Archive for May, 2008

Memorial Day K9 Tribute

Posted in Dog poems, dogs, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2008 by wardogmarine

Dogs do not have the option of enlisting in the military. Yet, after they are chosen and trained, they stand next to their handler willing to give his life for him. When a war dog locates a bomb, or a large cache of weapons and explosives, or even deters an attack we do not hear about it. It isn’t covered on the news, you won’t see it in the newspapers, and chances are we will never know about it. However we, the handlers, know. The Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Seamen who just had their lives saved know. The war dogs also know, and usually receive a special meal at the end of the day.

This blog is dedicated to these dog teams year round, but today I want to say an extra prayer and remember not just those dog teams that have given their lives but all dog teams worldwide who continue to be on the front lines. God bless them all.

A Working Dog Poem
GOD SUMMONED A BEAST FROM THE FIELD

And he said, Behold man, created in my image. Therefore adore him
You shall protect him in the wilderness, shepherd his flocks,
watch over his children, accompany him wherever he may go;
even unto civilization.

You shall be his companion, his ally, his slave. To do these things,
God said, I endow you with these instincts uncommon
to other beasts: faithfulness, devotion, and understanding
surpassing those of man himself.

Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death.
Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to faults of man. Lest it
impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words.

Let no fault of language cleave an accord beyond that of man with
any other beast; or even man with man. Speak to your master only
with your mind and through your honest eyes.

Walk by his side: sleep in his doorway: forage for him, ward
off his enemies, carry his burdens, share his afflictions;
love him and comfort him.

And in return for this, man will fulfill your needs and wants-
which shall be only food, shelter and affection.

So be silent, and be a friend to man. Guide him through the perils
along the way to the land that I have promised him.

This shall be your destiny and your immortality.

So spoke the Lord. And the dog heard and was content.

(Anonymous)

Handler-Dog Bond

Posted in dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2008 by wardogmarine

B – Believe in the dog
O -Observe the dog

N - Nurture (educate) the dog
D – Depend on one another

The bond that exists between a handler and his dog is so vital that it could mean life or death. Show me a great working dog team and I will show you a bond as strong as could be between a handler and dog. Handlers will spend hours training their dog, but they will spend even more time building rapport and developing trust. The trust that builds is something that cannot develop overnight, it takes time. That is why being a good handler is a big responsibility, some handlers may not be disciplined enough to stay extra hours just to build their relationship with the dog. They train, put their dogs in the kennels, and then head home at the end of the day.

Good handlers will take whatever time is necessary to learn as much as they can about their dog. In time, this relationship becomes so strong that the handler will be able to recognize the mood their dog is in, changes in behavior, and other unforeseen messages and signals the dog is sending that is not seen by anyone else. This is vital to their relationship because the handler will be able to know if there may be something wrong medically, if the dog has detected someone or something, and how the dog may react in any given circumstance. A handler being able to recognize these signals allows the dog to be healthier and want to work harder for their handler which makes them better and overall more efficient.

Overseas the bond becomes stronger than ever because the handler is with the dog everyday all day and night. Back in the states the handlers usually house their dogs at a kennel facility on base. Overseas they are responsible for every aspect of the dog’s life.  Feeding, bathing, health checks, grooming, training, exercise, and many more responsibilities are what the dogs depend on from their handlers. Providing everything they can for their dog is why the dog gives everything they can to keep their handlers lives safe. The dog will do whatever it takes, including giving their own life, to keep those that house and provide for him safe.

Once this bond is established there is a strong sense of comfort and confidence in both the handler and dog making them an efficient and highly dependable dog team.  

On a personal note:
Within one week of my war dog Rex and I being attached to an infantry unit in Iraq, we were out on patrols and on the frontlines. What I find amazing is that although I had never met any of those Marines before, never knew their backgrounds outside the Corps, didn’t know their religions, if they had families, or any of their interests, I knew that I could count on them with their lives and they could count on me as well. It is a brotherhood that goes deep and has been rooted throughout history. An unspoken bond that is unbreakable, and rarely found in society. It’s not just on the field of combat where this brotherhood exists, but also back home, Marines helping eachother in time of need.

Rex was just the same. He was able to recognize that even though he never met the Marines before he was out there protecting them everyday. He, as well as most dogs, had a sixth sense where he knew who was friendly and who wasn’t. I can’t count how many times he would stand in front of or next to Marines as Iraqis came by. The Marines would come to me saying how much safer they felt just by having him around. Being able to witness this is an amazing experience and one every handler treasures.

 

Four-Legged Defenders Sniff Out Trouble

Posted in dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2008 by wardogmarine
 
By Air Force Senior Airman Eric Schloeffel
Special to American Forces Press ServiceKIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq, May 12, 2008 – Prompted by a few words of command by his handler, military working dog Charlie sprints ahead and attacks a simulated enemy during a training session here.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Nelson, 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer, practices techniques with his dog Charlie during a recent training event. Air Force dog handlers at Kirkuk are assigned to either 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron or 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Both squadrons have separate kennels and missions. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eric Schloeffel
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

For Charlie, a German shepherd deployed here, this attack is no less a priority than if it were a real insurgent attempting to harm coalition forces. Despite temperatures hovering near the century mark, Charlie makes no bones about pushing his paws to the limit for the seemingly small reward of some praise from his handler.

“The dog sees everything he does here as a game,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Patrick Carroll, 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler. “Even when the dog does have a big find, the dog never sees it as work. Seeking a reward and praise from their handler is the primary reason the dogs do the work for us.”

While these military working dogs may be unable to comprehend their important contribution to the global war on terrorism while playing “the game,” their capabilities are vital to the safety of coalition forces both inside and outside the base perimeter.

Air Force dog handlers at Kirkuk are assigned to either 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron or 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Both squadrons have separate kennels and missions.

The 506th ESFS military working dog team conducts missions with the goal of protecting the more than 5,000 coalition forces personnel who reside at the base. While working inside base confines, 506th ESFS military working dogs conduct frequent patrols and assist security forces airmen at entry control points.

“Explosive detection is one of the main things we do with the dogs,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Nelson, 506th ESFS military working dog trainer. “The dogs are also trained to protect, deter, identify and apprehend any unauthorized personnel or contraband. Basically, the dogs prevent anything from getting on base that isn’t supposed to be here.”

The 732nd ESFS team typically works with the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, during the brigade’s missions outside the wire in the city of Kirkuk and surrounding areas.

Similar to the 506th ESFS, the 732nd ESFS military working dog team frequently is on the lookout for explosives during its missions. The team is composed of airmen filling “in-lieu of” taskings — U.S. Army positions augmented by the Air Force.

“Everything we do in this capacity is outside the wire,” said Carroll, who is deployed from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

The 732nd ESFS team conducts a wide range of missions that include raids, cache searches and vehicle searches. The team’s missions can last for more than 10 days outside the wire, Carroll said.

Carroll is not new to the military working dog career field, but he said he feels his current deployment is unlike anything he’s ever seen.

“People can tell you what you’re getting into, but after leaving that gate you realize it’s different than anything you’ve ever seen,” he said. “But I build on each and every mission, and it’s been satisfying to help assist the Army mission with Air Force canines.”

Carroll, who volunteered for the position, said soldiers have helped his transition into the Army’s working environment.

“The Army has made me very comfortable incorporating the dogs into their mission,” he said. “I’ve been working with canines for more than 12 years now, but nothing comes close to what I’ve seen here. Working outside the wire with the Army has been a very rewarding opportunity.”

To accomplish such a wide variety of missions both on and off the base, dog handlers rely on the keen senses of their canines, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andrew Esparza, 506th ESFS kennel master, said.

“A dog’s scent is far more advanced than a human’s,” said Esparza, who is deployed from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. “In comparison, humans can’t distinguish the individual ingredients when we smell a pizza. [Dogs] can smell the cheese, pepperoni, oregano and all of the other ingredients individually.”

Each handler typically has his or her own assigned dog during a deployment. These dogs often travel with their handler from the United States, and spend much of their deployment patrolling and sharpening their skills.

Since handlers spend so many of their hours with the dogs, the commonly known bond between “man and his best friend” often forms, said Nelson, who is deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

“You can’t help being attached to the dogs; they depend on you,” he said. “You are completely responsible for the dog’s health and safety. But you also always have a partner that will lay down their life for you – these dogs aren’t scared of guns, knives or anything else. They are extremely loyal.

“For us, a dog is similar to another person on the team,” the sergeant added. “The dog is treated the same as if they are an airman, because the dog won’t be any good at his job if we don’t take great care of him.”

Carroll’s dog sleeps in his bedroom, thus making their relationship an around-the-clock endeavor, seven days a week.

“There is definitely a bond that forms when you live with a dog every day for six months,” Carroll said. “My dog, Jack, makes the time away from my family not as bad.”

While military working dogs will never receive retirement checks or re-enlistment bonuses for their abilities to sniff out weapons caches, these canines are a vital and valued capability in the deployed environment.

“These dogs are basically tools that we use to help save lives,” Carroll said. “I know for a fact that my dogs have found weapon caches that would’ve otherwise been used against coalition forces. Whether it’s protecting the base from within or going off base, these dogs play a major part in helping to keep us safe.”

(Air Force Senior Airman Eric Schloeffel serves with 506th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs.)

Click photo for screen-resolution image Airman 1st Class Ryan Wasson, 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, holds his dog Charlie back from Staff Sgt. Kevin Nelson, 506th ESFS military working dog trainer, during a recent training event here. Air Force dog handlers at Kirkuk are assigned to either 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron or 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Both squadrons have separate kennels and missions. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eric Schloeffel  

for original article click here- Four Legged Defenders Sniff Out Trouble

Psychological Deterrents

Posted in dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2008 by wardogmarine

Finding explosives, chasing bad guys down, searching vehicles, and tracking suspects are just a few of the many tasks dog teams can be utilized for. But one of the most frequent uses of the dogs is their capablity to be a psychological deterrent. What that means is the mere presence of a working dog instantly provides a greater show of force and deters potential attacks. Would be attackers/suspects see the dogs at the gates, on patrols, and at checkpoints and think twice about approaching our troops. They know our dogs are capable of detecting them as well as their explosives and munitions.

The dogs also help keep curious onlookers and groups to stay back from the troops as they patrol because our dogs are very protective. They are a great source for crowd control and overall security for the troops patrolling. Many locals will often run up to the vehicles because of curiosity and eventually a small crowd will sometimes form around the troops. With the dogs present it allows the soldiers and Marines to control the crowd better, and allow our troops control who comes to them.

Soldiers and Marines patrol with heavy weapons and superior firepower, but for some reason the dog’s presence has an ability in inflict fear in a foe in a way a human can’t.  Demonstrations are often held on bases with Iraqi police, and other locals watching to show what the dogs are capable of doing in case a situation were to arise and the dog attacked. They see the fearlessness in the dog’s but more they see the loyalty they have to our soldiers and the whatever it takes ferociousness to keep them protected. 

This psychological presence is a simple function but, by far, one of the most used. Having a weapon that deters attacks before they even start is very powerful and in the end, saves lives. 
 

Working dogs help clear Anbar of danger

Posted in dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2008 by wardogmarine

KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq — Operation Iraqi Freedom has made for a safer and more stable Iraq.  That goal was reached with hard work from the service members as well as what a group of people call, “Man’s best friend.”

Military working dogs with Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, have assisted Coalition forces throughout OIF to prevent insurgent activity by locating weapons caches and explosive materials.

“These dogs use a keen sense of smell,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams, a kennel master with TFMP. “That sense (of smell) can locate weapons caches to prevent future attacks.”

The dog handlers with TFMP work in Camp Korean Village, Iraq, in support of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5. The group is comprised of members of the U.S. Army, Marines and Navy, and is ready to assist at a moments notice.

“We train the dogs constantly every week; if we aren’t on missions, we are training the dogs,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Eliot J. Tiashi, 25, a dog handler with TFMP from Daytona Beach, Fla. “By training them every day, (the dogs) maintain their efficiency.”

The dogs acquired their initial training in Lakeland Air Force Base, San Antonio.  During the course, the K-9s are trained to locate various types of explosives and weapons. The training advances from lower levels to higher by placing the dog in different environments where they have to locate specific items.

Despite all of the training the K-9s endure, the handlers still care for them and play with them like family dogs.

“The relationship is like a father and a son,” said Williams, 27 from Culleoka, Tenn. while walking his German shepherd “Kitt.” “They make deployments go by easier, because no matter what, you still have your friend there with you.”

The dog handlers with TFMP have conducted operations since January and will be detaching to I Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD). Despite the change of command, the service members will conduct operations in support of 2nd LAR Bn. as well as any infantry or logistics battalion needing K-9 assistance until the day they return home.

“Every day the dogs are saving lives,” said Williams. “Whether it’s that day or in the future, it’s one less life taken.”

18 PM<BR>Cpl Ryan Tomlinson<BR>KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq<BR>'Kitt,' U.S. Government working dog, searches for firearms and explosives in the Anbar province of Iraq April 1 with Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams, a kennel master with Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines. Prior to arriving in Iraq, the dogs are trained in San Antonio, Texas, to assist the Coalition forces with searching for weapons caches.
4/1/2008 7:18 PM
Cpl Ryan Tomlinson
KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq
‘Kitt,’ U.S. Government working dog, searches for firearms and explosives in the Anbar province of Iraq April 1 with Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams, a kennel master with Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines. Prior to arriving in Iraq, the dogs are trained in San Antonio, Texas, to assist the Coalition forces with searching for weapons caches.38 PM<BR>Cpl Ryan Tomlinson<BR>KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq<BR>Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams, a kennel master with Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, and his dog “Kitt,” search for ordnance and firearms during a route reconnaissance operation through the western Anbar province of Iraq April 1. The dog handlers conduct operations in support of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion to bring peace and stability to Iraq and its people.
4/1/2008 5:38 PM
Cpl Ryan Tomlinson
KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams, a kennel master with Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, and his dog Kitt, search for ordnance and firearms during a route reconnaissance operation through the western Anbar province of Iraq April 1. The dog handlers conduct operations in support of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion to bring peace and stability to Iraq and its people.

Dog Shades and Sniffing for Weapons

Posted in dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by wardogmarine

IT’S THE SHADES, DUDE – Karlo, a U.S. Army working dog, relaxes in the sun in front of a painted building after completing a full day’s work with his handler in Kirkuk, Iraq, March 20, 2008. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet

SNIFFING OUT WEAPONS
U.S. Army Sgt. Max Free watches as his military working dog sniffs for weapons caches during a clearing operation in Kesra, Iraq, Feb. 24, 2008. Free and his dog are assigned to the 67th Engineer Detachment, attached to the 3rd Infantry Division, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army Sgt. Timothy Kingston

Man’s Best Friend: Combat Stress Dog Helps Put Soldiers ‘At Ease’

Posted in Army Dog teams, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by wardogmarine
Sgt. 1st Class Boe, a therapeutic dog being used in Iraq to help Soldiers relieve stress, sits in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Operations Center, Jan. 10.  Photo by Spc. Richard Rzepka, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs.
Sgt. 1st Class Boe, a therapeutic dog being used in Iraq to help Soldiers relieve stress, sits in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Operations Center, Jan. 10. Photo by Spc. Richard Rzepka, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs.

COB SPEICHER — Ever had a Sergeant 1st Class lick your face? For many Soldiers here, these are not freakish events, but regular occurrences.  Sgt. 1st Class Boe is the newest member of the 85th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control unit at COB Speicher, and is one of two K-9 therapists being used by the Army to help prevent and control the stresses of living in a combat zone.

Along with Staff Sgt. Mike Calaway, an occupational therapy assistant with the Combat Stress Control unit, Boe is part of a new Army program, which encourages Soldiers to interact with dogs in order to help relieve the psychological stresses of war.

The dogs, two Black Labrador Retrievers, were donated and trained by America’s VetDogs and are the first dogs to be used in a combat zone for therapeutic purposes. The organization is part of the larger non-profit group, Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, which has been helping provide guide dogs for the blind since the 1940s. Recognizing a growing need for specialized service dogs for America’s fighting forces, VetDogs recently initiated the therapy dog concept.

The dogs are intended to provide comfort and relaxation through physical interaction, whether it’s a game of fetch or just a peaceful few minutes of petting.

“I felt more relaxed after being able spend some time with her,” said Sgt. 1st Class Brenda Rich, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Medical Operations. “For a few minutes it was just me and the dog and nothing in this environment seemed to matter.”

Calaway spent two weeks training with Boe in New York City to develop a bond, before the pair was sent to Iraq to take on the challenge of helping Soldiers cope with a deployment.

“She’s a very well trained and very intelligent animal,” said Calaway, who recently introduced Boe to Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at COB Speicher. “So far we’ve had an outstanding response from Soldiers,” he said, “whether they need help or not.”

Deployments can create several different kinds of stressors, said Calaway, and Boe helps to break the ice, allowing Soldiers to open up about ongoing issues in their lives.

The major types of stress deployed Soldiers must deal with include operational stress, homefront stress and sleeping issues, said Calaway.

“The Soldiers absolutely love her,” said Maj. Charles Kuhlman, 1st BCT Chaplain.

Often Soldiers on outlying bases will befriend stray dogs for companionship and to get a feel for home, said Kuhlman. “Dogs make a huge difference in morale.”

(Story by Spc. Rick L. Rzepka, 101st Airborne Division Public Affairs)

Original Article found here- MNF-IRAQ.COM

MPs, Dogs Sniff out Explosives in Mosul, Deny Enemy of Supplies

Posted in Army Dog teams, dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by wardogmarine
Sgt. Angela Mathern and her bomb-sniffing dog Vinny, both of the 51st Military Police Detachment, based out of Ft. Lewis, Wash., inspect a cart carrying propane tanks in downtown Mosul during a search of random vehicles for weapons and bomb-making materials, Feb. 14. Soldiers from the 552nd Military Police Company, based out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, pull security.  Photo by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
Sgt. Angela Mathern and her bomb-sniffing dog Vinny, both of the 51st Military Police Detachment, based out of Ft. Lewis, Wash., inspect a cart carrying propane tanks in downtown Mosul during a search of random vehicles for weapons and bomb-making materials, Feb. 14. Soldiers from the 552nd Military Police Company, based out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, pull security. Photo by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

MOSUL — U.S. military police in northern Iraq are developing new tactics in an attempt to counter insurgent violence in the Ninewah provincial capital city of Mosul.

In February, the 552nd Military Police Company, based out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, working with military canine handlers, began conducting a series of random traffic searches in downtown Mosul for vehicles transporting explosives.

“If we get detection dogs and start actively seeking them out, it denies the enemy the capability of bringing them out,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ford, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, speaking of the explosive materials often used by insurgents to create improvised bombs in houses and roadways.

On Jan. 24, the issue was brought to a head when an estimated 20,000 tons of insurgent explosives detonated in a three-story building in downtown Mosul, resulting in death and injury to multiple Iraqi civilians.

“The goal here is to deny the enemy that availability of supplies,” said Ford, now on his third combat deployment to the city.

On a recent outing, Sgt. Angela Mathern, a canine handler with the 501st Military Police Detachment, based out of Fort Lewis, Wash., accompanied Vinnie, an explosives dog, in his search of vehicles at downtown intersections.

“I let Vinnie do his thing. He’s the expert on it all,” she said of the three-year-old black lab she’s trained with for nearly a year. “I’m the expert on handling him. My eyes are always on my dog.”

Both Mathern and Ford said the searches are just another way Coalition troops are working to bring security to the city of nearly 1.7 million residents.

“This is just something else we can do to help out in our area,” Ford said.

“Our basic mission here is to save lives,” Mathern said. “Whenever people ask me why I do this job, I tell them I’m saving lives every time I go out.”

(Story by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
This article was found here- MNF-Iraq.com

IRAQ:Dog Duty

Posted in Army Dog teams, dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by wardogmarine

Dogblog4_3

It wasn’t your typical military mission. For starters, the soldiers leading the patrol had four legs each, one of which was frequently lifted.

They were Army Staff Sgt. Iron and Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Pluto, two of about 200 dogs deployed in Iraq to sniff for bombs, chase down insurgents, hunt for human remains or just offer comfort to soldiers in need.

For the first time, therapy dogs have been sent to a combat zone, and two are in northern Iraq working with stressed-out troops.

Iron and Pluto are not the warm and fuzzy type, though.

Fearsome-looking creatures who weigh more than 80 pounds each, they go up front on foot patrols to search for weapons and explosives in insurgent-filled areas not previously scoured by U.S. troops.

Dogblog1_2

It is dangerous duty. At least three dogs have died in Iraq. During the Vietnam War, 281 dogs were killed on the battlefield.

If Iron and Pluto were aware of the dangers facing them on a recent mission southeast of Baghdad, in the volatile Arab Jabour area, they weren’t letting on. Iron, a German shepherd, sat quietly next to his partner, Sgt. Joshua T. Rose. Pluto, a svelte Belgian Malinois, pranced excitedly next to his teammate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake T. Soller.

For the dogs, the patrol was another chance to enjoy a long walk on a brisk winter’s day.

Dogblog3

Their partners, though, are responsible for making sure the dogs are warm enough in the winter, cool enough in summer, properly nourished, well rested and protected from the same insurgents who try to kill human soldiers. Team members get basic veterinary training, part of the course they must pass before being allowed to work with military dogs.

“For the most part, when there’s a firefight, the first thing the humans do is try to safeguard the dog,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Goodro Jr., who handles requests for dog teams from his station at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, southeast of Baghdad.

Dogblog6

Soller once leapt 60 feet into the cold waters of New York Harbor to save Pluto, who had jumped over the side of a cargo ship they were searching.

Goodro calls the nine dogs assigned to his brigade his “guys.” “The hardest part of the job is sending these guys out there and having a casualty,” said Goodro, who has a black Lab and an English bulldog back home in Florida.

It happened last July in Goodro’s area of operation, when Army Cpl. Kory D. Wiens, 20, and his dog Cooper were killed by a bomb while on patrol. Their remains lie buried, side by side, in Wiens’ hometown of Dallas, Ore.

Dogblog7

Pluto’s and Iron’s mission ended in victory. Iron found two bombs buried in an orchard. He then sat proudly for portrait photographs beside each discovery.

Dogblog5

As explosives experts prepared to detonate the devices, Staff Sgt. Rose covered Iron’s ears to block the sound. Iron, he explained, is terrified of loud noises.

Pluto lay on the ground, too tired to be concerned. His eyelids drooped as the sun sank behind the palm trees.

Iraqdogs5

With the mission over, Rose with Iron and Soller with Pluto climbed into the back of their mine-resistant MRAP and headed back to base. Pluto and Iron got into a brief brawl, but it was more bark than bite. No blood was shed.

The next day, after about 15 hours’ sleep, they were out on a practice field with other dogs, honing their sniffing skills for future missions.

Tina Susman in Minari village

Photos: From top, Army Staff Sgt. Iron awaits mission orders (Tina Susman); Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake T. Soller preps Pluto for the mission (Tina Susman); Soller and Pluto scour a field for hidden explosives (Tina Susman); Soller gives Pluto a minute with his favorite toy after a successful find (Tina Susman); Army Cpl. Kory Wiens and his dog Cooper, who died in Iraq in July (Army Times); Army Sgt. Joshua T. Rose photographs Iron next to a bomb the dog discovered (Tina Susman); Rose and Iron relax at the end of their mission (Tina Susman).

Original story go here- IRAQ: Dog Duty

Guardians of the Night

Posted in dogs with tags , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2008 by wardogmarine

Trust in me my friend for I am your comrade.
I will protect you with my last breath.
When all others have left you
And the loneliness of the night closes in,
I will be at your side.

Together we will conquer all obstacles
And search out those who might wish harm to others.
All I ask of you is compassion,
The caring touch of your hands.
It is for you that I will selflessly give my life
And spend my nights unrested.

Although our days together
May be marked by the passing of the seasons.
Know that each day at your side is my reward.
My days are measured by
The coming and going of your footsteps.
I anticipate them at the opening of the door.
You are the voice of caring when I am ill.
The voice of authority over me when I’ve done wrong.
Do not chastise me unduly
For I am your right arm,
The sword at your side.

I attempt to do only what you bid of me.
I seek only to please you and remain in your favor.
Together you and I shall experience
A bond only others like you will understand.
When outsiders see us together
Their envy will be measured by their disdain.
I will quietly listen to you
And pass no judgement.
Nor will your spoken words be repeated.
I will remain ever silent,
Ever vigilant, ever loyal.

And when our time together is done
And you move on in the world,
Remember me with kind thoughts and tales.
For a time we were unbeatable,
Nothing passed among us undetected.
If we should ever meet again on another field
I will gladly take up your fight.
I am a Police Working Dog and together
We are GUARDIANS of the NIGHT.
author unknown

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