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Messi The TSA Explosives Detection Canine Gets A Surprise Retirement Party

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Messi, an 8-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, goes out with a bang as a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger screening canine at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport with a retirement party on Friday, April 19.

In a press release, TSA said Messi was clearly born to be a TSA canine “because he enjoys watching airplanes and playing in the grass at nearby Gravelly Point”.

Messi is the longest-serving passenger screening canine in Washington, D.C., And after years of diligent service, Messi’s handler, Peter, along with several canine handlers and guests, thought the pooch deserved a surprise party for the canine’s retirement.

For a TSA explosives detection canine who “enjoys playing with a tennis ball after a busy day sniffing for any traces of explosives at the airport”, it was only right to surprise Messi by showering him with tennis balls!

Messi and Peter searched a room where a training aid was concealed. And when Messi alerts on his last bag, that’s when canine handlers showered the pooch with his favorite balls, signaling the beginning of his retirement.

And to say Messi was thrilled would be an understatement. The pooch was positively bamboozled with the amount of tennis balls he was showered with.

With Messi’s retirement, TSA wrote, “Now he doesn’t have to wait to play with his favorite toy.”

Furthermore, Peter also removed Messi’s “Do Not Pet” patch from his harness, marking the pooch’s official retirement and signaling his transition from being a TSA canine to a regular pet.

Luckily for Messi, “There was no shortage of guests who were eager to pet the newly retired dog.”

The TSA also revealed that Peter is officially adopting Messi as his dog. And he is shifting from being a canine handler to a canine trainer.

Messi’s rise to fame started last year, when he was featured as the dog of the month for February in the TSA’s annual canine calendar.

Congratulations, Messi! We hope retirement treats you well!

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