A South Euclid officer says goodbye to his K9 partner, Rex, who became part of the family.

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SOUTH EUCLID -- Rex, a retired South Euclid police dog, passed away Friday night, surrounded by the family and friends that loved him.

The much-loved dog spent over a decade on the force, working most of that time with Officer Mike Fink. It was with Fink that Rex lived out most of his days - going to work together as partners and coming home each night, where Rex was part of the Fink family.

In recent days, the aging dog's health has worsened.

Officer Mike Fink posted the following message on the South Euclid Police Department's facebook page:

"Yesterday, after nearly 12 years together, I said goodbye to my partner and friend for the last time. Retired South Euclid Police K9 Rex passed away peacefully with his family at his side, and surrounded by friends who loved him. Rex's condition had worsened, and it was not fair to allow a proud warrior to continue to suffer. Rex was so much to so many people. To the men and women at the South Euclid Police Department, he was a fellow officer, to the children at Adrian Elementary School, he was the police dog who came to visit them in their classroom. To my family, he was their beloved dog, who went to work with me and made sure I came home safe each night. To me, he was a brother who will be remembered for his undeniable courage, his fierce loyalty and his remarkable love of children. We spent over 10 years in a police car together and I still miss him every day. His retirement was good, spent getting my son on and off the school bus and being spoiled by my daughter. His life was a wonderful blessing and I am thankful for the time we spent together and the friends we made along the way. I could not have asked for a better partner. Rest easy big dog…we'll take it from here…."

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