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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | June 25, 2024

Like fur-ther, like son: A patrol pup story

By Airman 1st Class Martha Moore 316th Wing Public Affairs

“SIT!” Beyond the confines of the high fences surrounding the 316th Security Support Squadron K-9 unit lies a challenging obstacle course that tests skill and endurance. It is here that two devoted military working dogs, Ddrax and Rreno, found their calling. Intense training and tasks are all in a day's work for these two pups.

Ddrax and Rreno are a father and son team. They were both bred by the puppy program at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, Texas, where military working dogs for the Department of Defense are trained.

The odds are slim for two dogs of the same lineage to end up at the same base according to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Steven Daniel, the 316th SSPTS kennel master.

“I've been doing this for over a decade, for about 14 years now, and I've never seen the father-son combination at an installation,” Daniel said. “Heard of it a couple of times, just like the great myth, the great white buffalo, but you never really see it.”

Each pup has a unique way to showcase their personalities while they do their duty. Both are great detectives while also being slightly reckless, endearingly said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachory Boozel, a 316th SSPTS K-9 trainer and Rreno's handler.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachary Scott, also assigned to the 316th SSPTS and Ddrax's handler, expressed his care and passion for the pair's success.

Ddrax has been at Andrews since April 2021. Scott describes Ddrax as an energetic and strong-willed dog that takes toy retrieval seriously. Doing whatever it takes to get love and affection, Ddrax goes the extra mile.

Scott expressed that Ddrax has had his fair share of hardships, including experiencing a heat injury, but he still embodies grit and can be a poster pup for perseverance.

“We were going through the thick vines and bushes the other day. His tongue bled and he got caught by like twigs,” Scott said. “Not even fazed, [Ddrax] just keeps going and that, I would say, is a perfect example of who he is. He's just a fun loving furball who looks crazy, but he just wants to be loved, get a toy, and have a good time.”

On the other paw, Rreno arrived at Andrews in December 2022. During a demonstration of daily training, Boozel shared his take on Rreno’s apparent thought process while switching to detection mode to retrieve a toy that was thrown out of eyesight. In the midst of his excitement, the pup showcased his multitasking skills, seeming to effortlessly tap into his prey-hunting instincts to perform the current mission.

“Everything happening all at once,” is how Boozel described his pooch.

Boozel and Rreno have been able to create many memories while on missions throughout the U.S., but one experience stands out to Boozel most – just spending time together and chasing waves.

“Getting him on the beach and kind of like being a dog a little bit. It’s pretty neat how exciting it is for him,” Boozel said.

“STAY! Good boy.”