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‘Cutest canine’ gets a royal send-off at MSP

What a way to go out: Honored as the TSA's "cutest canine" and retiring on the same day! That's just what happened to Eebbers – an explosives-detection dog that has worked at MSP Airport for nearly a decade – on Wednesday (Aug. 31).

In an event attended by dozens of TSA security agents at Terminal 1, Eebbers and his handler, Jean Carney, who is also retiring, were feted with speeches, cakes and a swarm of television cameras gathered to capture the moment.

As a reward for his many years of service for helping keep MSP safe, several TSA agents dropped toys from the Departures Level opening surrounding The Aurora onto the Arrivals Level to commemorate the special day. (During regular training sessions, Eebbers gets a toy for successfully completing a training test.)

But perhaps the biggest moment came quietly when Jean's colleague unhooked Eebbers' harness emblazoned with the words, "Do Not Pet."

"Now you're a real dog," said Jean. On cue, four children (and a neighbor friend) of Marty Robinson – the TSA's federal security director for Minnesota – swarmed in to hug and pet Eebbers as Jean and Marty looked on.

In a nationwide contest between 92 TSA dogs, Eebbers was crowned the "cutest canine" on National Dog Day (Aug. 26). Eebbers is an 11-year-old Vizsla-Labrador mix and was the TSA's oldest working canine. As the cutest canine, he'll be featured on the cover of the TSA's 2023 calendar with runner-up working dogs highlighted on each month.   

Eebbers will continue to live with Jean and her husband, Charlie, and Eebbers' litter mate, Etti, at their full-time home on Lake Okoboji in Iowa.

"We're going to take him to the lake and he's going to swim all day," said Jean.

Thanks Eebbers and Jean for all your help in keeping MSP safe – we're going to miss you!

Related information

TSA's 'cutest K9 retires -- KSTP-TV