After writing yesterday’s heartbreaking story about a Golden Retriever who died after an airline sent him to the wrong airport and didn’t give him water, I felt I needed to find a story to counter that sadness. Fortunately, I didn’t have to look far because at the top of my news feed was this happy story.

Retirement party for a hardworking TSA dog.As I’ve written before, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does a great job on social media answering questions and posting interesting information. Here’s how to quickly get a hold of the TSA.

Today’s story is about dog celebrating his retirement from an airport explosives unit. According to the TSA, “Rex, a 6-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, has had his last run as a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger screening canine at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE).”

The press release said: “After his last morning of sniffing for any traces of explosives at MKE Thursday morning, Rex was joined by several of the canine handlers, TSA staff, and invited guests to celebrate his retirement. After Rex alerted on a scent on a decoy passenger, he was showered with tennis balls tossed his way by his friends and party guests.”

In the video embedded below, I thought it was strange how they did it but after reading the press release and learning the woman with the roller bag in front was a decoy, it made sense.


Post by @cbs58news
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Regina Eisenberg, Rex’s handler, removed his “Do Not Pet” patch from his harness, “thus officially signaling that the dog was no longer a working canine and could be petted. There was no shortage of guests who were eager to pet the newly retired dog.”

Here are some of the reactions from social media:
@alyssanash3871: I released tears of happiness
@Epiclongisland: So much joy in just a few seconds!
@annberry073: Oh this is just glorious. Have the best life baby💙💙💙
@rn12.021: Ah retirement.
@esme_grubb: So cute how dog tries to run after ALL of the balls. 😀

Here’s the video from a different angle.


Post by @tsa
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Here’s a little background, per the press release: “Rex and Eisenberg have been paired for five years, and they were the first canine/handler team brought in to start Wisconsin’s TSA passenger screening canine program last year. Eisenberg, who will now work as a canine program supervisor out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), will continue to care for Rex for the rest of his life. In retirement, Rex is looking forward to snoozing on the couch, visiting the beach for the first time, and enjoying his favorite squeaky toys.”

I didn’t realize that the TSA has more than 1,000 canine handler teams and that about 300 canines complete the training annually. Training takes 16 weeks and takes place at the TSA Canine Training Center, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas. It’s considered the “Center for Excellence” for explosives detection canine training.

If you ask me, the TSA needs to have more dogs near security checkpoints, especially after the four separate high-profile cases of Americans being arrested in Turks and Caicos for having bullets in their bags.


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