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Madison County Sheriff K-9 retires less than a week after cancer diagnosis

Emotions ran high at a retirement ceremony for a K-9 diagnosed with cancer. Sheriff Buddy Harwood and deputies stood in the hallway as Sgt. Jeff Tweed walked his four-legged partner Tyler to the event. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Emotions ran high at a retirement ceremony for a K-9 diagnosed with cancer last weekend.

Sheriff Buddy Harwood and deputies stood in the hallway as Sgt. Jeff Tweed walked his four-legged partner Tyler to the event.

"I appreciate y'all," Tweed said of the ultimate sign of respect for a dog fighting for his life, prompting Harwood to fight off tears.

"I never thought I'd get choked up over a dog," he said at the ceremony, referring to the black lab that has heart cancer.

"You know we've grown to love Tyler and his handler Jeff Tweed," he said to a crowd.

"It's about you buddy, it's about you," Tweed said to the K-9. "It's about you buddy."

Tyler started in May 2007. Tweed may not be married to his job, but his K-9's another story.

"It's gonna be death do we part," he said. "Cause we're more than just partners, we're best friends."

In sickness and in health. Tyler will live with Tweed in retirement.

"I'm gonna make sure he's comfortable and whatever it takes to see he's OK," Tweed said. "Anything I asked, he's always done more than what I asked."

"I've always loved this dog," he said. "But when you hear that, hey, he's got cancer and he's not gonna live anymore, it's like someone's hit you with a rock in the face, you know, and it just took my breath."

Harwood recognized Tyler with two honors, including a special citation for police service. Through the years, Tyler's sniffed out drugs and been invaluable in often dangerous situations. Now, he'll transition to being a pet for the rest of his days.

"And we're gonna retire him tonight," Harwood said.

To celebrate, Tyler lapped up a cake made with treats, honey, carrots, Greek yogurt and lots of love.

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