We all have outsized dreams of maximizing our potential and sometimes we shoot for the stars and miss. Such was the case of Lulu, the would-be explosives-sniffing dog for the Central Intelligence Agency.
In the agency’s most recent “Pupdate,” Lulu’s all-too-brief career on the front lines in the war on terror came to an end before she had a chance to begin. “We are sad to announce that Lulu has been dropped from the program,” the agency wrote on its website.
The black Labrador, who was a promising candidate from the start to be chosen for such a prestigious program soon reverted to her natural ways after about a few weeks of training.
“Lulu began to show signs that she wasn’t interested in detecting explosive odors. All dogs, just like most human students, have good days and bad days when learning something new. The same is true during our puppy classes. A pup might begin acting lazy, guessing where the odors are, or just showing a general disregard for whatever is being taught at the moment. Usually it lasts for a day, maybe two,” says the CIA.
The agency, which in the fictional world produced meaningful out of the mentally-unstable agent Carrie in the television series Homeland, somehow couldn’t get Lulu motivated to work. They tried all the tricks, but couldn’t get it done.
“Even when they could motivate her with food and play to search, she was clearly not enjoying herself any longer,” the CIA says, “Our trainers’ top concern is the physical and mental well-being of our dogs, so they made the extremely difficult decision to do what’s best for Lulu and drop her from the program.”
Lulu’s story won’t involve her sniffing out that next unattended package, but she’ll get a life of contentment at the home of one of the training program’s handlers. She’ll have to learn the basics of being a dog: sit, stay, bark. But we hope that she’ll work beyond her initial training and build from that valuable experience.
To continue following the journey of the other dogs in the CIA training program, click here.
Join the Conversation: Tell us about your favorite dog training stories on our Facebook page. Can an old, or young dog, learn new tricks?