Retired sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

National News
This 2006 image provided by John Hoffart shows then Sheriff Dan McClelland and his small police dog Midge at the Geauga County, Ohio, sheriff’s department. Both died on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. McClelland after a lengthy battle with cancer and Midge, perhaps, of a broken heart. The family said they will be buried together. McClelland retired in 2016, after 13 years as sheriff, and 44 total in the department. The last ten with Midge, a drug-sniffing Chihuahua-rat terrier mix certified by Guinness World Records as the smallest police dog on the globe. (John Hoffart via AP)

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.

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