Officer Jeffrey Dorn, who was Mick’s handler, has stopped by Moore’s house occasionally to check on how it’s going.

“It’s quite impressive,” Dorn said. “I was very moved. It’s a very nice gesture and I think appropriate for the sacrifice Mick made for myself.”

Dorn has called Mick a “hero” for saving his life on April 16, 2014. Dorn was wounded in both legs during a shootout with a burglary suspect in Southwest Portland. The 17-month-old German shepherd was shot trying to stop a man armed with an AR-15 rifle.

Mick was found dead under a hedge in the front yard of a Southwest Lobelia Street home hours later. He was the fourth Portland police dog to die on duty.

Moore and Dorn have talked about having the sculpture placed near the Portland police memorial at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, but plans haven’t been finalized yet.

Dorn said he received an outpouring of condolences, support and even donations from across the nation after Mick’s death. Some of that money, including about $5,000 from Advantis Credit Union, will help pay for the sculpture. Moore also has set up a gofundme site to help cover the estimated $15,000 cost of materials.

The man who shot the dog and Dorn was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Moore said he likes animals, but has no special affinity for dogs. The Mick sculpture will mark his first memorial piece of artwork.

“Nobody can argue with a good dog,” said Moore, who owns a cat.

Dorn is now working with another German shepherd named Timber. He said he hopes the sculpture will be placed in a prominent public place.

“I just kind of feel like having a memorial in the right spot will be a nice remembrance and a constant reminder of Mick,” Dorn said.

–Maxine Bernstein
503-221-8212; @maxoregonian

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