Sunday 6 January 2019

Sniffer dog: job application...

To: The Transportation Security Administration (sniffer dog division), U.S.A.

7th January, 2019.

Dear Head of Recruitment at the TSA,

Re: Application to be a Sniffer Dog

Last week, my attention was caught by a newspaper article claiming that in the USA sniffer dogs with 'floppy ears' are being recruited for airport security because, unlike the traditional pointy eared German Shepherds and so forth, 'they don't scare the passengers'.

First, let me congratulate you on your commitment to diversity in your hiring practices.

However, I would like to point out that your otherwise estimable organisation appears to have neglected one important category of dog ear. As a (very adorable) wire fox terrier, my (impossibly cute) little ears are neither pointy nor floppy, rather they are flappy. The characteristic is seen to best advantage, and invariably draws admiring glances, in the course of my early morning trot around the park with my owner Gail.

Now Gail has often - especially after being confronted with a hefty bill from the vet - suggested that I might consider finding work and contributing to our household expenditure. Although to date I have been content with my lot as a 'kept' dog, I must say I am attracted by a job opportunity which would combine two of my greatest strengths, namely the ability to sniff with focus and intensity while also looking unbelievably endearing and unthreatening.

Lest you doubt the latter, I should also add that, on seeing my loveably fuzzy face, strangers often exclaim "ooh, he looks just like a teddy bear". And while I will admit that anyone who set me directly beside a teddy bear would surely notice significant differences, I think that in the world of sniffer dog customer relations, it is first impressions that count.

To the best of my knowledge, the only time my presence causes distress to young children is when they learn I am not available to be taken home and adopted by them.

I recognise that, in the way of human resources professionals everywhere, you will want evidence of relevant experience and expertise. Let me assure you that just over a week ago, when Gail returned from her Christmas vacation in Mexico, I inspected her luggage most thoroughly, and am relieved to report that the only drugs I detected were two Naproxen tablets, available over the counter in Mexico City  but only on prescription in this country.

I hope the fact that I currently hold a European Union passport will not count against me in this application. I think it is relevant that my owner once worked for two years in Oklahoma. (I trust that her failure to pay an Oklahoma State income tax demand for $2.63 which arrived some months after she returned to England will not disbar me being considered for a sniffer dog position.)

Assuming that my application is successful, might I state a preference for working somewhere in the Seattle area, where I believe the climate would be congenial to one accustomed to British weather, and where Gail says she would happily accompany me.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as your current government shutdown allows...

Toodle pip!
Bertie WFT.


  1. Hari OM
    Bertie lad, I wonder if this application will have greater success than that for Scottish Tourism Ambassadog??? Part of me hopes so - and the rest of me hopes not. With the latter you would at least still be 'in-country' whilst with the former you would have to depart these shores and I would miss you terribly!!! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  2. Apaws Apaws Bertie!! What a glowing application letter. If TSA doesn't come thru, I'd say they are not even worthy of a 2nd glance from you. I like YAM Aunty's thinking about the Ambassadog of Scotland.
    I loved all your ear information and I too would be a bit weepy should I see you and discover you are not available to come home with me.
    Sending hugs to you and the most perfect WFT owner, Gail

  3. Great application Bertie! I think you stand a strong chance of making it to interview. HNY to you all!

  4. We just read about the floppy-eared dogs at the Rickety Old Farmhouse. Sounds interesting. We think your application is superb. But do you really want to work day after day in an airport when the hills and heather are calling you?

  5. Sorry no comply soon ~ our government is on a shutdown. Those still working will not receive a paycheck. And why would you want to sniff for illegal drugs or explosives. Stay in the Highlands and enjoy life.
    Your Friend Wills with good advice.

  6. That is an excellent application Bertie. Might I also suggest that you could apply to live in our area (Rochester, NY) as we receive about as much precipitation as Seattle. That way you won't be too far from your bonny land should you want to return to visit family.

  7. Bertie- The TSA would be foolish not to consider you for employment. You clearly have the skills to sort out contraband and you have a very non-threatening look. You might also consider working at the Portland airport. It has lovely carpet, festive shops and wonderful restaurants!

  8. You clearly have the skills for it. And OMD, you DO look like a teddy bear!

  9. I would feel much safer with you on the job!

  10. Bertie and Gail thank you ever so much for the bday wishes...Hugs Cecilia

  11. Oh Bertie, we believe you would make a pawfect sniffer dog!
    Rosy, Jakey & Arty

  12. Bertie you are pawfect for the job!
    Hazel & Mabel

  13. If people are going to discriminate against pointed ear dogs like us, we would be happy if dogs like you got the job.

  14. Bertie -- dear doggy godson -- you are pawfect for the gig, but you know that we cannot recommend working for the USA government under its current conditions! Xo Wag on, Tootsie & Renee

  15. Hi hi hi! Ojo here! I hope you get the job! I have a job as a sniffing Dog (I am a Thing Finder!), and while it only pays in soft unripened goat cheese, it is still a most excellent job. I highly recommend sniffing jobs! Also, I think your flappy ears would be perfect. Also, I love your new cover photo.