Fire dog Saxon returns to favourite place as his ashes are laid alongside favourite tennis ball

Saxon's ashes and ball. Photo: Twitter @HantsFireDogs
Saxon's ashes and ball. Photo: Twitter @HantsFireDogs
David Cotton. Picture: Sussex Police

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THE ASHES of a much-loved fire dog have been laid at his favourite spot.

Late fire investigation dog Saxon, a black Labrador, returned to his favourite place on Monday night – the forest.

Saxon. Photo: Twitter @HantsFireDogs

Saxon. Photo: Twitter @HantsFireDogs

Personnel from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service delivered Saxon’s ashes to a plot of greenery, along with his prized tennis ball.

The heartfelt gesture was shared on Twitter, where a member of the fire service said: ‘Run free Saxon, your shift is over my friend.’

It was announced Saxon had died on Friday, August 11 – more than two years after he retired from the service, after 126 dog years.

Throughout his lifelong service, Saxon’s skill set helped put dozens of criminals behind bars.

Fire investigation dogs are trained to work out how fires start by using their advanced sense of smell to hunt for traces of flammable liquids.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Fire and Rescue said Saxon’s sense of smell was so strong that he could detect a single drop of petrol at one end of a football pitch from the other.

Speaking after his death, Saxon’s handler, fire investigator Graham Howlett, said: ‘It is a pleasure to work with such lovely-natured dogs and I’m so proud of what he achieved.’