A retired Ohio sheriff and his tiny, crime-fighting, K-9 partner will be buried together after dying on the same day.
Former Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, 67, and Midge, 16 — a drug-sniffing Chihuahua-rat terrier mix certified by the Guinness World Records as the world’s smallest police dog in 2006 — both died on Wednesday.
Midge passed away at home, possibly of a broken heart, just hours after McClelland lost his battle with cancer at the hospital.
The dynamic duo were inseparable, whether they were collaring suspects or out on the town at parades and police functions.
Midge was remembered paws-humously as a rock star who would delight everyone she met — except the drug dealers the terrier-mix terrorized.
When the top cop was doing paperwork, Midge would sleep in a miniature dog bed next to his desk, making his office a very popular spot on school field trips.
Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand recalled escorting the crime-fighting team in a golf cart at the county fair. It was a slow ride, as people flocked to the petit police pooch.
“He used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and would say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname,’” Hildenbrand told the Associated Press. “I think she was more popular than him.”
“It was like bringing Elvis Presley to the midway,” retired Lt. John Hiscox agreed.
It was McClelland, a 44 year veteran of the force, who decided that Midge would make an unlikely, but ideal, drug-sniffing dog.
Unlike large and aggressive canines like German shepherds or bloodhounds, Midge — the runt of her litter — could fit into tight spots like under vehicles, which she would search without tearing up upholstery or leaving muddy footprints.
The pair were guests on daytime talk shows and featured in magazines like Playboy until their joint retirement — when Midge would join McClelland and his wife on cross country road trips in an RV.
“He spent 44 years protecting people in this county and, quite frankly, he loved his job, every minute of it,” Hildenbrand said. “I thought he’d never retire.”
McClelland and Midge now have a new leash on the afterlife. They will be buried together, family members said.
With Post wires
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