Ruth and I unexpectedly met a retired service dog at the National Border Patrol Museum in El Paso last week. His name is Bak. His adopters called to ask Brenda Tisdale, Museum Administrator, if it would be OK for them to bring him into the museum, and she said he’d be most welcomed.
CCEP, Canine Center El Paso, was created to ensure consistent training and certification standards among working dogs. It’s located at Biggs Army Air Field. Having joined with the canine center in Front Royal, Virginia, in 2009, both facilities now have the goal of producing the best field-ready canine teams. CCEP, considered by many to be #1 in the country, has clearly become one of the best dog training facilities in the world.
Canines at CCEP learn many skills. Dogs are trained to detect concealed humans, learn the odors of marijuana, heroin, and other controlled substances, become expert assistants in search and rescue operations, etc.
Brenda told Ruth and me that the best canines come from Europe. Dogs from Europe are known for pure breeding; no-in breeding makes for better dogs. The best breed to train is the Belgian Malinois. The Unites States Secret Service uses these shepherd dogs to guard the grounds of the White House. Other shepherds and retrievers are found in Biggs canine academy too. Brenda told us that trained dogs are “2,000% important to help endangered agents.”
Brenda welcomes service dogs into the National Border Patrol Museum. Bak, the dog we met, worked in Korea with the military police for 8 years before retiring. The couple who adopted Bak has a young son, and Bak loves being a part of this family.
Brenda creates a for-sale calendar each year. The 2015 one featured Tex. A German Shepherd, Tex was born at CCEP and spent his entire life serving his country in the Rio Grande Valley. His handler and favorite human, Romeo Mejia, seemed to consider Tex part of his family. Tex was certified in search, rescue tracking, trailing, and in detecting human remains according to Brenda’s calendar. During his working years Tex tracked more than 1,000 individuals, recovered 5 human remains, took part in the rescue of 7 humans either lost or suffering medical distress, etc. Tex died on November 21, 2013.