WEDOWEE - It was a quiet, somber service last Friday with some tears flowing over the loss of a fellow officer of Randolph County Sheriff's Department. A private memorial service was held in the main courtroom of Randolph County Courthouse to celebrate the life and work of county canine officer, Cega.
The service was conducted by Rev. Toby Stevens, a local church pastor and a minster to inmates at prisons in the state. Stevens said the loss of an animal is just like the loss of a human and that she would be missed. "She has done some great work in this county and in surrounding counties, but God said her work was through." Stevens offered a prayer for the dog and the officers of the department, asking for protection as they serve and protect Randolph County.
Sheriff David Cofield said Cega was born Sept. 20, 2015, and ended her watch on Jan. 13, 2021. He said, "Deputy Nathaniel Morrow, the dog's handler, was certified with Cega on Nov. 10, 2017, and she has been used to search for missing persons and drug searches. She has served us well and may she rest in peace."
Deputy Morrow fought back tears as he remembered the work they did together and how she was not only an aggressive partner when working, but a calm loving dog when at schools or other meetings where children attended. "She knew her job and when to do it, but she knew when to be calm and loving," Morrow said.
Other deputies spoke remembering what a good partner she was during her time of service.
Cega passed away from some serious medical conditions stemming from what started as a urinary tract infection. She was cremated and her remains were placed in a cedar box that was displayed at the service along with her collar and leash and a folded American flag. A plaque was presented to Morrow from the district attorney's office with a poem about Cega.
Sheriff Cofield thanked the DA's office, Assistant District Attorney Tucker North, Victims Service officer Kara Hall and paralegal Leslie Cook for working so hard on the service.