TTirado is a very, very good boy who served his country well.

By Stacey Leasca
June 22, 2020
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TTirado is ready for a relaxing summer, a belly rub, and maybe a new bone. Trust us, he’s earned it.

After eight years serving as a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) explosive detection canine TTirado is hanging up his collar for good. But not before a hardy celebration.

“I am thankful for such a fantastic partner in TTirado as my first dog,” TTirado’s handler, Keith Gray, said while celebrating his partner’s last day at a private ceremony at the airport, which included an adorable tennis ball drop for the pup. “He has taught me a lot over the years, and I have been amazed in his growth and how far we have come.”

TTirado, named in honor of New York Engine 23 Firefighter Hector Luis Tirado, Jr., who died in service on 9/11, is one of the last remaining dogs in the nation that was born as part of the TSA-bred puppy program. According to the TSA, TTirado graduated in 2012 from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he learned basic passenger screening.

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But, beyond his screening role at the airport, TTirado also supported security operations for major sporting events like NFL Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, Kentucky Derby, Indy 500, as well as the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

And sure, TTirado’s job may be over but his adventures certainly are not. As Gray explained, he’s now hoping to hit the road with his canine companion for a much-needed trip.

“I have three travel objectives for TTirado – New York City for the Ground Zero Memorial and FDNY Station 23 where his namesake worked, Atlanta to meet one of Hector’s sons and his family who we have kept in touch with, and finally to San Antonio to see his foster family who helped raise him during his puppy years.”

Following their journey, TTirado will continue to live at the Gray’s home in Indianapolis, where he’ll be able to get daily updates about work from Keith’s new puppy partner Ari, a German Shorthaired Pointer. Here’s hoping TTirado has a few words of wisdom to pass down to the next great generation of good boys.