May 24, 2024

Image for article titled A TSA bomb-sniffing dog retired and he was a good dog — so they threw him a retirement party

Image: TSA

One of the Transportation Safety Administration’s “bomb-sniffing” dogs at Reagan National Airport was thrown a retirement party last week after working his final shift and leaving the force after long years in public service. The golden retriever named Messi has been diligently working for nearly a decade, and now that he’s retired will finally get to spend the rest of his life doing whatever he damn well pleases. Dogs, much like humans, do not dream of labor.

At the end of his last shift at the airport, Messi was led into a stairwell where a training bag had been left for him to alert one last time as an officer of the law. It was there that co-workers had staged a surprise party for Messi, throwing dozens of tennis balls, setting off a bubble machine, and feeding him a pupcake (above). For a split second Messi looked surprised and startled, but once he realized the surprise was tennis balls, he went positively berserk and chased a few down.

Messi’s handler, a TSA agent named Peter, removed the official “Do Not Pet” patch from his harness, and dozens of people showered Messi with the pats and scratches he so desperately deserved. Peter has agreed to adopt Messi and take him home and care for him in retirement. Peter, meanwhile, will be moving from TSA canine handler to TSA canine trainer, helping to train dogs to help take Messi’s place on the force. I hope Officer Messi’s pension will help him afford kibble with wet food and a nice bed for his dog house.

They’re all good dogs, Brant.

According to TSA:

Each canine and their handler serves as a reliable resource for detecting explosives as well as providing a visible deterrent to terrorism directed towards various types of transportation nodes.

So, you know, security theater. At least it’s adorable security theater.

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik.

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