Hardy Questions His Training After Finding This . . . and Getting A Couple Minutes With the Squeaky Toy As A Reward

This just may be my favorite picture of the year.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection beagle Hardy found a roasted pig ‘s head in checked luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  You can almost hear the dog’s inner voice saying “I find this and the ole Hardy ‘good boy’ and a squeaky toy?”  This is precisely why they cannot get cats to do this work.

Hardy is a six-year-old rescue beagle who brought his handler to the bag of  a traveler from Ecuador. The pig’s head weighed nearly 2 pounds.

Now compare the look in 2016 of a K9 beagle named Joey, who found  a whole roasted pig in the baggage of a traveler from Peru.  Joey also seems to be rethinking the assumptions of his work and whether he is a chump for failing for the squeaky toy thing . . .

 

What is amazing is that, when I travel internationally, I stress over whether I have to declare the chocolates in my coat pocket as food.  This is someone who took a pig without presumably declaring it. There is no indication that the traveler was charged.

However, the true injustice remains with Hardy.  They never explained this at the National Detectors Dog Training Center.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 

27 thoughts on “Hardy Questions His Training After Finding This . . . and Getting A Couple Minutes With the Squeaky Toy As A Reward”

      1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me sixteen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – cats pretend to have dignity. Actually, they are lazy and entitled.

          1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me sixteen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – it is from observations of cats all my life, including some who have occupied my domicile.

  1. Beagles are the most screwed of all dog breeds. I cannot look at the soulful sweet face of a beagle without thinking that they are the breed most used in canine animal testing. They are small, and when they want relatively uniform results, they use the same breed. Beagles. I never worked directly with any animals, and in fact turned down offers to do so that would have paid more money.

    But I did analyze a lot of beagle blood. Anyone who works in the pharmaceutical industry, medical industry, or many other areas of science is part of the process of lab animals. Just getting my degree required the death of various animals to complete the classes. Anyone who took prescription meds has probably benefitted from animal drug testing, much of which uses beagles. I have no idea what happens to the dogs after. If they are just used for routine blood draws for a study, and then adopted out. (I hope I hope I hope). Or something else.

    Our longevity comes at a price. I remember discussing my quandary with one of the research scientists. He said, if you asked a Mom what she thought of animal testing, she would probably be appalled. But then if her kid had an incurable illness, how many rats would she be willing to kill in order to find a cure? Every rat on Earth.

    As for Hardy and Joey, I suppose the reason why they don’t get some huge treat party for finding food is because it might decrease their motivation to work for anything less. Why accept a squeaky ball when you can hold out for desiccated chicken every time? Once unionized, the Beagles would all become obese because their demands for higher pay in treats were met, and they would become indifferent workers. After all, they’re full after about 5 treats, so what’s the point for sniffing out contraband and weapons after that?

      1. It really is. My memories of all those vials marked “beagle” serum just ruins all those sweet dog stories featuring the breed. Poor little things.

  2. Beagles are good dogs. They can relate to humans quite well. They are good at getting your attention and getting treats.

  3. What the heck? Is that even sanitary? Why would you need to smuggle a pig? I’d open it up and see what’s inside. Anyway, the dog should get a bigger reward for this, but then again, you don’t want him to be passing over cocaine-filled luggage in an effort to get another taste of that sweet, sweet bacon! Lol!

    1. Sanitary? The pigs came from Ecuador and Peru. It is much different there. If it was cured, it will last longer, but if it was just roasted pig, then no, indeed, it is not good safe food handling practices at all. One also wonders how fresh it was. If it didn’t fill the cabin of the airplane with the scent of roast pork then I cannot imagine it was roasted that day.

      I recall going to a “restaurant” in the rain forest where a dead steer was on a table, complete with hide. They would hack off a piece and make what I euphemistically call “soup.” The people make due with much, much less, and are far less of a consumption society. There’s good and bad to that, but I imagine that their constitutions must become very robust by adulthood, or they must be plagued with food poisoning and amoebic dysentary. The problems with the water are significant.

      I clearly recall seeing a butcher’s van drive by in South America, with a pig painted on the side, merrily slicing up…itself. Really weird.

  4. “I find this and the ole Hardy ‘good boy’ and a squeaky toy?” This is precisely why they cannot get cats to do this work.“
    ********************
    I don’t know what is means. Anyone?

    1. mespo…..I believe some words are missing. I took it to mean that such a big score as that deserves a much bigger treat/reward than just a dinky little toy.
      And cats are so demanding, they would never settle for just that.

        1. mespo – I think the reward is the same regardless of the size of the haul. It is like having a dog that finds bodies. You don’t reward it more if it finds a bigger body, just if it finds a body, or alerts.

          1. Cindy & Paul:
            So it should read: “I find this [great thing] and [all] the ole Hardy [gets is a lousy] ‘good boy’ and a squeaky toy? This is precisely why they cannot get cats to do this work.“
            Hey it’s like Wheel of Fortune!

    1. No one ever successfully induced me to try either, although aficionados swear it’s a delicacy. I’ve even seen places that specialize in this almost forgotten culmination of thrift and culinary ingenuity.

  5. Professor Turley…….I enjoyed the post! Thank you..And I hope Customs hero Hardy is able to move on up in the Dept and receive more desirable rewards. He is so cute…..love the picture, too. Reminds me of our Beauregard from my childhood.

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