Police departments of all sizes should prioritize the use of K9 officers and dogs. Their human partners on the force see them as more than simply animal sidekicks; instead, they see them as a real partners in the line of duty. This makes them exceptionally valuable to the force.

This was notably true for one police officer in Ohio and his one-of-a-kind K9 companion, whose lives and professions were inextricably interwoven throughout their time together.

And this week, in a tragic but fitting conclusion to their narrative, the two law enforcement officers passed away on the same day, barely hours apart from one another.

The death of Sheriff Dan McClelland, who had served Geauga County for 44 years until retiring in 2016, was announced by the Sheriff’s Office of Geauga County on Wednesday. McClelland passed away at the age of 67.

And just a few hours later, his old companion, a Chihuahua-rat terrier mix named Midge, passed away, appearing to have suffered from a shattered heart.

During his decades-long career on the force, which included 13 years as sheriff, Sheriff McClelland earned the reputation of being a “pillar” in his town.

In 2014, he was given the Emerald Leader Award by Geauga County. His resume includes a series of professional accomplishments, such as breaking up a large burglary ring and preventing the death of another deputy by disarming an armed suspect.

When asked about his professional life, McClelland stated, “It’s always been about family and bringing people together.”

However, despite the impressiveness of his record, he spent most of his work taking care of his companion Midge, who was a well-known celebrity.

Midge was awarded the Guinness World Record for the smallest police dog in 2006 thanks to her dimensions of 11 inches in height and 23 inches long. Despite her slight stature, Midge was an experienced drug-sniffing K9 professional.

Even though Midge’s human boyfriend, McClelland, was eclipsed by her newfound celebrity status, McClelland was delighted to give the focus to Midge because she was his favourite canine.

“He used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname,'” Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand, McClelland’s successor, told the AP News. “He used to joke that people would see him in a car and say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname.'” “I believe that she enjoyed greater popularity than he did.”

Both of them decided to retire at the end of 2016, putting an end to two highly successful careers and a relationship that was very much liked.

Hildenbrand stated about McClelland, “He spent 44 years safeguarding people in this county and, to tell you the truth, he loved his work, every minute of it.” McClelland was a retired sheriff. “I had no idea he would retire,” she said.

The fact that they passed away so quickly after one another is a melancholy and appropriate conclusion to their existence together.

And now, they will be together for all of eternity: the Associated Press reports that Sheriff McClelland and Midge will be laid to rest next to one another.

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