If it was up to Bandit, he probably wouldn’t retire.
The 7-year-old bloodhound has been a house dog on sick leave since August, but he still follows handler Ryan Micenko to the garage when the Fife police officer leaves for work each day.
But the time has come, and Thursday (Jan. 29), they’ll officially celebrate Bandit’s retirement, and the work he and Micenko have done as a Fife K-9 team since 2010.
The city is hosting a public ceremony from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Pawsabilities, 7338 26th St. E. in Fife, to honor the team’s service. Retired police dogs Maggie and Slyder (who passed away) will be honored as well.
Bandit and Micenko did 94 tracks together during their career to finding missing people or suspects, and they found 22. That included a child missing in Fife, and a missing handicapped adult in Lakewood.
Micenko said he noticed Bandit starting to limp over the summer, and while they hoped he’d be able to heal and come back to work, they recently decided he needed to end his police dog career.
His goofy personality – he’d sometimes hop on all fours like a bunny or “come up to lean on you, all 130 pounds of him” – will be missed at the office, Micenko said.
Bandit will live out his retirement at the Micenko home.