Thanksgiving, 2023, is officially in the books.
We spent it at the movies (“Napoleon”) but before I write that review for the film that opened wide on November 22nd, a little levity looking forward to the most commercial holiday of the season might be appropriate. And these dogs might be your choice for a forever friend. (Or not).
In scanning the November 21st issue of the “Austin American Statesman” for potential topics, I was first attracted to this headline: “Husband Asks Spouse to Annoy His Parents to Motivate Them to Leave.”
That sounded promising, but, in my usual manner, I continued scanning the various articles and read this one, which had a much-less-amusing title: “Shelter Places Dogs Cut From TSA Training.”
It sounded like an informative straight-ahead news story, and I like dogs as well as the next man—err, woman—so I read on.
Apparently, there is a special animal shelter at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland that is used to house dogs rejected for government service, like the canines used to sniff out drugs by the TSA.
The purpose of the article seemed to be to find “forever homes” for these furry rejects for government service. The article even contained an e-mail address that applicants could use: [email protected]. The article went on to say that multiple visits to San Antonio might be required to meet the animal and make sure the prospective new owners would be a good fit for the animal(s). It was further advised that the prospective owners should arrive at the training center on adoption day with a leash, a collar, and appropriately-sized shipping crate. (Nothing like being prepared and explicit, I always say.)
So, what sorts of animals might we be competing to own?
Let’s just run through a few of the rejected animals awaiting our applications in San Antonio.
First, there is Toby. Toby is a 10-year-old Labrador Retriever (the very dog I owned as a child). Toby was rejected for service because of situational anxiety causing him to suck in more air than necessary which made him become bloated. Like all the other animals on the list, Toby was described as highly active, untrained, and not housebroken, but, (said the article) “with proper training and care they can be a great addition to families.”
Second on the list was Lydka, a 3-year-old German Shepherd who actually made it into service as a bomb-sniffing dog. Unfortunately, Lydka was easily distracted by noise and people and didn’t do well under pressure. She was fired for her performance on the job and requires a more stress-free environment.
Third on the list was Tommy, a 3-year-old English Springer Spaniel, who was dismissed because he developed an upper airway obstruction.
Jack, a 2-year-old German Shepherd, never even made it into training because of suspected kidney disease.
Most of the dogs have not been exposed to any animals other than other dogs and are not comfortable around small children. To be considered for selection as the adoptive owner, the prospective owner must have a fenced-in yard and no plans to move within 6 months of the adoption. Any other pets already in the home must be up to date on vaccination and preventative care. Of course, the prospective owner must also promise to provide appropriate medical care, exercise, training and companionship.
So, if you are available to adopt a non-housebroken, highly active, possibly sick canine that flunked out of TSA (or other) school, feel free to contact the San Antonio-Lackland Joint Base. Sounds like the perfect Christmas pet, doesn’t it?