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Friday, July 19, 2013

The Dog Days Are Over

Inspector Kurt Evans. And Jurgens
Katharine Martin and Jurgens together again
Our seniors weren't the only ones to graduate in May. Our campus puppy, The Dog Jurgens, graduated on May 24, 2013 at Lackland Air Force Base. Jurgens, and her handler, Kurt Evans, received their credentials and have already taken on their assignment at Houston's Hobby Airport.

Trinity University was recognized for its role in fostering and training Jurgens in 2012. Scott Thomas, who runs the breeding program at Lackland presented the University plaques that will be displayed in the Coates Center starting this fall. The students and staff members who spent so many hours with Jurgens must have done something right - or at least did no harm. Kurt and Jurgens received Top Dog honors in their class.

Additionally, I was able to present a commemorative Paul Jurgens bracelet to Inspector Evans on behalf of John and Alice Sheldon. Kurt is an exceptional young man. He was extremely moved by the Sheldon gift and takes to heart the importance of his role and the connection of this program to the events of 9/11. Most of all, he loves Jurgens. In an email to us, before we met, he described her this way: "She is funny, sweet, stubborn, VERY SMART and just plain loveable. She is still very much all energy and high spirits and usually looking for a quick snack to score off the ground." We knew then they she was with the right guy! He gets her.

Kurt attended Hardin-Simmons and actually played against the Trinity football team in the 1999 and 2000 playoffs. Three years ago he decided, after much research, to pursue his goal of being a TSA inspector and canine handler. He had to move his wonderful family to Houston for his assignment, in fact. Kurt told us that when he was doing some internet research this year he had actually come across the articles about Jurgens. He was thrilled when it was announced that they would be paired together.

The Tuttle family, and Katharine Martin, in Campus Publications -- and Jurgens co-sponsor last year -- were in attendance at graduation. Jurgens continues to be a prima donna. Blessed with exceptional skills, she continues to be single-minded in performing her duties, a bit pushy and difficult to manage,and, as Kurt pointed out, very lovable. It was spectacular to see her again, for all of us. It is gratifying to see this campus program come to such a positive conclusion.

I continue to be amazed at the connections this little dog has created, including between students and staff, the Sheldon's, and now the Evans family. She is a destiny dog.