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Funeral for a friend

Officers on Monday wheel a flag-draped casket carrying the body of Axel, a retired Crystal River police dog who died of a heart attack, to his burial at Fountains Memorial Park in Homosassa Springs. Beside them, Citrus County sheriff's Deputy M. Cook leads his dog, Alex, in the procession, which included three dogs and officers from at least four agencies. Right, police Sgt. Kat Liotta, Axel's partner for five years and then his owner, wipes a tear as she and sheriff's Sgt. Joe Eckstein attend the burial service. The German shepherd, 8 when he died Wednesday, helped in many drug arrests, including the time he sniffed out marijuana hidden in a 40-pound bag of dog food.

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