Archive for April, 2008

Bonding With “Brikhouse”

Posted in dogs, Marine dog teams, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2008 by wardogmarine

Here are a few pictures and a video of Marine Sgt Joseph Prado and his war dog Brik, nicknamed “Brikhouse”. Sgt Prado was very proud of and loved his mwd(military working dog) so much that he wrote about his bond with his war dog and included it on one of his favorite photos. Prado has left the Marines while Brik continues to serve his country with the Corps.

Night vision view of Sgt Prado and Brik

IED’s detected by Brik

Brik with his well deserved award for saving lives.

Brik and Sgt Prado conducting a vehicle search 


War dog Robby NUT CHECKS his handler

Posted in dogs, Marine dog teams, Military Working Dogs, various k9 videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2008 by wardogmarine

Military working dog Robby was nothing less than a beast. He was a Shepherd weighing in about 105 pounds. He was big, very strong, and a solid working dog while in the Marine Corps. All around Robby was a great mwd, however he had one thing that always kept handlers that knew him on alert-he was crazy. Dogs have personalities just like humans do and if there is a way to describe Robby I would say that he was a schizophrenic maniac. It was difficult because for the most part he was a playful and jovial dog that people could pet and even see themselves bonding with. However, out of nowhere and sometimes without any provocation he would snap and have one of his “episodes” where he went after anyone including his handlers. I don’t mean to just take a quick nip at someone either, I mean full out killer on the loose status.

Robby served his country by doing a tour in Iraq and also provided security on presidential missions. His presence was powerful and was a great psychological deterrent for would be attackers. He ended up with degenerative disorders that were uncorrectable and eventually had to be put down. R.I.P., Semper Fi
Here are a couple videos of Robby serving in Iraq with his handler Sgt Jason Cannon.


Posted in dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2008 by wardogmarine

If you had to guess what the biggest challenge to our dog teams overseas is, you might hear answers such as IED’s, performance during gunfire, and other combat related responses. But one of the biggest challenges is not necessarily how they may react to gunfire and bombs but how they adjust to and work in the weather.

Braving combat situations, searching for explosives for hours, and providing security at checkpoints are just a few of many uses dog teams are utilized for. By studying the combat environment dog teams can implement training programs to be very well prepared for just about any situation. While dog teams can be prepared for gunfire, explosives, and searching vehicles one element that is difficult to prepare them for is the weather.

 The average temperatures in Iraq range from higher than 48 degree C (120 Fahrenheit) in July and August to below freezing in January. In this weather service members may slow down but they can still work for hours and days consistently. This weather can challenge a dog’s efficiency dramatically. Dogs have a much more difficult time expelling heat than humans do.

Not only do dogs have a layer of thick hair but they don’t have the ability to sweat either. Dogs cool down through panting and cooling their undersides. Keeping our dogs as fresh as possible requires constant hydration, and a significant supply of water everywhere the dog teams go. Handlers are also trained on how to give their dogs I.V.’s giving them the fluids they need.

Another weather element they battle are the sandstorms. Stinging sand can significantly reduce a dogs vision and ability to detect and work. With new gear and technology for the dogs we are able to limit the effect the elements can have on our dogs.

Handlers are supplied many top of the line products to help them keep their dog healthy and efficient. Ice packs and cool pads specifically designed for the dogs are a must have item for handlers. Specially made ballistic dog goggles called “doggles” are also often used to protect the dogs eyes. Handlers use booties to wrap around the dogs paws to keep their feet from directly stepping on the excruciating hot ground as well as glass and shrapnel. These items are just a few of many in the handlers arsenal that enable them to perform their duties and do what they do best which is saving and protecting lives.

Tech. Sgt. John Mascolo and his military working dog, Ajax, left, await a helicopter pickup with Staff Sgt. Manny Garcia and his dog, Jimmy, outside Forward Operating Base Normandy, Iraq, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006. The dogs are wearing “doggles” to prevent sand and debris from getting in their eyes during sandstorms or when near helicopters. The 35th Security Force Squadron Airmen and their dogs had completed a security sweep of a farmhouse looking for weapons and materials used to make improvised explosive devices. (U.S. Army photo/Pfc. William Servinski II)

Just Stay: The Marine Son Story

Posted in dogs, Military stories, police dogs with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2008 by wardogmarine

Found this story and wanted to pass it along. Has nothing to do with working dogs but I enjoyed it so I thought you might.

 Just Stay

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

“Your son is here,” she said to the old man.

She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s   eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand.   The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed.All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted   ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength.  Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

“Who was that man?” he asked.
The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.
“No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”

“Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake,
but I also knew he needed his son, and his
son just wasn’t here.
When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son,
knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”

The next time someone needs you … just be there.  Stay.



Top 10 Reasons of Being a Working Dog Handler

Posted in dogs with tags , , on April 25, 2008 by wardogmarine

10. Dogs can’t talk back

9. Our own room, tv, new bed, snacks, and all other perks we get are needed “for our dog.”

8. Getting to see the look on the face of a schmuck before our dog sinks his teeth in them.

7. Watching decoys get “housed”

6.  We can train anywhere we want to-the mountains, the fields, and of course the beach

5. Training is done by noon.

4. Get to “work” concerts, superbowls, presidential missions, and more

3. They can be trained to “fetch” just about anything including beer, remote controls, and keys

2. Always have a friend that will do anything for you

1. Get to work with one of your best friends.


“You can’t beat this job”

Posted in air force teams, dogs, various k9 videos, working dogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2008 by wardogmarine

Listen to what he says at 1:03 and 1:20

I just love this video. You can tell he genuinely enjoys being a military working dog hanlder. All of us handlers share the same sentiment when he says “You can’t beat this job.” It is hard to be able to beat a job where you get to work/play with some of the world’s finest dogs and people everyday. 

Air Force Dog Team Overseas Reenlistment

Posted in air force teams, dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , on April 25, 2008 by wardogmarine