I had a great time today with Mattie Baker’s three and four-year old nursery-school group at the Sub Base Bangor (WA) community center. Mattie is a most gracious host, and the kids were wonderful. I read them both of my children’s books, and they asked great questions afterward.

But when I first arrived at this pretty-big-deal Navy base, I started to get nervous. In my truck was a K9 training setup called a Behavioral Shaping Device. The set consists of four large wooden boxes, three of which are distractions. The fourth has an electronic device inside that will launch Ruger’s toy when he performs correctly. Even more concerning, Ruger’s reward toy looks just like a stick of dynamite! Pink or green dynamite perhaps, but dynamite nonetheless. Annnd just to top things off…the remote clicker was in my pocket!

Having worked at an airport I’m VERY familiar with the qualities of a “suspicious package” and the BSD has every stinkin’ one of them. The guard at the gate was very professional. He touched my ID and tossed a surprise question my way to make sure I was legit (I won’t reveal it here). He apparently didn’t hear me exhale as he waved me in.

The rest of the visit couldn’t have been more fun, and Ruger did great. I’ll note the event in his official training log. Surrounded by a herd of noisy three and four-year olds, Ruger was still able to focus and successfully “find Digger.”

If you’d like to see how a BSD works, CLICK HERE. It’ll be pretty obvious from the video why it wouldn’t have been good for security to have flagged me for a “random search.”

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