Among the many traits that make dogs so special is their fantastic sense of smell. That, combined with their loyalty and obedience, makes them useful for a number of things.
Some pups become service dogs to people with disabilities, while others help police officers detect drugs. Heck, even the Central Intelligence Agency uses them to help save lives by training them to detect explosives!
Unfortunately, though, not every dog is cut out for this kind of work. That seemed to be the case with Lulu, and her handler was forced to make a difficult decision…
In October 2017, the Central Intelligence Agency provided an important “pupdate” about one of the dogs in their K9 program who was being trained for explosives detection. The whole story, as told through an adorable Twitter thread, was truly amazing.
Lulu the dog was just a few weeks into her training when it started to become clear that, despite her extraordinary skillset, she might not be able to hack it in the bomb-sniffing program.
Any person can tell you how difficult it is to learn a new skill, and it works in a similar way for dogs. Some days are better than others, of course; luckily, most K9 dogs get the hang of what they’re being taught pretty quickly. Not so for Lulu…
Like people, there could be any number of reasons why a dog might be having a rough day. So, her trainers wanted to give her plenty of chances to rebound, but she simply never showed much interest in her job.
They thought her struggles might be the result of boredom, so she was given more opportunities to play or take a short break. No dice. No matter what they tried, Lulu remained uninterested in detecting bombs.
This wasn’t unheard of. Every once in a while, the trainers would find a dog who, even after being worked with for weeks, still struggled. At this point, it becomes clear that explosives detection just isn’t the job for them.
What was the CIA to do with a pup like Lulu? While they were disappointed she wasn’t going to join their team, they did have a clue of what she could do instead. As it so happened, they had an idea…
As important as it is for the CIA to have these specially trained dogs, the health and happiness of the K9s themselves is the biggest concern. That’s why they had to make the tough choice to remove Lulu from the training program.
Luckily for her, it’s not uncommon for dog trainers to take the opportunity to adopt dogs that have retired or been removed from the K9 program. This way, pretty much everyone—especially the pups—is happy!
Thankfully, that’s exactly what Lulu’s handler did. These days, she has a loving forever home where she can chase squirrels and rabbits in the backyard, not to mention, befriend the trainer’s kids and his other dog.
“We’ll miss Lulu,” the CIA wrote. “But it was right decision for her and we wish her all the best in her new life!” She might not be detecting bombs for the CIA, but, thankfully, Lulu is living life to the fullest as a civilian!
It may not be what the CIA intended for her, but Lulu sure seems happy to live the domestic life. There are plenty of other dogs who would be happy to take her place in the K9 program!
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