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Former canine volunteer reunited with dog at TSA checkpoint

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Katie Garoni with TSA canine Jurgens at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport

While traveling through Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport, Katie Garoni noticed a familiar face in the crowd. It wasn’t an old classmate or colleague, it was a TSA explosives detection canine. Jurgens to be exact.

Garoni volunteered for an important part of canine training back when Jurgens was still a puppy. She socialized Jurgens 3 years ago while she was attending Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. The TSA Puppy Program was located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and fostered puppies between the ages of 9 weeks and 12 months to local families. During that time, foster families supplied the pups with a well-rounded, socialized and nurturing environment. At approximately 12 months of age, the pups would be returned to TSA for their final training and evaluations.

Garoni shared the above photo on her Instagram account and posted “Ran into my working girl Jurgens! I never thought I would see her again but this TSA dog is all grown up. Her handler got to watch me burst into tears when he confirmed it was her. Just incredible!”

When asked if Jurgens remembered her, Garoni stated, “Jurgens was working when I recognized her, but her handler told me to wait for her shift to end in 15 minutes. When he gave her the cue she was off duty, she jumped on me and licked my face over and over. It warmed my heart to see that she remembered me three years later.” Jurgens is one of hundreds of TSA canines working hard each day to keep our transportation systems safe.