Man’s best friend has been used in warfare since ancient times, and today, thanks to specialized training, these canine combatants are taking on crucial military roles and have become guardians of national security. Experts maintain that typical war dog can save the lives over 100 human comrades-in-arms throughout their service in the military according to the Military Working Dog Adoptions. But after war duties, what happens to these dogs?
A heroic army dog who lost her entire front leg while clearing a Taliban compound on patrol in Afghanistan has a found forever home with one of the men she saved. US Army Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald, welcomed 4-year-old Layka, a Belgian Malinois, into his Columbus, Ohio home after fighting to adopt her for several years.
With 7 overseas military tours under her collar, Layka was on her eighth tour with Sgt. McDonald in 2012 when she was shot four times at point-blank range by an enemy fighter armed with an AK-47. Immediately, her comrades rushed her back for emergency surgery during which she had a leg amputated as the cost of saving them. Sgt. McDonald felt so indebted that he had to bring her home. Her selfless bravery warranted the dog sharing the home with his young family.
“They are not scary, they’ve done scary things, but they deserve homes, and they deserve good homes.” There was a struggle for the Sgt. McDonald to adopt Layka because of her aggressiveness. That is hard to imagine when you see the interaction between the three-legged dog and the Sargent’s two sons. McDonald says that Layka will always hold a special place near his heart.
The U.S. military deploys more than 500 dogs worldwide at any given time. Each year a few are killed in action.
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