“There’s no other job that’s going to allow you to play with dogs all day,” said Staff Sgt. Lance Brennan, a military working dog handler at Vance Air Force Base. However, calling it “play” may be a bit of a misnomer, as handlers train with their dogs in both patrol work and detection.

Military working dogs, who have been part of the armed forces since 1942, learn how to search a house, or sniff out explosives or drugs — which means that both the animals and their human counterparts can end up in harm’s way.