Some might have thought him "just a dog," but Nero was more than that.
Nero, the Marquette City Police Department's first canine member, died Wednesday after a bout with cancer.
Nero served the public nobly during his years with the Marquette police. Obviously, a dog does not choose the task, but he loyally follows through on the duties taught to him by his handlers.
And for that, Nero should be remembered with respect.
Officials at the Marquette Police Department knew that because of his health issues, Nero was going to retire and asked for the public's help in funding a new dog for its valuable work in aiding the fight against crime.
The community stepped up in a huge way and the police were able to purchase two dogs, Scud and Frodo. They are Malinois, a breed known for its high energy, strength and agility, popular as both a police and military working dog.
Sometimes we forget to honor our fellow humans who step up to protect and serve us. But our police officers and firefighters deserve thanks every day for trying to make our world a safer, more secure place.
With that in mind, we also offer a final thanks to Nero for the duties he met so well. We hope those they encounter in the line of duty treat Scud and Frodo, too, with the dignity and respect they earn by standing in harm's way for us all.