The Boeing Company, famously known for its large airplanes, has many specialized employees. Their staff includes engineers and machinists, but those trained individuals also work with an elite group of highly trained employees. These employees are given an important task: they must keep everyone in the company safe from any sort of threat or danger. These individuals are of course highly compensated for this job. However, it might shock you to hear that they are paid primarily in toys and treats. We are talking about the members of the Boeing K-9 unit comprised of ten teams of explosive detection dogs who each have a human handler.
These teams work in all the Boeing facilities, in the Puget Sound Region, Chicago, South Carolina, Texas, California, and Virginia. Most impressively, most of the dogs on the K-9 team are rescues from local animal shelters. The company has even created trading cards of the dogs with fun facts like their back story and what they do in their spare time. They are beloved by their fellow employees too, as they feel safer knowing the dogs are ensuring a safe environment to work. The dogs regularly inspect the company’s factories, offices, and space and defense facilities.
The dogs also investigate bomb threats, suspicious packages and vehicles visiting the facilities. The dogs are certified annually, to ensure they can accurately detect over 17,000 different explosive chemicals. They are also trained to sniff out guns and ammunition and are trained to be around loud noises that typically come with being around large jets. The dogs are carefully selected based on their personality and energy levels, and then go through an intensive training program. They work on the job for six to eight years, and then are rewarded with a comfortable (and certainly well-deserved!) retirement around the age of 9 or 10.
Dog Wanders Off for Days—and Returns with Amazing Note
For one family in New Zealand, one thing has always been certain: their dog Louie is a very good boy. However, they did not realize until recently how wonderful their dog actually is until he did something incredible. So incredible, in fact, that many people are even calling him a town hero. The sheepdog is a beloved family pet, but he is also known to venture away from home on what his family calls “adventures.” The family lives on a farm, so there is plenty of room for the twelve year old dog to wander. As he has grown older, he has been staying closer to the house, so it was uncommon recently when Louie left and did not come back.
The family was concerned and became worried that he had forgotten where his home was or that he might even be in trouble. What was really happened came to light when Louie finally returned home with a note around his collar. The family was initially worried that he had gotten in trouble or was hurt, because he was so tired when he got home. Then, they read the note which said: “Louie is the hero of the day. He led me to Maddy in distress stuck under a branch pile. Cheers, Rob.”
You see, Rob is a farmer who lives nearby and Maddy is his little dog. So, the family called him to learn more about what happened. Rob said he left to run errands and when he returned, his dog Maddy was gone but Louie was there. He insisted the man follow him and led Rob to a pile of wood where his dog had been trapped. Rob and Louie then dug Maddy out of the pile and then the two dogs ran to a nearby pond where they cooled off and drank water.
Louie saved Maddy’s life, and for that he is a true hero.
Couple Takes Road Trip and Comes Home with a Puppy
For a woman named Emily Trost, taking a trip across the country with her boyfriend was a simple idea. The pair had packed up gear in their vehicle and hit the road to explore the country and visit parks and national monuments. However when they arrived in the state of Montana, everything changed. They headed into a local gas station for food and fuel and when they exited the store, someone was waiting next to their vehicle. It was a little puppy and it looked like the dog was waiting for them to return. They initially assumed the dog belonged to someone at the gas station, so they asked around about her.
It turns out that the dog did not have an owner and she was in desperate need of their help. The little black and brown pup was very dirty and covered in thorns and twigs in her long fur. As they were trying to decide how to proceed, a woman pulled over her vehicle to tell the couple that she often feeds stray dogs in the area and asked them to take the puppy home with them. The couple, who loves dogs, decided to take the dog with them in the hopes of finding a rescue organization for her. However, after spending just a short time with her they realized she needed to be part of their family.
They named the sweet puppy Montana, after the state she had been rescued in. The dog, who they think was about seven months old, was thrilled to be with them. She was so excited to wake up with them the following morning, as she likely had very little human interaction in her short life. Montana went along the rest of their trip, swimming and hiking her way across the country with her new owners. These days she lives with the couple and their dogs with a great new life.
We have all been witness to this type of slightly embarrassing behavior: when your dog meets a new fellow dog for the first time, there is a fair amount of butt sniffing. While it might seem embarrassing or even odd to us humans, it is the doggy equivalent of saying hello or even shaking hands—and perhaps a bit more, too. While many people have wondered why dogs do this type of butt sniffing behavior, it is really not as weird or gross as you might think. In fact, it’s the best way for dogs to learn more about one another.
We all know that dogs have a very strong sense of smell. In fact, dogs have over 300 million scent receptors in their noses. For reference, we humans only have 5 million. Even more interesting is that a dog’s brain can process smells 40 times faster than us, which means they gather a lot of information about the world around them through their noses. So, sniffing a new dog’s behind is a great way for them to learn more about their new dog friend.
Smell is so important to dogs that it really could be considered a “secret language” of sorts, where they relay messages to one another. Scent helps them understand more about their surroundings and even pick up on messages left by other dogs. This is why many dogs mark their territory with urine while on a walk in the park or neighborhood. It tells other dogs they have been there so that when the next dog comes along they can gather that information. Additionally, dogs have glands on the bottoms of their feet that release pheromones, which is why many dogs scratch the ground after defecating.
So, when it comes to sniffing behinds this can actually be a positive (and perfectly normal!) interaction between dogs when supervised properly by their owners.
For a black Labrador named Lulu, hopes were very high. She joined the CIA’s Fall 2017 puppy class, but things did not quite work out according to plan. Lulu the dog was one of the six selected recruits to the join the CIA’s all-female K9 training class, the first of its kind. While she was the smallest dog in the class, she was full of promise for the job. She was one and a half years old when the August class began. At that time she had many qualities that would make her good for the job: she was energetic when playing, but had an easy going and sensitive nature when working.
Lulu went through six weeks of what is known as imprint training. This training helps dogs to learn how to sniff on command and also be able to detect the scent of over 20,000 different explosives. After training was complete, Lulu was paired with a handler from the Fairfax County Police department, located in Virginia, for ten more weeks of training. As it turns out, being a bomb sniffing dog isn’t the best fit for every dog—including Lulu.
Several weeks into her advanced training, it became clear that Lulu was becoming uninterested in finding explosives even when treats were involved. After trying a variety of ways to get her to refocus, it was determined that Lulu’s disinterest and boredom in regards to training wasn’t just temporary. The trainers realized Lulu was not enjoying herself anymore, and with her best interest in mind they decided to remove her from the program. But this is not where Lulu’s story ends: she and her trainer formed such a tight bond during training that she now lives with him and his family. She even has a brother, a black lab named Harry and she enjoys spending time in the back yard with kids and squirrels to her heart’s content.
Shelter Dog Saved by New Job with Sheriff’s Office
Like so many other dogs out there in the United States today, Lily found herself in the local shelter through no fault of her own. Worse yet, she was in a shelter that frequently euthanized dogs. But she was saved from the situation and found herself in a much better place: she now works for a sheriff’s office, helping children. She is the newest and arguably the cutest and friendliest new employee at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Ocala, Florida. It’s probably also true that she is the smallest employee too, but she has a very big job to do.
More than anyone, she Lily knows the importance of kindness. The five year old corgi and beagle mix is the department’s newest certified therapy dog. She works with a handler from the Department of Children and Families to help victims, particularly children, feel comfortable when they need to talk to investigators. Though she is still a new employee, her coworkers say she is very good at her job. In fact, investigators say they have noticed a difference already in how children act when Lily is in the room. Many of the department’s investigations are very sensitive in nature and the children have been witness to horrific crimes. This is where Lily shines.
Lily makes the children feel comfortable and helps them to talk about their experiences so investigators have the information they need to eventually prosecute cases. Though she is now a valued member of the team, there was a time where Lily had an uncertain future. As a shelter dog, she was facing euthanasia. That is, until she was rescued and put into the Paws & Stripes College program, which trains dogs from shelters for service jobs. More than 300 dogs, including Lily, have graduated from the program!
UPS Drivers Create Facebook Page for Dogs They Meet
For some reason, there is a belief out there that dogs do not like the uniformed delivery men and women of the world. While it could be true that some dogs are not a fan of the mailman, for example, it seems there are many others who just love the people who deliver mail and packages to their homes. Best of all, the feeling is very mutual: the delivery people who interact with the dogs on their route really love them, too. So much so, one UPS driver decided to create an entire Facebook page dedicated to the dogs he and his fellow drivers love so much.
The page, called UPS Dogs, is a place for the company’s drivers to submit photos of the sweet dogs they meet along their daily routes. The page is the brainchild of a man (and dog lover!) named Sean McCarren, who has been working for UPS for 17 years. He was inspired to start the page when he and his fellow drivers began talking about all the dogs they meet on a regular basis. He says seeing the dogs so often creates quite the bond and they get to know one another. It took him a few years to get going, but eventually the page caught on with drivers all over the country.
The page now has over 300,000 followers and is managed by Sean McCarren and several other UPS drivers. They review submissions from their fellow drivers, edit and post photos nearly every day. He attributes the success of the page to its simplicity: it’s simply a positive place for drivers to share positive, uplifting stories and photos of the dogs they meet. Well, dogs and the occasional cat, donkey, turtle or even goats, too. Most drivers bring dog treats with them on their routes, forging strong relationships with their animal friends one treat at a time.
Dog Making a Funny Face? It’s Because You’re Watching!
Dogs can certainly be funny characters, expressing their unique personalities to us just like humans do—but is that possible? Many people believe their dogs are making ‘faces’ at them, but it has never been clear if this was just our imagination or if it was actually real. According to a recent study, dogs actually do make faces or exhibit facial expressions to us, but it is only because they know we are watching them closely.
However, it seems they are using these expressions for a purpose: they are trying to communicate with us. It’s still a mystery as to what exactly they are saying, though. A recent study placed different dogs of a variety of breeds into a room with a person who was told to either face a wall or face the dogs. When the person faced the dogs directly, they raised their eyebrows, made noises, and even stuck out their tongues. When they faced away from the dogs, this behavior did not exist.
While it is still early in this type of research, it does raise an interesting point. It seems dogs only react that way when they know we are looking at them. More so, they control their facial expressions based on whether they know we are watching them or not. It isn’t quite clear what this means, but we do know that humans use facial expressions to relay their feelings and emotions without using words. Researchers are not sure if this translates to dogs and if they are raising their brows intentionally or just because they think it will result in food or even affection.
The jury is still out on what this really means for dogs and their owners, but one thing is certain: your dog IS making faces at you and it is not just in your imagination!
A trip to the dog park, for most dogs, is always an exciting experience. It’s a prime opportunity for them to run off leash and play with their fellow dogs as well. However, for two huskies named Layla and Jada, a visit to their local dog park had a very sad ending. While it is not clear what happened earlier in their lives, sadly they found themselves alone at the dog park, with only each other to comfort them.
A woman named Mona Ahmed, who manages the Woodward Dog Park in Fresno, California, recently received a sad phone call. A woman who had brought her dogs to the dog park had realized there were two huskies that had been abandoned there. While there was not panic over the situation at first, then a box was discovered there. It contained dog bowls, food, and even toys. That was not all though; there was also a note in the box, too. It said: “Our names are Jada (black) and Layla (brown). We are nice one-year-old dogs. Please don’t split us up. Layla gets scared without her sister.”
Mona went straight to the dog park, only to realize the two dogs were looking scared and confused in their predicament. She began asking around to understand how long the dogs had been at the park, and many reported it was over three hours. One individual recalled seeing a woman leaving the dogs behind and said she was running to her car and would be right back—only to not return to the area. Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened at the Woodward Dog Park. Mona reported over thirteen dogs have been abandoned in the 10 years the park has existed.
While this is a sad story for Jada and Layla, things are now looking up for the pair of Huskies. They have been taken into a good foster home where they are getting the care and attention they need. The two dogs have not been spayed or microchipped, so that’s next on the agenda for them both. Then, the pair will go to the loving home they deserve!
In the state of California, wildfires have taken a devastating toll on the landscape and all those who lived in its path. For one woman named Natasha Wallace, there were just minutes to escape the wildfire. In quickly gathering her most precious belongings, there was one thing that mattered to her most: her dog.
Natasha Wallace, who is a college student in the area of Santa Rosa, was on campus studying with the fire first broke out. She drove home soon after, around the hour of 1:00 a.m., and realized there was a massive outbreak of fire stretching across the freeway. It was in that moment that she knew that she was in very serious danger and needed to act quickly in order to safely escape. She was able to make it back to her home and packed some bags up with her belongings. She also brought her dog Bentley in the car with her and the two drove away to safety.
However, the massive fires made it nearly impossible to get anywhere and traffic was a mess. That meant she couldn’t even leave her neighborhood. After sitting in her car for a few moments, Natasha could see the fire quickly getting closer. She was determined to find her way to safety, and did not want to be stuck in her car so she turned around and went back home. Rather than try to drive her car, she instead emptied her bags and made room for what was most important: her dog Bentley. The 70-pound dog hopped into a duffel bag and she placed it around her neck and hopped on her bicycle. She biked for several miles until someone in a truck spotted the pair and gave them a ride the rest of the way.
Though she lost all her possessions and home in the fire, Natasha takes comfort in knowing her dog is safe. The two are staying with relatives now as they rebuild, and though they lost everything they still have each other.