K-9 cries beside coffin of slain Mountie partner

K-9 officer Danny served with Constable Dave Ross of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police before his handler was slain in a mass shooting. (Photo credit: Associated Press)

Danny the German Shepherd first met Constable Dave Ross in late 2012, when the two began their police dog and handler training with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). They excelled together, graduating from the program in August 2013.

Danny and Constable Ross enjoyed working beside one another for 10 months and had developed a strong bond of friendship in that time. But last week, the unbelievable happened — an active shooter in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada took the lives of three RCMP officers, including Constable Fabrice Gevaudan, 45; Constable Douglas Larche, 40; and Constable Ross, who was only 32 years old when he died.

A heartbroken Danny walked beside another Mountie during Tuesday’s regimental funeral for the three fallen RCMP officers. Danny’s escort held Constable Ross’s hat as they walked behind Ross’s Canadian flag-draped coffin, and several times throughout the procession Danny stood on his hind legs, straining to sniff the hat. Throughout the somber service, Danny could be heard crying and whimpering, mourning the loss of his best friend.

In the days after the memorial service, it was announced that Danny will be returning to work alongside a new RCMP handler.

“While Danny too is grieving for his handler, he will have the opportunity to continue on to a rewarding career,” The RCMP explain in a statement.

Constable Ross’s wife, Rachel Ross, says her husband would have wanted his four-legged friend and partner to return to work.

“It wouldn’t be fair to Danny to retire him, as he loved his work as much as Dave did,” Rachel said in a statement Wednesday. “Any time Danny barked at home, it would be to get Dave to open the truck door so they could go to work.”

The RCMP acknowledges that Danny is such a wonderful police K-9 because of the love and support given to him by Constable Ross.

“Danny is trained to work. Danny’s bond with Dave will always be there. If not for Dave recognizing Danny’s skills, he would never have had the opportunity to serve Canadians, something he will continue to do with pride and dedication,” the RCMP says.

Sources: RCMP-GRC.gc.ca, Daily Mail, TODAY.com