When I heard that Retired Maine Warden Service K9 Sig had crossed the Rainbow Bridge, it reminded me of a funny encounter with him at a charity event.

Who Was Sig?

Sig and his human, Game Warden Alan Curtis, made quite a team, starting in 2013 until his retirement in 2022. During Sig's career as a search and rescue conservation K9, he was credited with 24 human search and rescue finds and countless evidence finds for investigators. In 2020, K9 Sig and Maine Warden Curtis were awarded the Maine Warden Service K9 Search and Rescue Case of the Year along with an International Police Working Dog merit award for locating a 3-year-old child.

He was 13 when he passed away last weekend in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family.

What Kinds of Things Did He Do As a Member of the Warden Service?

I've always had a soft spot for Sig, who I met about eight years ago at a charity event called Bark for Life, a dog-friendly relay-for-life type fundraiser in Bangor. Warden Curtis and Sig joined us at Bark for Life to do a demonstration of the duties of a Warden Service K9. Sig was so excited to be surrounded by so many other dogs that Alan decided to keep him in the truck until it was time to get on stage.

What Do You Mean He Booped You?

So, anyone who knows me understands that I couldn't resist going over to say hi to Sig. I gave him a good rub and talked to him and he greeted me with a huge doggy smile. Then Warden Curtis and I turned away from the truck as we talked about the event and some of the other dogs in attendance. Suddenly, I felt a BOOP on my shoulder. It was Sig's way of saying 'pet me some more!' Of course, I did. When I turned around to talk to his human a little more, he booped me again. I turned around and, in that moment, he wasn't a Warden Service K9. He was just an adorable dog who wanted his fair share of the love. Something I'm sure he got, in spades, from Curtis's family.

Rest in peace, Sig. You've earned an eternity of chasing balls and laying in the sun, over the rainbow bridge.

RANKED: Here Are the 63 Smartest Dog Breeds

Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

Gallery Credit: Sabienna Bowman

WOOF: These are the most popular dog breeds in America

Stacker highlights the 100 most popular dog breeds in America based on data released March 15, 2023 from the American Kennel Club.

Gallery Credit: Sabienna Bowman

KEEP LOOKING: See What 50 of America's Most 'Pupular' Dog Breeds Look Like as Puppies

More From WBZN Old Town Maine