Dogs who served as Military Working Dogs hold a special place in the hearts of the handlers they served with.  Many were adopted by veterans when their service days were over.  There’s a policy that military dogs can only be adopted by the person they served with, and for good reason.  But the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has other dogs available -usually German Shorthaired pointers, Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and Belgian Malinois – that have been retired from government service, or did not meet the criteria to be included in the TSA Canine Training program.   Many people are disappointed to learn they cannot adopt a dog that saw active combat duty, but judging by the waiting list for other dogs and puppies, there is a great interest when those TSA dogs are available.  One of these can be yours with patience and adherence to the guidelines and rules.

As fall deepens, the thought of taking long walks along the trails surrounding your neighborhood becomes more appealing.  Cooler weather is the perfect time to pull out those fleece tops and comfortable walking shoes made by Patagonia and take your dog for a walk or run.   Dogs make the perfect companion and both of you will benefit from the exercise.  And since dogs can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression, having them in your life brings the added benefit of improved health overall.  You’re never lonely when you have a pet giving you all that unconditional love.  And those puppies who have flunked out of the training course could use an extra dose.  Sometimes the TSA gets so overwhelmed with applications, there’s a long waiting list, but checking back until you can get your application in is well worth the wait.  When you do get selected, the process to get approved can take a while, and you’ll have to travel to Texas to pick up the dog – they won’t ship them to you, of course, but that’s just another part of the creation story you’ll have to share later.

In the meantime, you can gear up for lots of outdoor adventures.  You can select gear from Patagonia, the premier makers of outdoor wear, and save money in the process by using Groupons to make your purchases.  They are offering 50% off clothes and pack gear, 30% off merchandise for men, and even more off women’s wear.  You can use the money you save on your trip to pick up your fur baby, and head out to have fun in the great outdoors.