For more than ten years, firefighters at the Iquique Fire Department in Chile have spent their work days with a furry friend named Negro — the department’s resident station dog. After being dispatched on long, often dangerous calls, they always had his sweet face to look forward to when they got back. But on March 6, at the ripe old age of 14, Negro passed away, leaving a hole in the hearts of everyone who knew him.
“This afternoon, one from our ranks left the earth — our four-legged firefighter,” the fire department wrote. “Thank you very much for all the years you’ve been with us. We’ll remember you forever.”
Words can’t adequately express how much Negro meant to the firefighters he worked with, but how they decided to honor their companion says it all. After his death, Negro was named an “honorary firefighter” and given an honor guard funeral.
“Negro was one of us, one of this family. He was respected, loved,” Fire Captain Jorge Tapia told Soyiquique.cl. “We said goodbye in a very emotional ceremony because we were saying goodbye to one of our own, who was an important part of this company.”
His casket was carried by his fellow firefighters, who gave him the perfect send-off before laying him to rest in a plot near the station. They also planted a tree close by in memory of their beloved co-worker.
“In memory of our Negro. Faithful pet, friend and protector,” the firefighters wrote. Rest in peace, Negro. You were such a good boy, and you’ll be sorely missed.