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Earlier this month, Boeing’s Security & Fire Protection organization honored the career of Stryker, a Boeing K-9 dog who retired at the end of last year. Stryker was hired by Boeing in 2006 and was considered the “Top Dog” on the team of Boeing K-9s. He was Boeing’s first shelter dog -- coming from the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)-- and fully trained inside the company.
“It was all in house. So your product right there is 100% Boeing,” said Melissa Larsen, Boeing K-9 Trainer.
Adept at inspecting airplanes prior to deliveries along with incoming freight, luggage and packages, one of Stryker’s major responsibilities was to be present when a site is swept for explosives. His job was to check incoming vehicles and sniff packages and items left behind. Stryker, like all Boeing K-9 unit members, is trained to deal with bomb threats, find weapons, work special events and assist in protecting dignitaries and important visitors.
Stryker and his handler, Chad Olson, are one of 12 Boeing K-9 teams -- plus one puppy in training. Chad says Stryker loves to come up to you and put his paws up as if to shake a hand or offer a hug.
While he’ll still live with Chad and be part of the Olson family, Stryker will start a new career as a therapy comfort and companion dog at a senior center in Snohomish County, Washington state. “It's been a fun experience. It's been a fun journey. I wouldn't trade it for the world,” said Olson.