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Retired, adopted: Hard work pays off for MWD

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Robert Wilson
  • 354th Security Forces Squadron
As most every security forces specialist puts in 12-hour shifts, works hard in the field and charges through long and frequent deployments, he/she can only hope to depart from the force with a nice, cushy and well-deserved retirement.

As of Jan. 11, Sorbon A333, a former 354th Security Forces Squadron working dog, was rewarded for his hard work as an Iceman, and was classified as retired and approved by the Department of Defense Military Working Dogs as eligible for adoption.

Now, he gets to live the good life with the adopted family of his most recent handler, Staff Sgt. Timothy and wife, Airman 1st Class Ashli McEntee, currently stationed at Dyess AFB, Texas.

"For the rest of his life he's going to be a regular house pet--able to go to doggie parks and interact with people and other animals--he'll never have to work ever again," said Sergeant McEntee. "If a dog could play golf with a beer in his hands then that's what Sorbon will be doing."

The 10-year old, 82-pound ball of fur, claws and teeth, was rumored to be quite a handful during his life as a MWD. Sorbon was naturally hardened by his work environment of finding explosives and hunting down 'bad guys' during his numerous deployments in support of Operations Northern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

"He used to be a mean one," said Staff Sgt. Scott Stitt, 354th SFS MWD trainer. "Now he's old and just wants some love, you can tell when you pet him, he just leans into it. He's not mean anymore; he's soft."

Accustomed to living in a veterinarian-approved concrete and chain-link kennel his whole life, Sorbon's new home is very different with quite a few added amenities from what military life had for him. The McEntees have provided their new addition his very own couch on which he is allowed to sprawl out and relax.

Sorbon is also treated to once-taboo customs for military working dogs: table scraps and having numerous admirers pet him, scratch his ears and give belly rubs.

"Sorbon has adapted very well," said Airman McEntee. "He sleeps a lot, chills out on the bed or on the couch--he has basically taken over the house."

Both Sergeant and Airman McEntee agree that adopting Sorbon was the right thing to do not only for him, but for them as well.

"Sorbon has always given me 100 percent at work and we want to make sure he knows he's appreciated, that is why we sort of spoil him now," said Sergeant McEntee. "It's our turn to repay him for his service by giving back to him 100 percent with our love and affection."