The relationship between a military working dog and a military dog handler is about as close as a man and a dog can become. You see this loyalty, the devotion unlike any other and the protectiveness.” – Robert Crais
For more than a thousand years, our beloved canine companions have proven to us that they are our best friends. They have stayed with us, protected us, showed us unconditional love, and at times, even sacrificing their lives for us.
Dogs are incredible pets, but they are very admirable soldiers as well.
Military and police dogs play an equally important role in these organizations. Their amazing sense of smell can lead the police or the military to where the bombs or drugs are. Their loyalty, sacrifice, and devotion are unmatched.
However, the sad reality is, once their duty as a police or military dog ends, they are left in shelters. They aren’t even viewed to be fit as household pets because of the fear that they might be aggressive.
Isn’t this treatment unfair?
These dogs have dedicated their lives for our country, and for the people they care about, but once done with their duties, they are being disregarded like an object.
Can you imagine seeing retired military or police dogs that spend their remaining years locked up?
Military dogs who suffer injuries can even be put down just like that.
It was May 2012, U.S. military combat dog, Layka, and her team went inside the enemy compound in Afghanistan.
There, the brave dog was tasked to search for surviving combatants and even explosives. Unfortunately, the brave dog met an enemy where she was shot point-blank from an AK-47 rifle.
Layka saved her team’s lives!
The brave dog’s handler and friend, Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald, immediately went to the building and rescued her.
Layka was then transported to a nearby base to get treated and after giving her first aid, the brave military dog was flown to Germany where she underwent major surgery.
Layka’s right shoulder was removed and repaired.
She has then flown again to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to recuperate and was considered retired last August of 2012.
“On the day Layka got shot in May, instantly I felt the sense of urgency to fix her.” Julian told in his interview with National Geographic. “I owe this dog everything from this day here on out, with my son, with my mother, with my family… I owe her everything.”
This dog did her job and didn’t even expect something in return, but as a citizen, as a handler, and as a soldier, Julian knew that he owes Layka so much.
This dog was still alive, and there is no way Julian is going to abandon her.
Julian did his best to make sure that he was able to take care of her and be there for her.
“I felt really bad because I was the one who put her in the building,” Julian remembered that dreadful day. “But at the same time, I was relieved that I was still alive, and my buddies to my left and right were also still alive.”
Imagine this poor dog being shot four times, yet she was able to do her job and was able to attack the enemy.
Sadly, nobody seemed to support Julian’s plan of adopting this hero dog.
People around Julian didn’t approve of the idea of adopting an ex-military dog because, for them, this dog might be aggressive.
More than ever, this situation made Julian determined.
He wanted to show everyone that military dogs deserve their own forever home.
Layka instantly took to Julian’s one-year-old baby boy, and he was so gentle with him. Her eyes were full of love and care.
“The first time I brought her home, my son was just over one year old at the time.” Julian shared. “She went right over to Liam and submitted and lay on her back. My son got on top of her chest, grabbed her ears and put his hand in her mouth, and she wasn’t doing anything. She was just laying there and taking every bit of it.”
It was all too beautiful!
She was able to perfectly fit into Julian’s home. She belonged to his home and to his family. It was her new home, her new life after her hard work.
Who says military dogs can’t be pets?
According to Julian, if you bring these dogs into a home environment, they would thrive on it. He wants to let everyone know that animals can adapt and survive.
“If the dogs put their time into the country, then the government owes it to them to put their time into them,” Julian tells everyone who’s seeing their story.
For a dog who has given so much, do you think it’s right to throw or abandon them like used objects? Don’t they deserve a life of happiness, love, and care?
Layka is proof that all dogs deserve a forever home.
Last 2016, Layka was awarded as the first of America’s eight heroic hounds for the year 2016, Military Hero Dog.
We’re so amazed and proud of you Layka! You may now only have 3 legs, but you’re surrounded by people who love you dearly.
Watch Layka’s inspiring story below, and don’t forget to share this with your friends and family.
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