Lulu is a Labrador, and part of the latest CIA training class for bomb-sniffing dogs.
Today, in a public announcement, perhaps meant to shame her, Lulu was fired. As I’ll discuss, she has nothing to be ashamed of.
There are also lots of pictures of Lulu here, so you can just look at those if you want. There’s no shame in that either.
Lulu started off like the rest of the trainees, going through an intensive 10-week training course designed to use food incentives to get her to recognize and point out thousands of scents indicating explosive materials.
But as the training went on, Lulu didn’t respond the way the other dogs did. She didn’t show interest in proactively sniffing out the bombs. She was interested in the treats, but that was all.
It’s reasonable to assume that her initial gusto was tempered when she realized what would be happening. Her job was going to be to find things that exploded in a decidedly deadly way. And for what? For people?
So she stopped. The CIA was forced to conclude that she wouldn’t make a good bomb-sniffing dog and dropped her from the program.
Lulu’s story ends happily. Her handler wound up adopting her, so she lives in a home with a new friend and chases animals outside.
And so she is free. Free from the burden we tried to place on her, to put her life at risk for the benefit of our own. Free from becoming a replaceable cog in a perpetual machine.
They asked her to sniff. Lulu chose to soar.