CLEVELAND (AP) — The Ohio county sheriff and his tiny police dog were inseparable, their lives unwaveringly intertwined.
It thus seems fitting that retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, 67, and his crime-fighting partner Midge, 16, would both die on Wednesday — McClelland, at a hospital after a lengthy battle with cancer and Midge, a few hours later at home, perhaps of a broken heart.
McClelland retired at the end of 2016 after 13 years as sheriff in this semi-rural county east of Cleveland. He spent 44 years total with the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office and a decade alongside Midge, a drug-sniffing Chihuahua-rat terrier mix certified by Guinness World Records in 2006 as the smallest police dog on the globe.
He and Midge — but especially Midge — were rock stars in Geauga County. Wherever McClelland went, Midge was by his side. At the office, she would nap on a dog bed beside his desk. Schoolchildren were enthralled during their visits.
McClelland’s successor, Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand, recalls driving a golf cart with McClelland and Midge in the passenger seat at the Great Geauga County Fair. He said it was a slow ride as people flocked to them, petting and fussing over Midge.