When this airport service dog retired after five years, her co-workers threw her an unforgettable party

June 21, 2017 10:38 am Last Updated: June 21, 2017 10:38 am


When a person retires, they usually get a nice big retirement party, maybe a gold watch or some other send-off to celebrate their years of service. But what about service animals? How do we thank them?

If you’re an employee at Orlando International Airport, you treat them like your own — and send them off with a retirement bash to rival any human employee’s.

The airport recently had a “pawsome time” celebrating a loyal service dog.

Gema’s sendoff had everything you could want: thoughtful gifts, best friends, and (as only the most exclusive and trendy parties have) its very own hashtag: #HappyRetirementGema.

The event was shared by the Orlando International Airport’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts, who said they were celebrating “one of our most loyal and dedicated employees.”

According to the stats on her trading card (that’s right, see below) Gema was trained by the Department of Homeland Security as an explosives detection dog. She had been with Orlando International since December 2012, and often was assigned to V.I.P. services, including U.S. and foreign dignitaries. (She also “enjoys long naps and playing fetch.”)

What’s next for Gema? She’s going to enjoy her retirement in the care of her handler, Eddie.

“In darkness, she is my eyes. She’s my sister, my protection. When lonely, she lets me know I’m not,” Eddie said about his companion on Twitter.

All of Gema’s best friends showed up to see her off, both human and canine:

She was showered with gifts…

Including a retirement crown:

Her very own trading card:

And of course, a delicious bone:

Enjoy your retirement, Gema! You deserve it! #HappyRetirementGema