Jake the dog retires from the RCMP
After 9½ years of sniffing for drugs, Jake was honoured Friday at the Nova Scotia RCMP headquarters
Some days, it truly is a dog's life; Friday was one of those days.
It was the last day on the job for Jake, the RCMP's narcotic detection dog based in Halifax.
The 10-year-old Lab was mobbed by about two dozen kids from the Willowbrae Daycare, which is adjacent to Nova Scotia RCMP headquarters in Dartmouth.
The kids joined headquarters staff in the building lobby as Jake worked the crowd like a politician, pausing to greet everyone between scarfing down treats and specially baked cakes.
In his 9½ years on duty, Jake has sniffed up an impressive total, including $1 million worth of cocaine.
"He's a typical Lab, he's goofy," his handler, Const. Mark Flanagan, said at Jake's retirement party.
"But when it comes to work, he puts his head into it. He really is a good dog. Excellent."
Flanagan was Jake's only handler. They trained together in Alberta before starting work in Halifax. They were stationed together at Halifax's Stanfield International Airport before moving to Nova Scotia RCMP headquarters, where they were part of the federal, serious and organized crime unit.
"He's probably worked longer than most police dogs so I've been very fortunate," Flanagan said. "His health has been really good, but he is starting to show his age a bit."
Jake and Flanagan will still be partners — the canine is becoming the constable's full-time house pet.
Flanagan will be returning to general police duties, which he admits will be hard after 10 years as a dog handler.
He said Jake won't be replaced because the program he was part of no longer operates.
But Flanagan said if it's revived, "I'd go back in a heartbeat."