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McCordsville boy with immune disorder surprised with parade of police dogs outside his door

McCORDSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Unlike most people, 10-year-old Caleb Anderson is used to COVID-19 protocol. He’s been facing an autoimmune disorder that, for the most part, kept him in isolation long before the coronavirus pandemic. Caleb’s family has been homeschooling him and limiting his contact with people for the last three years, but one group has always been able to keep him close.

“The biggest thing that picks him up are K-9s, police officers,” Caleb’s mom, Sue Anderson, said. “They just bring a light into him that we just had never seen before. Isolation for us is normal but not seeing his K-9 partners and friends is not normal.”

Caleb has been forced to do his treatments at home because of COVID-19 and it hasn’t been safe for him to get out and interact with his favorite people. One of those people is IMPD K-9 handler Molly Groce.

“Caleb’s been nervous and just in low spirits and not very well physically so [we] kind of wanted to do something to lift his spirits,” Groce said.

Together, Sue Anderson and Groce came up with an idea to cheer him up: a way to bring the K-9s to him. Groce invited some law enforcement agencies to bring their K-9s to visit with Caleb at his home, but they would find out that small invite turned into much more.

“[I was] unbelievably surprised,” Caleb’s dad, John Anderson, said. “I was expecting 10 or 15 cars and they just kept rolling through.”

“I thought maybe three or four officers … turned into 40 plus,” Sue said.

From Muncie to Lafayette to Bloomington, all the way through the state, they came. Once they all drove by the house, the officers brought the K-9s out and up to the Anderson’s front yard to meet with Caleb one by one.

Caleb could only put these moments into a few words: “It’s just been an amazing day.”

“It was definitely something that he needed,” Sue said.

The parade reminded Caleb that miles and even the coronavirus can’t separate the “blue line” family that he’s now a part of — in November of 2019, Caleb was sworn in as a Fortville police officer.

“That family is something that I’m so thankful that he’s a part of,” Sue said. “It is truly a family like nothing else.”

Even the family had to admit they were surprised to find out #TeamCaleb is bigger than they ever knew.

Watch “All Indiana” reporter Randall Newsome’s Facebook Live to see the full K-9 parade.