It was a well-deserved final farewell.
A Connecticut police department honored a very important member of their team this week in what’s being called an “honor ride ceremony.”
FOX 61 was there for 14-year-old Reign’s final ride in a police cruiser before the German shepherd was put to sleep on Wednesday evening.
Watch the video in which Detective Rosario Savastra, one half of the partnership of “Rosie & Reign,” drove his beloved K9 partner — who served the West Hartford Police Department for six years before retiring in 2012 — past two dozen saluting police personnel.
The officers stood on the steps of the station house to honor the dog, whose health had been fast declining recently, before he was put down by a veterinarian.
Savastra described Reign as an excellent partner in the field.
“The best way I can describe it is that Reign was everything,” Savastra told PEOPLE in an email. “At work, he was a serious, hardcore, high drive, professional athlete who was focused and excelled at any task thrown his way.”
Reign was a “huge asset” to the department, having countless drug finds on his resume and locating countless people (“Both good and bad,” he recalled, “[he] once tracked a robbery suspect over 1.5 miles through a wooded area.”)
What’s more, at home Reign was the perfect family dog, protecting Savastra’s house, his wife and his child.
“There was no area in life that Reign would not excel,” Savastra added. “He was the best to work with and the best to love and just hang out with. I miss him immensely and will never forget him.”