Piper, a beloved Cherry Capital Airport K-9, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 3, after a year-long battle with prostate cancer.

The news came in the form of a Facebook post on the K-9 teams Facebook page from Piper's owner Brian.

"Piper passed away tonight peacefully in my arms after fighting a year-long battle with prostate cancer," the post read in part. "He fought valiantly, and we did everything we could, but sometimes life just has to take its course."

Merry Christmas! 🎄 . If you've been with us for a year or two, you know we love the movie Top Gun. So every Christmas, we don our festive hats and christen our stockings with Top Gun patches. . This year, we went with Viper and Jester, the old veteran instructors at Top Gun. Seems like a perfect natural progression. Three years ago, it was Maverick and Iceman, the hot shots. Last year, it was Hollywood and Wolfman, 'cause he wen't viral. This year, the vets that are eventually retiring. Of course, Piper is Viper, the man in charge and me, Jester, his right hand man. It's no secret, dude runs the show around here. . In any event, we hope everyone had a great Christmas. We celebrated with our awesome airport family at work today. Next week, Pipe gets to celebrate with Grandma! 😊 . Special thanks to @northpoint.studio for the custom wrapping paper and @scottdmartin for the epic patches. . #airportk9 #airport #k9 #k9team #k9storm #spikesk9fund #aviation #christmas #bordercollie #dog #dogsofinstagram #workingdog #traversecity #puremichigan

A post shared by K-9 Piper (@airportk9) on

Brian said Piper lived his last day pain-free and filled with love from family and friends.

The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City flew this flag in honor of Piper and later presented it to the Cherry Capital Airport K-9 Team.

Piper was infamous for his large Instagram following. He will be missed by many.

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