Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ee Pup

The Puppy Program

Did you know that the Department of Defense operates a military working dog breeding program?

aka The Puppy Program

Puppy Kkrusty

Puppy Kkrusty

The Department of Defense Military Working Dog Breeding Program was established in 1998. The Breeding Program (informally and affectionately referred to as the Puppy Program) provides an internal source of military working dogs to supplement the needs of the DoD. As adults, these puppies will be utilized for the detection of explosives and illegal contraband, specialized searching (land-mine clearing and locating weapons in war zones), Search and Rescue needs, and troop/asset patrol protection.
MWD Lexy & her Vv pups

MWD Lexy & her Vv pups

They will serve in all branches of our military. Some of the dogs not meeting the DoD requirements have gone on to work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and law enforcement agencies throughout our country, serving and protecting our citizens and communities.
Vveesart & Vvini Vv3 liter

Vveesart & Vvini Vv3 liter

The Breeding Program selects and breeds quality working-line Belgian Malinois. Solid temperament, working ability and medical soundness are just some of the standards used to select the sires and dams for the Program.
AA4 litter Round table

AA4 litter Round table

From birth to eight weeks our pups are reared at the Military Working Dog Center on Lackland AFB, TX in our state of the art whelping facility. While there is no guarantee that any pup of this age will develop into an adult working dog, our Puppy Development Specialists begin working with the pups from birth, imprinting and exposing the pups to a variety of stimulations and activities that will prepare them for the next phase of their life

Note: This information and photos are being published with permission from Bernie at the Department of Defense Breeding Program. This is Part I of the Puppy Program Feature.

In case you missed or want to revisit a prior week’s military dog picture of the week. Here are the most recent links.

Search and Rescue Dogs

More Marine Black Labs & Preparing for a WIA K9!

Marines and their Black Labs Post

Military Dog Picture of the Week: Troops & Their Puppies!

Click here to subscribe and receive my weekly blog posts directly to your email. You don’t want to miss a thing!

Staff Sgt. Shawn Martinez (left) and Staff Sgt. Ryan Risher (right), both assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, stand with Bono after returning from a patrol on the outskirts of the Sharan District Center. (U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Jacob Giardini.)

Man’s best friend’ and the fight against IEDs

This story provides great insight into the daily life of a dog handler deployed!

4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division

By 1st Lt. Jay Mohr

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Deployments to Afghanistan force many soldiers out of their comfort zones. For  many, it is the addition of stress caused by being in a combat zone. For others,  it has to do with learning a completely different set of skills than the Army  has prepared them for.

This is true for Staff Sgt. Shawn Martinez, who  has previously trained as a howitzer section chief. On his current deployment,  Martinez serves as a tactical explosive detection dog handler for Forward Support Company G, 2nd  Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry  Division.

Martinez last served on the gun line for Battery A, 2-32 Field  Artillery until he was sent to the dog handler’s  course to be trained as a TEDD handler. After completing 14 total weeks of  training, he was put to work immediately in Afghanistan. He would not be going  alone though, as he would be deploying with his new partner, Bono. Bono is a  4-year-old male German shepherd trained to detect explosive substances in a  combat environment.

“The training was much different than what I was used  to. The biggest thing I took out of it was the need for constant  professionalism. Bono was not given to me to be a pet that I could play with,” said Martinez. “He is a living creature, but also an important tool that the  Army uses to find explosives.”Staff Sgt. Shawn Martinez (left) and Staff Sgt. Ryan Risher (right), both assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, stand with Bono after returning from a patrol on the outskirts of the Sharan District Center. (U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Jacob Giardini.)

On a daily basis, Martinez and Bono  perform a variety of tasks to protect the average war fighter. Bono is  specifically trained to detect explosives and lead dismounted elements through  various kinds of terrain safely, but each day is a new challenge for him.

When they are not needed for a patrol or other type of mission, these two  partners spend several days checking vehicles coming through Forward Operating  Base Sharana’s entry control point for traces of explosives. If any vehicle  carrying explosives were to get past these two, it could spell disaster for  everyone on FOB Sharana.

“Every day we are on our toes. I know that Bono  is important to the mission here. He helps make sure that soldiers don’t walk  into an IED, and because of that, he helps soldiers return home to their  families,” Martinez said.

So far this deployment, Martinez and Bono have  conducted numerous missions outside the wire. The pair has searched fields,  creeks, houses, villages and the like alongside units including the Polish Army,  U.S. special forces and the 82nd Airborne Division.

Being a dog  handler is not all fun and games during the off time. Being responsible for a  military working dog is a 24-hour job and has its  own unique set of challenges.

“Having a dog as a partner requires you to think differently.  Every day you have to make sure that you are ready for each mission and that the dog is ready. The two of us are the most  effective when we are the same page,” said Martinez.

The grooming and  health standards for a military working dog are  also much higher than that of your average canine. Bono undergoes unique health  checks every morning and is groomed from head to toe every evening. Regular  training is a must for Bono in order to maintain the dog’s keen odor sense and to avoid complacency.

Despite being tasked with this extraordinary job, the two enjoy every minute of  it. They play an important part in the safety, security and well-being of those  in their care.

“Bono is a priceless asset to the fight against IEDs [and  he] gives U.S soldiers an unmatched capability in detecting explosives out on  the front lines and keeping soldiers safe,” said Martinez.

Man has yet  to create a mobile device as effective as the Army’s canine partners in  Afghanistan, and Martinez and Bono are a true testament that wars are won by the  men, women and dogs on the ground

 Click here to subscribe and receive my weekly blog posts directly to your email. You don’t want to miss a thing!

Keeper

Daniel and Bony Part III: All Roads Lead to Afghanistan

Note: This is part three of the story. You may want to read Part I or  Part II before reading this piece

Once outcast and shunned from the military dog community, Sergeant Daniel Sandoval had gotten a second chance. He was accepted into the Fort Bragg’s dog kennels unconditionally.

Daniel was paired up with the stubborn, oversized wolf dog, Military Working Dog Bony. He was excited for the challenge and worked on bonding with the experienced German shepherd.

His wife Sabrina had just given birth to their second son, Carver. This should have been one of the happiest times of Daniel’s life.

But it wasn’t.

Daniel was stressed to the max. His career and his family were seemingly on a crash course and giving him sleepless nights.

He needed to talk to his new kennel master, Staff First Class Webster, the same man who squashed any rumors of Daniel purposely failing certification at his prior kennel so he wouldn’t have to deploy. He had given Daniel a second chance and now Daniel had to face him. He had to tell him he couldn’t go to certification, and he might need to delay deployment. His son was having trouble breathing. He couldn’t leave him or his wife Sabrina like this. But how would Webster react?

Webster was under pressure to deliver certified dog teams to the troops on the front lines in Afghanistan. The kennel needed to fill their deployment slots. Someone would have to fill this slot. Daniel had gotten in trouble before. Now he was facing the same basic problem—he couldn’t deploy on schedule.

He dragged his feet as he shuffled through the dirt parking lot. Dogs were barking in the background while several teams were out in the exercise yard, running their dogs through the obstacle course. He should have been with them, preparing for certification. He couldn’t bear to look at them.

His mind foggy, his heart pounding, he walked into Webster’s office.

“Sandoval, I heard about your son. Talk to me, Sergeant,” Webster said as he gestured Daniel to sit.

Daniel hesitated. Was this man—a man in a position to destroy his career—actually going to listen? Webster had given him another chance. Maybe he should trust him? What choice did he have?

Daniel poured out his heart to the man who sat, listened, and nodded.

“Listen, Sandoval. I don’t want you to think of certification, deploying, or Bony until you take care of your family. I need your head in the game.”

He couldn’t believe this. Here sat a leader who actually cared about him as a person. More importantly, he cared about Daniel’s family.

It was no longer a matter of if he certified and deployed. When he would do so was the question. He wouldn’t let Webster down.

Carver had been born with meconium in his lungs, making his oxygen level very low. For weeks Sabrina and Daniel spent days and nights at the children’s hospital in the NICU.

With Carver’s breathing problem under control, Daniel returned to the kennels more determined than ever for redemption. He had something to prove—not to the leadership that cast him away from the kennels at his prior duty station. He was seeking redemption for his family and himself from the man who had given him another chance.

Was it lucky for him that he was partnered with the hulking wolf dog? Bony was an intimidating, 100-pound stubborn knucklehead. He considered himself to be alpha. Bony did what he wanted when he wanted. Bony thought he was in charge. Bony was wrong.

Woof. Woof Woof.

Drool dripped from the grey chin of the Wolf as he charged the kennel door. His lips curled back as he emitted a series of viscous snarls.

Specialist Jiminez backed away as the Wolf’s spittle shot through the mesh door..

Daniel smiled and stared at Bony.  Jiminez had just returned from Afghanistan and was going to help him get ready for certification.

Bony didn’t know Jiminez.  Bony didn’t like anyone he didn’t know. Unless of course they were female.  The Wolf loved the ladies.

Daniel slammed the door open and Bony leaped backwards. He stepped into the kennel run. Bony’s tail wagged and his ears flopped backwards.

The now docile grey wolf rolled on his back and begged Daniel for love.

“He likes to act like he is tough guy. But don’t worry. He is just showboating,” Daniel told Jiminez.

Daniel had broken him down during training and turned him into a loyal partner. Daniel’s determination and skill combined with Bony’s experience made them a formidable dog team. They breezed through their local and official certification and quickly found themselves on an airplane heading to Afghanistan.

Daniel’s orders assigned him to the Special Operations Command at Bagram Airbase. He wasn’t sure who he would be working with: Green Berets, Seals, Marines or Coalition Special Operations. He knew he would be all right though. He had Bony the Wolf Dog by his side.

Click on the Daniel and Bony tag below for the other parts of this story.

Click here to subscribe and receive my weekly blog posts directly to your email. You don’t want to miss a thing!

The Department of Veterans Affairs Spins While Veterans Suffer

Recently the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that they would no longer provide service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They will continue to provide service dogs to veterans with impaired vision, hearing, or  mobility

I’ve wanted to cry outrage since I first read the announcement. But, before I did so, I felt some research needed to be completed. Let’s take a look at why the VA is refusing to provide veterans these service dogs.

There is no proven medical benefit of Service Dog for those that suffer from PTSD:

In the Federal Register the VA states, “The VA has not yet been able to determine that these (service) dogs provide a medical benefit to veterans with mental illness. Until such a determination can be made, VA cannot justify providing benefits for mental health service dogs.”

My initial response is, “Okay, but why hasn’t the VA conducted studies to confirm or deny a ‘medical benefit’ for veterans suffering with PTSD? Why did they wait until 2012?”

Our Veterans have returned scared and in need of help since 2002. It certainly seems like the VA has dragged its feet on this one.

Don’t worry, though. According to the Federal Register, the VA has directed a three-year study “to assess the benefits, feasibility, and advisability of using service dogs for the treatment or rehabilitation of veterans with physical or mental injuries or disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Congress directed the VA to conduct this study in 2009. However, according to The Atlantic, the study has been suspended. So The VA says we need a study to determine the medical benefit of service dogs work for veterans suffering from PTSD. But there is no study currently being conducted.

Wow. The logic of the VA simply dumbfounds me.

So how will the VA content with the rising PSTD rates of our veterans until then?

Drugs! The old standby!

A study conducted by Veterans Affairs found that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with mental health diagnoses—particularly post-traumatic stress disorder—were significantly more likely to receive prescriptions for Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and other opioids than those with pain but no mental health issues.

When I served as Executive Officer for a Military Police Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2009, we had a young soldier in the unit I’ll call Specialist Jones.

Jones had just returned from a hard Iraq deployment. He was constantly getting into trouble. Most of his troubles stemmed from alcohol use, but he had one particular problem: Jones could never show up on time for formation. The company wanted to kick him out because of his lack of discipline and substance abuse issues.

The Battalion Sergeant Major directed an inquiry into the root of his problem. He wanted to know everything about him.

Was Jones a drunk?

Was Jones on bath salts or smoking Spice?

Was Jones such an undisciplined little shit?

No, no, and no.

Come to find out Jones was on several different types of drugs administered by different Army doctors. He was suffering from physical and mental problems. He was on Oxycodone, Percocet, muscle relaxers and all the other great stuff the military and the VA throw at this mysterious problem of PTSD and veterans physical problems.

I understand that the VA wants medical proof before they agree to provide service dogs. But is funneling drugs into the hands of our troops a better solution? Is there medical proof that Oxycodone solves or helps people cope with PTSD?

Or are we just masking the condition?

How do you medically evaluate whether service dogs help, cure, or do nothing? I’ve researched the heck out of this and I am actually asking you all—Does anyone know? The only thing I can see is evaluating the results of studies. (I’ll address the study the VA is conducting another time.)

Does a chemical in a PTSD suffering veteran’s brain shift when they are with service dogs?

Does a PTSD suffering veteran’s depression decrease with assistance by a service dog? How do you determine this “medically”?

Does anyone know the answers to this?

So what happens to our veterans while we wait for the VA to finish their study?

Why did the VA have to be directed to conduct this study?

I borrowed this chart from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

 

The 2012 military suicide rates are on target to outpace the 2011 rates by around 25%. If this trend continues, we could lose thousands of veterans to suicide while the VA tries to pinpoint “medical” proof that service dogs work.

The VA’s mission is “To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orpha’” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.”

Do you think they are fulfilling this mission?

George Washington once said that “the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by the nation.”

As a nation we need to heed our first presidents words. We must take care of our veterans now.

What I fail to understand is why the VA is waiting for the study to conclude? If we have confirmed cases that this works, then why are we waiting? How many veterans have to commit suicide before the VA uses common sense instead of relying on studies?

So over the next few months I will talk with some veterans about how their service dogs have helped them. These are veterans suffering from PTSD whose lives have changed because of their service dogs.

My first stop will be with former Air Force Sergeant Justin Jordan. Justin details his struggle inhis book, And Then I Cried, Stories of a Mortuary NCO.

I asked quite a few questions in this piece. Please feel free to answer in the comments section.

I’ve very interested in your view on this issue.

Am I wrong?

Am I too emotionally attached to the issue?

Why do you believe the VA is right or wrong on this issue?

What can you do to help?

Please consider signing this petition to provide our Veterans the care they so urgently need.

http://www.change.org/petitions/department-of-veterans-affairs-reverse-the-policy-help-our-veterans-heal-with-service-dogs

 Click here to subscribe and receive my weekly blog posts directly to your email. You don’t want to miss a thing!

Search and Rescue Dogs.

Denice Wethington of New Castle, Ind., gives Brea, her German shepherd search and rescuedog, commands during a training exercise conducted at the Department of Homeland Security Search and Rescue Conference held at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central Indiana, June 4Denice Wethington of New Castle, Ind., gives Brea, her German shepherd search and rescuedog, commands  during a training exercise conducted at the Department of Homeland  Security Search and Rescue Conference  held at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central Indiana,  June 4

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy I thought this nod to our Search and Rescue Dogs is appropriate.

We were lucky here in coastal Virginia. Just a foot and half of water in the yard/ garage (nothing in the house), some debris, high winds and five hours without power. Last year Hurricane Irene was a lot worse!

Members of Maryland Urban Search and Rescue  Task Force one fly aboard a U.S. Army CH-47 helicopter assigned to the Georgia  Army National Guard from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. to Staten  Island, N.Y. to conduct house-to-house searches, Nov 3, 2012.  Maryland Task Force one is part of the National Searchand Rescue Task  Force recovery effort in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker  Gyokeres/Released

Members of Maryland Urban Search and Rescue  Task Force one fly aboard a U.S. Army CH-47 helicopter assigned to the Georgia  Army National Guard from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. to Staten  Island, N.Y. to conduct house-to-house searches, Nov 3, 2012.  Maryland Task Force one is part of the National Searchand Rescue Task  Force recovery effort in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker  Gyokeres/Released

Live search dog Jackie rests with her handler  Laura Murdock at an airport in Nassau County, N.Y., after conducting  house-to-house searches. Murdock and Jackie are members of the Maryland Task  Force One urban search and rescue team and are currently based at Joint Base  McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker  Gyokeres/Released)

Live search dog Jackie rests with her handler  Laura Murdock at an airport in Nassau County, N.Y., after conducting  house-to-house searches. Murdock and Jackie are members of the Maryland Task  Force One urban search and rescue team and are currently based at Joint Base  McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker  Gyokeres/Released)

Dominic Dipietco, a specialist with the Maryland Urban Search andRescue Task Force, pets search dog Jed aboard a U.S. Army CH-47 helicopter assigned to the Georgia Army National Guard on a flight from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. to Staten Island, N.Y. to conduct house-to-house searches, Nov 3, 2012. Maryland Task Force one is part of the National Search and Rescue Task Force recovery effort in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres/Released)

Dominic Dipietco, a specialist with the Maryland  Urban Search andRescue Task Force, pets search dog Jed aboard a  U.S. Army CH-47 helicopter assigned to the Georgia Army National Guard on a  flight from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. to Staten Island,  N.Y. to conduct house-to-house searches, Nov 3,  2012.  Maryland Task Force one is part of the  National Search and Rescue Task Force  recovery effort in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker  Gyokeres/Released)

Denice Wethington of New Castle, Ind., gives Brea, her German shepherd search and rescuedog, commands during a training exercise conducted at the Department of Homeland Security Search and Rescue Conference held at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central Indiana, June 4Brea, a German shepherd search and rescue dog tracks scents from the bow of a  boat on a pond at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central  Indiana, June 4 during the Department of Homeland Security’s Search and Rescue  Conference training exercise

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxsYctwykE0&feature=plcp[/youtube]

Search andrescue teams arrive at Misawa Air Base to assist  with recovery efforts in northern Japan.  At least twelve rescuedogs, from Fairfax County Urban Searchand Rescue and from Los Angeles Search and Rescue  arrived.  Video shows the plane’s arrival, passengers deplaning, customs agents  briefing the rescue workers, and  the rescue dogs.  This video available in high definition. Produced by Airman 1st Class Jimmy  Moreland. A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division plays  with Recon, a cadaver detection dog,  as she and her handler wait for their turn to search for the remains of a  missing Soldier in western Baghdad. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication  Specialist 2nd Class Kitt Amaritnant

Denice Wethington of New Castle, Ind., gives Brea, her German shepherd search and rescuedog, commands during a training exercise conducted at the Department of Homeland Security Search and Rescue Conference held at the Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in central Indiana, June 4A Soldier with 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division plays  with Recon, a cadaver detection dog,  as she and her handler wait for their turn to search for the remains of a  missing Soldier in western Baghdad. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication  Specialist 2nd Class Kitt Amaritnant)

In case you missed or want to revisit a prior week’s military dog picture of the week. Here are the most recent links.

More Marine Black Labs & Preparing for a WIA K9!

Marines and their Black Labs Post

Military Dog Picture of the Week: Troops & Their Puppies!

Click here to subscribe and receive my weekly blog posts directly to your email. You don’t want to miss a thing!

Military Working Dog Chuck gets close to the IED

Chuck 2–Landmines 0–Luckily

When we last left Sergeant Noah Carpenter he was staring intently at a darkened spot of dirt on the ground. What initially caught his interest was that the dirt wasn’t the same color as the rest.

This is Part V of Chuck and Noah. If you haven’t read Part IV first you may wish to start there or skip back to Part I.

Military Working Dog Chuck

This is the actual spot where Chuck alerted.

It could be nothing. What sent spikes of fear down his spine was that his Military Working Dog, Chuck the Natural, locked on that spot and refused to move. The Belgian Malinois was an unruly puppy with an incredible nose.The Natural loved to work and find explosives. But could Noah trust him?Noah looked over his shoulder at the hulking Green Beret behind him. This Special Forces A-Team hadn’t worked with a dog team since they’d arrived in country several weeks ago. A year ago that same team had been in the exact same area. They were attacked daily by the Taliban. Not everyone in the team had come home alive.Now they were blindly handing their trust to Noah. Noah was handing his trust to Chuck. One wrong move by either and it would be very hard to regain that trust from this tight-knit special operation team. Worse yet, someone could die.

Military Working Dog Chuck

The actual detonation cord of the IED

Chuck whined and fidgeted but remained locked on the spot. He scratched at the spot lightly. Sweat beads rolled down Noah’s face as he stepped to the left to get a better look at where Chuck responded. He believed in Chuck. He had no choice.

There was something there. It was a dusty orange. He could see it.

Shit.

It must be detonation cord.

Why hadn’t Chuck responded earlier?

Chuck began to dig at the spot. Hopefully what he found didn’t have a pressure plate detonation. Chuck was only 65 pounds, but there was still a risk it could blow just from his stepping on it. They were both practically on top of the explosive. If it blew up now, shrapnel would tear them both to shreds.

Noah jerked the 26-foot retractable leash and dragged Chuck away from the danger.

Chucked rubbed his head against Noah’s midsection as Noah stroked his head.

“What do you have, Sergeant?” asked the team leader.

“The dark spot right there, Sir,” Chuck responded. “There’s something buried there.”

The Captain eyed Noah for a few seconds. His eyes dropped to Chuck who had drool dripping from his jaw.

“All right. Let’s have the team explosive expert dig it up and see what we have.”

Ten minutes later the team determined that an Italian landmine was rigged to blow. It could have easily ripped them to shreds if it had exploded. The mine was buried eighteen inches deep.

MWD Chuck

The IED is fully revealed

Noah’s shoulders relaxed as he squatted down to hug The Natural. Thank goodness that detonation cord was just below the surface. Chuck wasn’t trained to detect anything buried more than a few inches deep. Noah just hadn’t had the time to work to that level of proficiency.That detonation cord had just saved their lives.

“Good boy, Chuck. Good boy,” Noah said in his ear.

Chuck’s tail wagged as praise poured from Noah’s lips. Now he wanted his “paycheck.” Noah wasn’t going to disappoint him. First some love and then his black Kong.

“Sir, we need to conduct a secondary sweep. There might be something else around here.”

Noah learned in his two deployments as a dog handler in Iraq that when there was smoke, there was very often more than one fire.

“Okay, take a security element and search while we blow this shit up.”

Noah nodded and did what may seem to most as unthinkable. He reached into The Natural’s alligator-like jaw and grasped the Kong. He couldn’t allow Chuck to keep it too long or it would no longer be a reward.

Noah worked his fingers around the Kong and commanded, “Out.”

Chuck shook his head playfully trying to pull away from Noah. Noah grasped the scruff of Chuck’s neck with his other hand. Chuck realized he meant business and released the Kong. Noah slipped the Kong into his cargo pocket and inspected his hand.

He saw a deep indention in the webbing between his thumb and index finger. Only one bite mark. Not too bad, he decided. He knew that next time he should put his gloves back on before playing with his Malligator’s jaw.

Chuck looked up with big sad eyes, but Noah knew what would cheer him up.

“Seek,” he said.

Chuck leaped forward, dropped his nose, and went back to work. Noah shook his head at Chuck whose tail flopped back and forth. The damn dog just wants to work so he can get his paycheck. Chuck was what they called in the dog world a “high drive dog.” He loved to work. He loved to receive his paycheck. His energy was also challenging to reign in.

Chuck’s nostrils flared and his left ear stood straight up. Noah knew The Natural was on another scent. Adrenaline flushed through Noah. Chuck was going to have a second find on his first mission in Afghanistan.

Chuck whipped his head from side to side, quickly closing in on the explosive. He jerked back and stopped at a tan burlap bag. Noah walked up to investigate. He knew if it contained something ready to blow, they would be both dead.

But the bag was empty except for some black specks. Chuck had zeroed in on the explosive residue.

This must have been the sack they carried the mine and other improvised explosive device (IED) material in, Noah thought. He “paid” Chuck, secured the bag, and handed it to the team leader.

A proud MWD Chuck!

“Nice, Sergeant. Good work today.”

Noah’s chest swelled with pride as every member of the A-Team thanked him for finding the IED. It was just another day in Afghanistan. But it was an important day. He had earned the respect of the Green Berets. And he had gained trust in Chuck.

He also identified another of Chuck’s fatal flaws. Now he needed to get back to their outpost, secure the training material necessary to fix his dog.

Chuck needed to learn to detect explosives buried deeper than two inches. If he didn’t, they might not be so lucky on the next patrol.

Need to get caught up with Chuck and Noah? Start with Part I.

Click here to subscribe and receive my weekly blog posts directly to your email. You don’t want to miss a thing!

Paris, a military working dog, stands by her handler during a presence patrol to meet and greet with the populace in Khak-E-Safed, Farah province, Afghanistan, Oct. 21, 2012. Afghan National Security Forces have been taking the lead in security operations, with coalition forces as mentors, to bring security and stability to the people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau/Released)

More Marine Black Labs & Preparing for a WIA K9!

Paris, a military working dog, stands by her handler during a presence patrol to meet and greet with the populace in Khak-E-Safed, Farah province, Afghanistan, Oct. 21, 2012. Afghan National Security Forces have been taking the lead in security operations, with coalition forces as mentors, to bring security and stability to the people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau/Released)

Military Working Dogs are injured and killed in combat. They are no different that two legged service members. So handlers must train on K9 first aid. This is a great video that show some training that could someday save a dog’s life.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zhRS5lMbL0&feature=plcp[/youtube]

First aid training for military working dog handlers so they are prepared to care for their dog if they’re injured while on deployment. Soundbites include SSgt Travis Lausier – Veterinary Technician and SrA Kyle Rademacher – Military Working Dog Handler. Produced by Seaman Lisa Reese

I meant to post this last week with my Marines and their Black Labs Post.  I love this one!

Osi, a military working dog with the station Provost Marshal�s Office kennel, runs through water toward a mock aggressor aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Feb. 22. After given the command to attack, dogs like Osi will do everything in their power to get to their target.

Osi, a military working dog with the station Provost Marshal�s Office kennel, runs through water toward a mock aggressor aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Feb. 22. After given the command to attack, dogs like Osi will do everything in their power to get to their target.

In case you missed or want to revisit prior weeks military dog picture of the week. Here are the most recent links.

Marines and their Black Labs Post

Military Dog Picture of the Week: Troops & Their Puppies!

Military Working Dog Video and pictures from Afghanistan!

Click here to subscribe and receive my weekly blog posts directly to your email. You don’t want to miss a thing!