BLAINE, Minn. (KMSP) - When a Blaine Police officer and his wife died in a tragic motorcycle accident two weeks ago, they left behind their beloved dog, Ranger, and a community that's still dealing with their loss.
While the absence of both Steve Nanney and his wife Susie will be felt for some time, their dog has found a new home with a young community service officer who Steve first encouraged to pursue law enforcement.
“Steve and Susie didn’t have any kids—their dogs were their babies," said Jennah Justen, who says Steve Nanney was something of a mentor to her. "They’ve had chocolate labs their whole life together.”
Jennah first met Steve when she was 14 years old and signed up for the Police Explorers program. Over the years Justen grew close to the couple and regularly took care of Ranger when they were out of town.
After their deaths, the Nanney's extended families asked her to officially adopt the dog, a responsibility she was honored to accept.
“To have them trust me with such an important piece of their family was really great and it feels great," she said. "They’re all really great people.”
Justen says Ranger can definitely sense the loss of his previous owners, but still manages to share his good-natured spirit with everyone he meets.
"They were always happy and cheerful and they never had a bad thing to say, Ranger is kind of the same way," Justen said. "He’s always happy and always ready to go, it definitely feels like they’re still here with us with Ranger here.”