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Gov. Dayton mourns the death of Mesabi, his 10-year-old dog

Mesabi, Gov. Mark Dayton’s 10-year-old German shepherd, died Thursday, a few days after surgery.

The governor says the death was unexpected, and he relates the incident, and his feelings, in touching detail on his Facebook page:

 My wonderful dog, Mesabi, died suddenly and unexpectedly this afternoon. He was two months shy of his eleventh birthday.

Earlier this week, Mesabi had surgery to remove his spleen and a likely cancerous tumor. I was told that the surgery went fine and that there were no visible signs of the cancer having spread.

This afternoon, Mesabi went back to the vet, and again I was told that he checked out fine. When he returned to the Residence, however, he just lay in the driveway. We thought he was probably disoriented from the travels and his pain meds; so we carried him upstairs and laid him in my bedroom.

For the next hour, he lay quietly, while I sat next to him and worked. Suddenly, he rolled on his side, vomited a large quantity of blood, and expired.

Mesabi was a terrific dog. Everyone who knew him, adored him. He loved to sit in the front yard and quietly watch people walk by on Summit Avenue. The silence was shattered, however, when another dog had the temerity to trespass on Mesabi’s sidewalk. (He was always a little fuzzy about property rights!)

“Bow-Wow, Bow-Wow,” Mesabi would bellow, as he rumbled to the fence, which separated him from the intruder. A few additional barks were exchanged, occasionally a growl, before the other dog departed; and, once again, Mesabi ruled his domain.

He was a loyal, devoted friend. He and his sister, Dakota, who passed away two years ago, brought so much joy into my life. As I wrapped him in a blanket, I thought of a line from a long-ago song by “Blood, Sweat, and Tears.” “And when I die, when I’m gone, there’ll be one child born in this world, to carry on. Carry on.” 

I am very fortunate to have Wanamingo and Itasca, two equally wonderful German shepherds, to carry on.

Rest in Peace, dear Mesabi.

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