CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- Like any successful career that comes to an end, those in the military can be emotional.
On June 2, Maritime Enforcement Specialist 1st Class Nick Beane’s partner, Chief Tosca, retired. The pair formed a special bond as they served their country together for the past seven years.
They responded to bomb threats including the one made against tunnels in Hampton Roads on the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. They checked ships, arenas, airports, etc. for explosives.
“I’ve followed her into some situations that were hair-raising, but you don’t think about it. She’s not just there to protect me, she’s there to protect everybody else’s family,” said Beane.
Chief Tosca is one of the more unique members of the military. She’s a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois who is a trained explosive detection K-9. Beane and Tosca have been working together since 2010. He trained her and has been her only handler since.
The two have jumped out of helicopters, protected the pope, presidents, and politicians, doing what they do best, looking for bombs. Beane said Tosca ended her "rockstar career" sniffing for explosives at Super Bowl LI.
“I can’t put into words what it means to be her handler and the bond that we have,” said Beane.
Dozens of people gathered in an auditorium in Chesapeake on June 2 as Tosca was pinned and her vest was retired.
For Beane, Tosca's retirement marks the end of his chapter as a K-9 handler. He will transfer to another unit in July. He plans to adopt Tosca, and she will start her role as a full-time family dog.