Colombia

Top dog of the Colombian bomb squad retires with full honors

Colombia retires bomb-sniffing dog with full honors

Kalet, a chocolate Lab, retired from Colombia’s police force Friday in a ceremony replete with honor guard and speeches. His nose was so good, he was among the elite: sniffing bags at the presidency and congress.
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Kalet, a chocolate Lab, retired from Colombia’s police force Friday in a ceremony replete with honor guard and speeches. His nose was so good, he was among the elite: sniffing bags at the presidency and congress.

Kalet’s nose was so good he got to sniff with some of the elite: protecting the presidential palace and congress from bomb-toting visitors.

On Friday, the chocolate Lab and police bomb-sniffing dog inspected his last bag as he was honored in a retirement ceremony that would be the envy of any policeman.

“We have mixed feelings about this,” said Police Gen. Julio González. “We’re happy because he’s retiring with a pension after a job well done, and we’re sad because another colleague is leaving us.”

The police said Kalet’s “pension” will involve whiling away his days on a “geriatric farm” on the outskirts of Bogotá.

The police said they adopted the dog in 2008 from a family who called him Odín. But they quickly realized he had “talent” and was put into a year-long training course. His name was changed in honor of Colombian singer Kaleth Morales.

During Colombia’s half-century conflict, police and army canine units have been widely used and have saved hundreds of lives. González said the police alone have about 3,200 trained dogs.

Asked about the pomp of the retirement ceremony — which included an honor guard and speeches — González said it was only fitting.

“These are our workmates,” he said. “And they deserve this recognition.”

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