Watch as Airport Detection Dog Gets the Sendoff of Every Pup's Dream

·2 min read
black lab searching luggage before a big surprise
black lab searching luggage before a big surprise

Courtesy of indairport / Instagram

In the world of dog jobs, being an explosive detection canine must be particularly rewarding. You've got an important job, the benefits are probably pretty sweet, and you spend your day protecting humans—you love humans!

Detection dog TTirado, a black Lab who had worked at the Indianapolis International Airport for eight years sniffing bags and keeping the terminals safe, took his well-earned retirement in June 2020. On his final day on the job, his coworkers at the Transportation Security Administration decided to give him a grand send off.

In a video posted to the Indy airport's Instagram that July, we see TTirado come around the corner for one last bag check. The red bag, placed in front of some seats festooned with balloons is obviously not dangerous, but it apparently has been packed with something that will trigger TTirado's "hit" response. The pupper gives the bag a sniff then sits down in front of the bag, staring at it intently. That's when the magic happens.

Dozens of tennis balls drop from above, sending TTirado into a play stance before trying to wrangle all of the balls at once, before settling on one in particular and wandering off with a satisfied tail wag.

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Even though TTirado's retirement party happened in 2020, everyone loves a good "good dog does good job" story, so the video has resurfaced on Instagram of late and has been making a whole new crop of people happy.

Named in honor of New York firefighter Hector Luis Tirado, Jr., who died in service on 9/11, TTirado had worked for the TSA alongside his handler, Keith Gray, since 2012. In addition to his airport duties, TTirado and worked security at the Kentucky Derby, Indy 500, and the NCAA Final Four in his illustrious career. In retirement, he was adopted by Gray, who was named the TSA's Handler of the Year for 2020.

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Upon retiring, TTirado, with Gray, intended to visit Ground Zero in New York as well as take a trip to FDNY Station 23, where Tirado Jr. worked, according to a TSA news release. Meanwhile, Gray continues to serve at the Indianapolis airport with his new detection dog, a German shorthaired pointer named Ari, who has become a celebrity in his own right.