Some people love each other so much that their souls are bound, in life and death. These souls literally can’t live or die without each other.
And while you’ll often hear these scenarios play out in stories about married high school sweethearts who died of a broken heart soon after their partner passed away, humans aren’t the only ones who have a monopoly on these kinds of connections.
Take retired Ohio Sheriff Dan McClelland and his police dog Midge.
When McClelland, 67, passed away at a hospital after battling cancer for some time, his dog, 16, passed away a few hours later at home.
The dog is believed to have died from a broken heart, according to KTLA 5.
McClelland was with the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office for 44 years.
“He spent 44 years protecting people in this county and, quite frankly, he loved his job, every minute of it,” McClelland’s successor Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand said. “I thought he’d never retire.”
McClelland was admired for his leadership ability and for keeping the best interests of the county and community at the forefront.
“He was fair and was not afraid to make a decision,” Retired Lt. John Hiscox said. “He was always willing to listen, but when he made a decision it was final.”
He spent the last decade with Midge, who worked as a drug-sniffing, by his side. The Chihuahua-rat terrier mix was certified by Guinness World Records in 2006 as the world’s smallest police dog.
Despite her small size, McClelland knew she would make the perfect police dog.
Unlike her larger counterparts, Midge could search vehicles without tearing or muddying up upholstery. Searching underneath vehicles was a breeze for Midge. Midge ended up being kind of a big deal.
“It was like bringing Elvis Presley to the midway,” Hiscox recalls.
School children would go crazy over Midge when they would visit the station and people flocked to her when she would drive by in a golf cart during the Great Geauga County Fair.
“He [McClelland] used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and would say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname,’” Hildenbrand said. “I think she was more popular than him.”
McClelland and Midge’s fame even landed them as guests on some daytime television talk shows.
The pair were even mentioned in national magazines like Playboy.
Midge retained her K-9 certifications until both she and McClelland retired. That’s when the pair, along with McClelland’s wife, decided to travel the country in a recreational vehicle.
When McClelland came down with inoperable brain cancer, Midge was by his side every day.
“She was with him 24-7,” Hildenbrand told Inside Edition.
Midge ended up passing away just six hours after McClelland’s passing.
“I kind of equate it to the couple that’s been married for 70 years and pass away within hours of each other,” Hildenbrand said.