Tragedy struck the Blaine Police Department last weekend when an off-duty officer and his wife were killed in a motorcycle crash in Elk River. Steve and Susie Nanney of Ham Lake left behind a chocolate Lab named Ranger.
Now a colleague who regularly served as a dogsitter for the couple has stepped in to adopt the canine.
Jennah Justen, a Blaine community service officer, welcomed Ranger to her own household this week.
“Jennah has routinely watched Ranger for Steve and Susie, therefore it was a natural decision for the family,” Blaine police announced on Twitter, alongside smiling photos of Justen hugging the pup. In one photo, Ranger calmly rides shotgun in Justen’s squad car.
“As you can see, they are both extremely happy!” the post continued.
The Nanneys, both 51, died last Friday evening when their Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided head-on with a pickup truck near the 21100 block of Twin Lakes Road. The truck driver, a 17-year-old Elk River resident, suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
Steve Nanney was a 10-year veteran of the Blaine force who most recently served as a school resource officer at Blaine High School. Susie Nanney was an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. “Susie was a cherished faculty member. … Her energy and caring nature seemed to know no bounds,” the U’s Medical School said in a statement.
Blaine Police Chief Brian Podany described Steve Nanney as a “soft-spoken, yet resolute” man who “had a heart of gold.”
The Nanneys loved traveling, riding their motorcycle and the great outdoors, he said.
“To know one was to know the other,” Podany said. “We know that they died doing something they really enjoyed. … Even though we no longer have them, we have their spirit, and they will live on.”