DINWIDDIE - K-9 Deputy Maco was known for his love of life.  While at work, the German Shepherd-Belgium Malinois had located illegal drugs for the Dinwiddie Sheriff's Department on at least 50 occasions. During off-hours, he would aid his handler,
Deputy Brock Tomlin, in catching fish while the two were sailing. On other weekends, Maco and Tomlin would hike in the mountains.
"Everywhere I would go, he would go," Tomlin said....but on Nov. 1, Major William Knott with the
Dinwiddie Sheriff's Department got the call that no one ever wants to get.
 Maco had been struck by a car during an early morning training exercise in the Courthouse area of the county.
His watch ended that day.
"This was a devastating blow to all of us," Knott said.

Tomlin said he best remembers the most talented K-9 deputy that he ever worked with by thinking back
 to Maco on the sail boat.  Maco would also never hesitate to greet people - or the camera.
"He was a show-off. Whenever we brought out a camera, he would always ham up to the camera," he said.
The Sheriff's Department honored Maco with a memorial service Friday, which featured a poem written
 by Deputy Terrell Coles.

"I gave you my paw, and you gave me your hand.
I promised to protect you, just as you have done for me, my friend.
Every time I strapped on that harness, I knew it was time to go to work.
 I hit the ground hard, my nose pressed against the dirt.
 I never had someone that knew me better than you.
 I almost learned how to tie your boots,"
 part of the poem read.

Maco was born in the Czech Republic in July 2011 and joined Dinwiddie's K-9 team a year later,
 specializing in drug and narcotics detection, tracking and article location.
Knott previously noted that hardly a day went by that Maco did not find drugs.
 In his last call, Maco caused a traffic stop to lead to a drug arrest.
After he tapped on the trunk, deputies recovered
 a small bag of marijuana that had been packed inside a suitcase.

"Even during his short time in service, his service was significant and sincere," Deputy Steven Pugh said during the service. "Celebrate knowing that his life in service was not in vain."

A portrait of Maco donated by Petersburg artist Mary Kate Gerschick was unveiled during the ceremony.
"I was blown away by it. I thought it really captured Maco," Knott said.
The portrait will be hung in the Sheriff's Department as a permanent memorial to Maco.

"We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support following this tragic loss," Sheriff D.T. "Duck" Adams said in a press release. "The Sheriff's Office has received cards and calls from law enforcement officers and animals lovers from across the country. These expressions of sympathy and support mean a lot to me and to my officers."

J.T. Morriss & Son provided free cremation services for Maco. His remains were given to Tomlin and remain in
 his possession. - Vanessa Remmers can be reached at 804-722-5155 or vremmers@progress-index.com.patrick
 kane/progress-index photo