U.S. Military Dog at Yokota Air Base Retires in Style; 7-Year-Old German Shepherd to Live with Former Handler

The Yomiuri Shimbun
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Glenn Bowersox, left, Riko, a retired military working dog, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bailey Hodgson pose for a photo during Riko’s retirement ceremony at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo on Oct. 11.

A retirement ceremony for a military working dog was recently held at the U.S. military’s Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo.

Riko, a 7-year-old German shepherd, moved to the base in 2018 from a training facility in the United States and belonged to the 374th Security Forces Squadron. The dog’s duties at the base included patrols, narcotic detection and searches for suspicious individuals and objects. Early onset arthritis has forced him to retire.

Riko attended the retirement ceremony with his handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bailey Hodgson, 26. The dog was given a duty completion certificate and had his military dog patch removed. Then he was offered a reward: dog ice cream.

Riko will now live with Hodgson at the base. Hodgson has said Riko is his friend and he will take Riko to many places and have a good time together.