Gov. Dayton's beloved dog, Mesabi, dies

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Gov. Mark Dayton's much-adored 10-year-old black German Shepherd Mesabi died Thursday, the governor writes on his Facebook page. The dog earlier this week had surgery to remove his spleen and a likely cancerous tumor, Dayton said.

Dayton writes that he was working from home Thursday afternoon at the governor's residence in St. Paul when the animal, lying nearby, died "suddenly and unexpectedly."

"He was a loyal, devoted friend," Dayton writes in the tribute.

Dayton is big fan of black German shepherds. He has two others, Wanamingo and Itasca, who is not yet two years old.

Mesabi’s sister, Dakota, died in 2011, not long after Dayton took office.

Dayton wrote of Mesabi, "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."

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