Yesterday was the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, I thought it would be appropriate to write about heroes, and I choose dog heroes.
The picture to the left was on the cover of the June edition of the National Geographic. Her name is Layka, and she was sent to Afghanistan to help soldiers clear an enemy compound. "During her search she was shot by enemy forces and took four rounds from an AK-47 at point-blank range. Despite her injuries, she attacked and subdued the shooter, protecting her handler and other members of the team. It took seven hours of surgery, including the amputation of her limb, to save her. In 2012 Layka was presented with a medal of heroism."
The article in the National Geographic shows many different dogs going through training in order to work along-side their human companions. The dogs are often in war-torn situations to sniff out an improvised explosive device, IED. They use their keen sense of smell to detect chemicals used to make the IED's, and hopefully find them before someone steps on one. "Handlers care for their dogs' every need, learning canine CPR as well as how to spot canine post-traumatic stress disorder, which afflicts some 5 percent of deployed dogs. Not all military dogs are suited to combat. Some wither in the heat or become too excited by the sounds of gunfire or explosions, even after they've been desensitized to them in training. Some are too loyal, too lazy, or too playful. Each dog is in its own particular, sometimes peculiar, universe."
The dog is very much like its human counterpart in this situation. Not everyone is suited to combat, even with training, and everyone is in their own particular, sometime peculiar, universe. Remember our heroes, whether they have two legs or four.
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