After serving TSA and the traveling public for several years, a pair of canines at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) are off to spend the rest of their lives in leisure.
Ten-year-old Rrall and 9-year-old Woody – both Labrador retrievers – retired this week, and a big retirement party was held in their honor at DFW, a celebratory event attended by many of their fellow TSA DFW canine officers. Rrall and handler Dennis Owens worked together since June 2011, while Woody had a seven-year career with TSA, the last five with handler Jennifer Solis.
Owens described Rrall as very calm and laid back. “No matter what was happening around us, he never got distracted,” said Owens. “His calm and methodical behavior made him so very good at his job.”
Rrall was named after New York Firefighter Edward Rall who lost his life on 9/11. Rrall served at multiple Super Bowls, a World Series, the NCAA Basketball Final Four, NBA Finals, presidential and vice presidential details and in downtown Dallas after five police officers were killed in a tragic shooting in July 2016.
Rrall’s retirement is bittersweet for Owens. “We have such a strong bond. He pretty much knows what I’m thinking without me saying a word. We are so connected.”
It’s also an emotional time for Solis, who said, “Woody is my running partner. Even after a long day at work, he would wait by the front door to go for a run.” Woody and Solis were deployed to Oakland for Super Bowl L, to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport three times and the 2019 College Football National Championship in San Jose, California.
Unfortunately, Rrall and Woody were forced into retirement because of health issues. “Through the years, [Rrall’s] arthritis has gotten worse, and a vet determined it was in his best interest to retire,” said Owens.
Solis said she was monitoring Woody’s health closely after she started noticing a slight lameness in his hind legs. “After a few vet visits, my regional training canine instructor and I began to weigh our options, which led to our decision to retire Woody,” Solis said. “I’m excited for Woody’s retirement and am planning on taking him on a well-deserved vacation this fall.”
Owens said it was a pleasure working with Rrall. “I want him to be able to be a normal dog and enjoy the rest of his life,” said Owens. “He’s my buddy, my partner, my very best friend. He will live out the rest of his days swimming, playing fetch and lounging on the couch.”
Editor’s Note: Watch video of the canines’ retirement, courtesy of CBS DFW.