"Dogs can work for 30-45 minutes at a time looking for explosives," says airport chief of public safety Robert Vester.
"Then they get hot and lose focus."
That's why the dogs need frequent naps.The Memphis airport canine unit, run by the airport police, has been making dogs more visible during the holiday season, Vester
"There are increased patrols and training in public areas," he
says."The dogs can be seen at parking lots, terminals, curbsides and baggage areas."
So, whatever you do, don't show up at the airport with clothes or shoes you wore for a recent lawn fertilizing session, because fertilizers contain nitrate, which is also used to prepare explosives.
"The dogs will hit on you," Vester
says."You'll then be checked and interviewed." Vester
declined to disclose the number of dogs working at the airport, but says the canine unit employs three breeds: German shepherd, Belgian shepherd and Labrador.All previously trained under the supervision of the Transportation Security Authority at Lackland Air Force
base in San Antonio, the dogs are usually friendly, but passengers are better off not messing with Texas.
"They're trained to be non-aggressive," Vester