If you’ve got to retire, why not go out when you’re at the top of your game?
For a Vizsla-Labrador mix named Eebbers, that time is now. Back in August, the bomb-detecting working dog beat out thousands of others to nab the Transportation Security Administration’s title of “Cutest K9.” Now, he’s on to the next adventure: retirement!
The “Cutest K9” contest was held by the TSA in honor of National Dog Day. They wanted to highlight the important job TSA’s canines do to protect the airport and everyone who passes through it, so they asked people to vote on social media. It’s easy to see why Eebbers became top dog. He’s adorable!
The 11-year-old dog has worked at the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) International Airport in St. Paul, Minnesota for the past 10 years. He is an explosive detection canine who screens passengers with his handler, Jean Carney, who is also retiring. If you’ve ever waited in line at the security checkpoint at MSP, chances are you’ve been sniffed by Eebbers!
According to the TSA’s website, Eebbers helped keep everyone safe for two Super Bowls, the Special Olympics World Games, a NCAA National Championship Football game, the Indianapolis 500, and a NASCAR event.
Eebbers is the oldest working dog in the TSA. He was born into the TSA’s Puppy Program, and he was the last dog from that program still working every day for the TSA. Jean says Eebbers’ personality and temperament were perfectly suited to his line of work, but she’s excited to finally allow him time to hang up his badge and “be a dog.”
“I was just ready for him to be a dog,” Jean explained. “I just wanted him to enjoy the last few years just being a dog. Its inevitable he was going to come to a point where he was going to start slowing down, and maybe start not being as proficient as he was when he was younger. I didn’t want him to go out on a low note.”
Airport staff threw Jean and Eebbers a party to celebrate their retirement, complete with a bomb-shaped cake.
Jean says they plan to do a lot of swimming and playing in retirement. We’d say they both earned it! Congratulations, Jean and Eebbers!
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