Moby, the yellow lab that has served as the Nantucket Police Department’s drug dog and faithful companion to school resource officer Keith Mansfield since 2014, is facing an early retirement.
With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, the department is ending its drug canine program, and Moby will officially retire from NPD today into the care of the Mansfield family permanently.
Moby has been part of dozens of drug busts on Nantucket at the ferries, the airport, and during search warrants. But for Mansfield, the most rewarding part of being on the job with Moby was their presence in the Nantucket Public Schools, where Moby was beloved by students and faculty. Sure, Moby and Mansfield helped bust some students for bringing marijuana onto campus (the students faced school discipline and were not criminally charged), but he became something of a therapy dog for some students as well.
“The first question everyone asks me everyday at school is ‘Where’s Moby’?” Mansfield said. If there was a student having a rough day, some teachers would call Mansfield to take the child aside and have a few moments with Moby, which helped ease their stress.
Moby helped Mansfield forge positive relationships with students and their families, and when word spread that the final day of school this year would be Moby’s last, students brought in dozens of cards, dog toys and treats to say goodbye.
The transition out of service with the police department will bring some changes for Moby. He’ll still live with the Mansfield family like always, but he’ll no longer have to find drugs to earn his food, which had been part of the daily training his entire life.
“For six years he’s eaten out of my hand,” Mansfield said. In recent days he tried giving him a bowl of food without hiding any drugs for Moby to find, and the dog needed a little convincing before deciding to eat.
While his partners is retiring, Mansfield will remain as one of the department’s school resource officers.