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Senior K-9 Dies In Handler’s Arms, Gets The Hero’s Goodbye She Deserves

| Published on December 30, 2016

When K-9 Keylo passed away with her human partner by her side, the community mourned for the lost hero.

The black German Shepherd worked on the police force in Bath, Maine with her handler, Corporal Michelle Small. She served for over a decade, and assisted in an incredible 333 apprehensions in addition to sniffing out evidence including drug paraphernalia. To the small town community, she was a treasure.

“What struck me the most is not just how much everyone in Bath loves Keylo, and how much a part of our community she is, but how much she and Cpl. Michelle Small mean to our entire state of Maine law enforcement and rescue officers,” posted photography company soggy doggy designs, who took snapshots of the funeral.

In a story by Bangor Daily News, Small recalled an incident where Keylo helped save the life of a suicidal man.

“Nobody could find him, and I just trusted her and our training,” the she explained. Small added that the hospital staff who treated the man said that they saved his life by finding him in time.

The intrepid K-9 was able to help keep local communities safe, using her impressive training to track down dangerous suspects.

“She found a gentleman who assaulted his wife in Bowdoinham fairly severely,” Small told Bangor Daily News. “[The man] got into a boat, and we were driven to the boat and she tracked him back to shore — swam back and found him hiding by the railroad tracks in Bowdoinham.”

Keylo retired an accomplished officer in 2013 and enjoyed living with Small for her remaining years. Recently, the dog’s health began to fail, and she passed away just before her 15th birthday. But as Keylo’s spirit left Earth, she knew, beyond a doubt, that she was loved.

“She died at home in my arms,” Small said in the article.

Small went on to describe the depth of the bond between a police dog and handler. “It’s a partner. They become a huge part of your family. I spent more time with [Keylo] than I did with my own family members. I figure 10 hours a day, minimum, every day you went to work. She went everywhere with me.”

Keylo’s passing prompted and impressive turnout as she received the hero’s goodbye that she deserved. The Bangor Daily News reported:

The procession, including about 30 police cruisers, ambulances and firetrucks from all over the state, passed under a bridge made by the Brunswick and Topsham fire department tower trucks bearing a flag, near the clinic, where a memorial service was held, Small said.

Since Keylo’s retirement, Small has been working with Sampson, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, and the two have formed their own lasting bond. However, Keylo will always hold a special place in the hearts of those she worked with, especially Corporal Small.

Rest in peace, brave Keylo. You will always be remembered for your heroic service.

(h/t: Bangor Daily News)

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