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Friday, May 6, 2011


To off-set the tragic story of Yvette Vickers, I decided to talk about a hero - two actually.

Americans are fascinated by the anonymous U.S. Navy SEALs who daringly raided Osama bin Laden's

Abbottabad, Pakistan compound this week, but one canine commando is attracting especially fervent interest.

According to the New York Times and the British tabloid The Sun, a military dog (not pictured)

was strapped onto one of the assault team members as he was lowered out of a Black Hawk helicopter

and began the operation that killed the notorious terrorist on Monday.

But who is this canine hero?

Sadly, we know very little,

and the Pentagon hasn't confirmed that a dog was even on the mission,

much less release information about the canine's name or breed.

"Little is known about what may be the nation's most courageous dog," the Times' Gardner Harris writes.

He speculates that the dog was most likely a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, since those are the breeds most often found in the military's 2,700-strong military dog program.

Dogs are increasingly important in America's combat operations abroad, and some have been outfitted with special (and adorable) "doggles"

to protect their eyes, oxygen masks to protect their lungs as they parachute out with soldiers at high altitudes,

and even waterproof vests that contain infrared cameras that transmit video back to servicemen watching a monitor yards behind them.

According to Foreign Policy,

another dog named Eli fiercely guarded his Marine, Private First Class Carlton Rusk,

after he was shot by Taliban sniper fire in Afghanistan.

Rusk's bomb-sniffing dog would not even let fellow Marines approach the wounded Rusk, who did not survive the attack.

Eli now lives with Rusk's family.


  1. Awww- That is sad the man didn't survive- but I'm very glad the dog is in with his family.

  2. Oh Wow, thanks for sharing this Roland. Its interesting that the government is using spy dogs? Hmm. You just never know about the military . .


  3. Summer :
    At least the dog is now safe and with those who love him. I like to think he can pick up the scent of his beloved master in parts of the house.

    Jo :
    Yes, gotta love the military. Doggles. LOL.

  4. Donna :
    Well, the military used dolphins. They may still. I don't keep up as well as I used to. I just love the canine Seal in his doggles. Roland

  5. Hi,

    Hero dogs at war are wonderful in many ways. Even during the IRA troubles in Northern Ireland and long before miniscule spy cameras were available, dogs walked streets and were trained to spot unusual activity, to smell weaponry and explosive devices, and discreetly point out position of such: some of the dogs were mongrels one wouldn't take a second glance at. It all helped, and less deaths as a result. But war dogs have been around for centuries, many great stories written about them, too. I'm far more inclined to cry over the death of an animal than a human: their lives so short in comparison and unconditional devotion!


  6. Thanks for sharing, Roland. Standard Poodles were used in the trenches in WWI to carry messages etc and, without clipping, their coats grew like a goat's. Love 'doggles'!

  7. German Shepherds are the best. I'm not surprised by their heroics at all.

  8. One has to wonder what goes on in the mind of a dog that makes his first parachute jump. Does he look forward to the second one?

  9. What a wonderful tribute to the loyal dogs that serve out military. I had no idea there was a dog involved in finding him. Thank you for sharing the story of those who are often under appreciated!

  10. Oh, loved that the story turned out kind of great anyway :)

    /S / http://

  11. Very interesting. It reminds me of a pooch who used to go sky-diving with his owner in Perris, and Lake Elsinore California. The wiener dog had custom made little tiny goggles and in the photos his little ears were flying was cute and so is your story.

  12. Francine :
    I sometimes think God gave our dogs such short life spans to remind that our own lives are fleeting as well -- and to appreciate the moment. I, too, feel deeply the death of a dog or cat since theirs is such a loyal, unconditional love.

    Margo :
    I hadn't known that about poodles and WWI. And I love doggles, too!

    L.G. :
    I had a half German Shepherd/half Norwegian Elk Hound by the name of Hercules. When he died from complications from my home burning down, it nearly killed me as well.

    Travener :
    I would hope they slowly build up to it by jumps from increasing heights. And dogs are notorious for just going with the moment, enjoying what they can of the situation.

    Heather :
    Dogs lend some semblance of love and compassion even to war, don't they?

    S. :
    Yes, that Eli got to go to the home of the master he loved does make you feel a bit better, doesn't it? Thanks for visiting and commenting, Roland

    The Desert Rocks :
    I would have loved to see that weiner dog in his goggles -- even skydiving alongside him and his master to be able to see his ears flapping in the winds. Thanks for liking my story. Roland

  13. I didn't realize I was a dog person until Mrs Mojo persuaded me we needed one. Since that day, no story of canine heroism has surprised me.

    It's cheering for me to know that, even in these hi-tech days, there's still no real substitute for Man's Best Friend.

    Incidentally, one of my favorite short stories is Harlan Ellison's "A Boy and His Dog" - I urge anybody who hasn't read it to seek it out. Even in a dystopia, some bonds are unbreakable...

  14. Mojo :
    Harlan Ellison is one of my favorite authors, and "A Boy and His Dog" is one of my favorites works of his. Roland