Otis The Smiling Mountie signs off

Cranbrook-based police dog retires after nine years of service

Field Training Officer Otis (right) — going into a well-deserved retirement — and his rookie replacement Jett.

Field Training Officer Otis (right) — going into a well-deserved retirement — and his rookie replacement Jett.

A beloved police dog is taking his well-earned retirement from service in Cranbrook.

Ten-year-old Otis, nicknamed The Smiling Mountie, left town in September bound for his new home with a loving family on an Alberta farm.

Described by the RCMP as happy-go-lucky, the chocolate brown labrador served nine years as a drug-sniffing dog for Southeast Traffic Services.

Over his years of service, Otis worked with two handlers: Cst. Claude Brisebois, and Cpl. Ryan McLeod, who described Otis’s friendly, gregarious personality.

“He is a great dog and I wish him good health and lots of play time in his retirement years. Other then occasionally spilling my coffee in our cruiser, he was a great partner,” said Cpl. McLeod.

“All our dogs that serve as police dogs are incredibly dedicated, one could say obsessive about their work. They are truly amazing and a joy to work with.”

Otis earned his nickname after a drug bust, when photographs caught him giving a big grin to the camera.

“His smiling picture burned up the internet and in working dog publications around North America. Not one for fame though, he took it all in stride and was just happy to get to play with his toy later that day,” said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

Before leaving for his retirement, Otis spent time training his replacement, Jett, who has taken over in the region.

You can send Otis your best wishes by email to dan.moskaluk@rcmp-grc.gc.ca, on the BC RCMP News Facebook page, or via Twitter @SoutheastRCMP.

“We’ll make sure Otis gets your message,” said Cpl. Moskaluk.