When most people see cops and dogs, they think of it like any other working relationship, but this was something entirely different.
Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland and his K-9 partner Midge, a Chihuahua-rat terrier mix, served many years together in the force before they retired in 2016. Still friends, they lived out the rest of their days until the retired sheriff lost his battle with cancer at age 67. His best friend would follow only hours later at age 16 from what many believe to be a broken heart.
McClelland served the Geauga County Police for 44 years and spent his last 13 years there as sheriff. He and Midge were hometown legends in this rural county to the east of Cleveland and Midge even ended up in the Guinness World Record Book as the world’s smallest police dog!
Midge never left her partner’s side, and when they were off duty, she would nap nearby. She was even in the passenger seat at the Great Geauga County Fair where passersby ran up to the vehicle to pet her! One could say Midge was even more popular than the sheriff!
Although Midge was a small dog, she was the best of the best. She could crawl under vehicles easily and search crime scenes without making a mess of everything. Eventually, their popularity spread, and soon they were on the cover of magazines such as Playboy and made appearances on several talk shows.
After 44 years of service, McClelland earned a relaxed retirement, but he couldn’t do it without Midge! They took a cross-country tour with his wife and made lifelong memories. Though they are gone, their impact on the community will never be forgotten. The best friends will be buried together and they will live forever in the hearts of everyone they touched.