“Why me,” thought Specialist John Nolan as he looked around at the other 11 students in his specialized search dog (SSD) class at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The other guys were looking at one another, smiling, laughing and joking. But John stared at the ground. He wished he could share their enthusiasm.
Everyone else was receiving two dogs and would get to choose their K9 partner but not him. He was getting the mine detector dog washout. He bit his bottom lip and shook his head.
“We’ve tried him before with four other SSD students and he never works out,” his instructors informed him.
This is not what the three-year-and-one-combat-deployment Army veteran had expected when he volunteered for K9 School. He felt like the instructors were setting him up for failure. He looked from side to side at the … Read More »