To give the public a better idea of all the work that goes into training K-9 units, the CIA has been releasing "pupdates" on their Fall Puppy Class.
Interested animal lovers can follow along as the team of trained police dogs learn new sets of skills, including how to detect and warn their handlers about dangerous explosives. It's been interesting to see what happens behind the scenes, but the Agency has had to share some sad news about one of their adorable recruits.
Lulu the black Lab had been trained by the Fairfax County Police Department before joining the CIA's bomb-sniffing program, but her instructors quickly noticed a problem. Lulu just wasn't interested in bomb-sniffing. "All dogs, just like most human students, have good days and bad days when learning something new," the Agency explained.
But Lulu had many more bad days than good ones. While bouts of doggy laziness usually last "a day, maybe two," it was obvious that Lulu wasn't keen to learn like the other dogs were. Sadly, for her own "physical and mental well-being" Lulu's trainers had to drop her from the program.
But now Lulu has found an even better job...
As we've explored in other stories, K-9 handlers develop very strong bonds with their dogs during the long hours they work together.
That's why when a dog retires (or quits, in Lulu's case) their handlers have the first chance to adopt them. Thankfully, Lulu's partner was happy to bring her home. While the CIA said it was "extremely difficult" to say goodbye to Lulu, she doesn't seem to mind at all.
Now she spends her days "sniffing out rabbits and squirrels in the backyard," which sounds much less stressful than digging around for explosives. "We'll miss Lulu, but this was the right decision for her," the Agency said in their update. "We wish her all the best in her new life."
Meanwhile, since Lulu left her training in the first stage, a new dog was able to jump right into the program and take her place. The CIA has introduced Harry, another black Lab and Lulu's replacement. He seems much more interested in bomb-sniffing, so it seems like this was a good switch.
You can continue to follow the CIA's puppy class on their website.
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