Kai, 7, a Labrador Retriever, isn’t particularly old, but according to the Knesset kennel, dogs at this age can no longer endure the operational fitness required for this complicated and responsible role – forcing him to retire.
Kai arrived at the Knesset as a puppy, and has since grown and been trained to serve the parliament. Like the rest of the canines living in the Knesset Guard's kennel, he carried out a variety of security missions over the years, including sniffing out explosives.
"I'm definitely going to miss him," says the kennel commander, Warrant Officer Yair Bashari. "He is the happiest dog here. We'll have to get used to Kai not being here anymore."
Addressing his work with dogs, he says: "In case of a bomb-sniffing dog, there's no room for mishaps. You have a mishap – you have an explosion. I study the dog and he studies me, and we complement each other."
A festive departure ceremony was planned for Kai's retirement, during which he was to receive a merit certificate.
He will be replaced at the Knesset Guard by his two "children" – Momo and Lily, aged 16 months. It's safe to assume that no one will file a complaint with the state comptroller over nepotism.
And what about Kai? No need to worry. The Knesset has found him a home in Rehovot, and he is soon likely to find out, like many MKs forced to leave with a broken heart, that there is a life after the Knesset.
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