Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day to all the Servicemen, Servicewomen, and Service Pups Out There

Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham and Lucca. Image courtesy NBC/PDSA.
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham and Lucca. Image courtesy NBC/PDSA.

Happy Memorial Day from the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital !

 

Last year for Memorial Day we wrote a blog post about war and service dogs  which you can read here, admiring War Dogs for their courage and sacrifice.

This year we wanted to share the story of a U.S. Marines Dog named Lucca, who received the highest military award possible for a service dog, the PDSA Dickin Medal, after she lost one of her legs while sniffing out bombs in Afghanistan.

Dogs like Lucca make huge sacrifices to help protect our human soldiers, and we are so so grateful to them for their amazing work.

Her owner,Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Willingham, said, “Lucca is very intelligent, loyal and had an amazing drive for work as a search dog. She is the only reason I made it home to my family and I am fortunate to have served with her.”

Lucca sleeps alongside Cpl. Juan Rodriguez during her recovery. Image courtesy NBC/PDSA.
Lucca sleeps alongside Cpl. Juan Rodriguez during her recovery. Image courtesy NBC/PDSA.

 

From the article:

Meet Lucca, a retired U.S. Marine Corps dog who lost one of her legs while hunting for homemade bombs in Afghanistan.

More than four years after she was reduced to three paws, Lucca was awarded a top military medal for the 400 missions she completed during her service.

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals — a British charity known as the PDSA — honored Lucca with its Dickin Medal during a ceremony at London’s Wellington Barracks on Tuesday.

The PDSA says the award is “the highest award any animal in the world can achieve while serving in military conflict” and has given it out just 66 times since 1943.

Read the entire NBC article here.

 

War Dogs

 

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Reese and his military working dog Grek wait at a safe house before conducting an assault against insurgents in Buhriz, Iraq, April 10, 2007. U.S. Army Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and Iraqi army soldiers from 4th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division are going house-to-house in search for weapons caches and enemy fighters after more than 1,000 residents of this Baqubah suburb were displaced by Al-Qaeda insurgents. (U.S.Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall) (Released)
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kevin Reese and his military working dog Grek wait at a safe house before conducting an assault against insurgents in Buhriz, Iraq, April 10, 2007. (U.S.Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall)
War dogs 1
WWII soldier with puppy.
Staff Sgt. Erick Martinez, a military dog handler at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, uses an over-the-shoulder carry with Argo II on March 4, 2011.  This exercise helped build trust, loyalty and teamwork between Martinez and Argo II, who have worked together for only two months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Allen Stokes)
Staff Sgt. Erick Martinez, a military dog handler at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, uses an over-the-shoulder carry with Argo II on March 4, 2011. This exercise helps build trust, loyalty and teamwork between Martinez and Argo II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Allen Stokes)

In observance of Memorial Day this year, we’d like to give recognition to the War Dogs of the United States. Military working dogs (MWDs) serve in extreme conditions, endure intense training, and work through combat situations of all kinds. These dogs save countless lives by sniffing out bombs and IEDS, finding wounded soldiers and civilians, and acting as sentries at military encampments. War dogs are given medals of valor just like human solidiers. Some dogs even suffer from the same post-traumatic-stress that human soldiers experience. We want to express how much we love and appreciate these amazing animals.

No matter whether you are pro-war or pro-War Dog or not, it is undeniable that these dogs are deserving of praise, recognition, care, and love. They didn’t sign up for their tour of duty, but they completely dedicate themselves to their tasks and to their human companions. These pups are unsung heroes.

U.S. Army working dog wearing body armor, a german Shepherd named Hanna, clears a building in Afghanistan for Sgt. 1st Class Erika Gordon, 25th MP Co. kennel master.
U.S. Army working dog wearing body armor, a german Shepherd named Hanna, clears a building in Afghanistan for Sgt. 1st Class Erika Gordon, 25th MP Co. kennel master.

 

 

ADOPT A VET !

Thanks to Robby’s Law, passed in 2000 by President Clinton, the U.S. government is required to place all retired and discharged adoptable MWDs in caring homes. Before this law was passed, retired MWDs were often euthanized, as they were considered unfit for adoption and simply “obsolete equipment” by the government. Not anymore! Robby’s Law changed all that. These pups deserve a wonderful life after all the service they give to the country, and they will get it from now on.  If you are interested in adopting an MWD, visit this site: saveavet.org. There you can find info on adopting retired MWDs, as well as other ways to help.

We love you, you strong, incredible doggies ! Thank you for everything you do.

Check out these cool links on War Dogs:

Slideshow ! Bad-ass War Dogs (Gizmodo)

University of Tennessee War Dog Memorial

A soldier and his dog visit the UT War Dog memorial.
A soldier and his dog visit the UT War Dog memorial.

Cedar Hill Pet Memorial

Cedar Hill Pet Memorial
Cedar Hill Pet Memorial

Dog Memorials across the U.S.

Video of an adopted retired MWD who discovers a kitten for the first time – the cuteness is almost unbearable:

 

War dogs 2

War dogs 3
WWII soldiers with their war dogs.
 U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Vince Vander Maarel
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Vince Vander Maarel

(WWII photos from the private collection of Dr. Suehiro

Dog in Afghanistan photo from Spc. Cheryl Ransford/Wikipedia

Solider and Dog visiting UT Memorial from imgfave.com/Falconwing

War Dog parachute jump photo: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Vince Vander Maarel)