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

Dan McClelland and his K-9 partner Midge retired from their roles in 2016. Midge died just hours after her owner, and both sheriff and dog will be buried together.
Credit: Geauga County Sheriff's Office
Former Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland.

GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio — A retired Ohio county sheriff from outside Cleveland and his tiny K-9 partner were inseparable.

When Dan McClelland retired as Geauga County sheriff in late 2016, his drug-sniffing Chihuahua-rat terrier mix Midge retired as well.

They spent a decade together as partners. Both died Wednesday.

"It is with a heavy heart that I inform the residents of Geauga County that retired Sheriff Dan McClelland has passed way," the Geauga County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook shortly before 10 a.m. "Sheriff McClelland served the residents of Geauga County for 44 years with the last 13 years proudly serving as your Sheriff."

The 67-year-old McClelland died after a long battle with cancer and 16-year-old Midge, perhaps, of a broken heart.

McClelland's family says they will be buried together. Midge was certified by Guinness World Records as the smallest police dog on the globe.

McClelland spent 44 years with the sheriff's office outside Cleveland, and the last 13 as sheriff.

Among the multiple awards he received throughout his career, McClelland was named a 2014 Leadership Geauga County Emerald Leader Award Winner.

“It’s always been about family and bringing people together,” McClelland said when asked about his life and career, according to Leadership Geauga.