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With a shortage of bomb-sniffing dogs, is it time for a puppy draft?

The American workforce has many shortages. Primary care physicians. Happy and fulfilled teachers. Media commentators not obsessed with President Donald Trump.

But there is one shortage more urgent than any of those.

I read this New York Times headline: “America Is Running Out of Bomb Sniffing Dogs.”

I’d thought they’d been replaced by machines.

But security experts will tell you that no machine can out-sniff a dog. The part of the dog’s brain devoted to smell-processing is 40 times the size of ours. Because when dogs have to ID another dog they can’t just check a passport, they have to check the pee, which is highly encrypted.

Unfortunately, the TSA scrapped its dog breeding program to save money! So now it’s having to import dogs from Eastern-European puppy mills. Which strikes me as risky when you consider these animals are the first line of defense.

It also got me to thinking. There is a source of well-adjusted, well-trained American dogs. Pets! American pets today are practically surrogate children. What about a puppy draft?

I would think there are pet owners who would be honored to volunteer a pet in service of the country. The puppy draftees would serve for four years, and when Princess comes home with her medals, she gets a parade. Plus, in an economy where pretty soon everything we buy will be in a package dropped at your door by a drone from who knows where a TSA-trained pet could come in very handy.

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