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Firefighters Pay Loving Tribute To Station Dog Who Passed Away

 "We said goodbye in a very emotional ceremony because we were saying goodbye to one of our own."

Firefighters in the Chilean city of Iquique put their lives on the line every day for the town, but it's their love gesture to a four-legged member of their crew who died this week that has made national headlines.

For more than a decade, this beautiful dog named Negro lived alongside Iquique Fire Department first responders. As station dog, he kept an eye on things when firefighters were dispatched on calls and was there to greet them with a wagging tail when they returned.

The dog's cheerful presence undoubtedly helped to relieve the stress of people around him while they went about their frequently risky duties, and it made the lengthy lengths of silence more delightful in between.

Negro's years of service had unfortunately come to an end.

The devoted dog died at the age of 14 on Tuesday, following a period of worsening health.

“This afternoon, one of our ranks – our four-legged firefighter – left the earth,” the fire service stated online. “We appreciate all the years you've spent with us. We will remember you for the rest of our lives.”

However, Negro's coworkers went above and beyond to pay honor to him. The department's board of directors decided to take it a step further, presenting the dog with the title of "honorary fireman" and the final respects that come with it.

To send their emotional goodbyes to the beloved canine, the fire department organized an honor guard funeral.

“Negro was a member of our family. He was respected and adored, according to Fire Captain Jorge Tapia of “We said our final goodbyes in a very emotional ceremony since we were saying goodbye to one of our own, who was a vital part of our company.”

And, as the dog's casket was taken out, accompanied by his coworkers, it was clear how important he was to them.

That evening, Negro's body was laid to rest in a site not far from where he'd served so faithfully. In his loving memory, a tree was also planted nearby.

While this fire station dog undoubtedly touched the hearts of everybody who knew him personally throughout their many years together, Negro's legacy will live on via this week's act of respect and love paid to him – a fitting tribute to a beautiful pup:

“In remembrance of our Negro. “Faithful companion, friend, and protector.”