My Greek kitty crew

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The things they will do for us

e

Nine-year-old Treo's job is to sniff out roadside bombs in Afghanistan for the British Army - and he has proved rather good at it. In August, 2008, while working as a forward detection dog in Sangin, Treo found a "daisy chain" improvised explosive device (IED) that had been carefully modified and concealed by the Taliban at the side of a path. A month later, his actions saved another platoon from guaranteed casualties, again by finding a "daisy chain" made of two or more explosives wired together.

Now he is being rewarded with the Dickin Medal - the animal equivalent of a Victoria Cross - the highest accolade a military animal can expect. Treo is now retired and enjoying life with handler Sergeant Dave Heyhoe back at 104 Military Working Dogs Support Unit, in North Luffenham, Rutland.

Sgt Heyhoe said: "Treo's work involves searching for arms and explosives out on the ground to the forefront of the troops. It's very important. We are part and parcel of the search element. We're not the ultimate answer but we are an aid to search. Another aid would be the metal detector - but Treo is a four-legged variety."

Sgt Heyhoe says their relationship is now far more than a working partnership. "Basically, me and the dog have got to understand each other and without that we can't be effective on the ground. He must know when I want him to go somewhere to search. Everyone will say that he is just a military working dog - yes, he is, but he is also a very good friend of mine. We look after each other."

Treo is the 63rd animal to receive the Dickin Medal - introduced by PDSA founder Maria Dickin in 1943 to honour the work of animals in war - and the 27th dog to receive the honour.
Since its introduction it has also been presented to 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat.

Images via telegraph.co.uk and sky.com/news

1 comment:

Anna E said...

How stunning. I didn´t know animals were part of "the war", and what a great attitude to reward them with a medal and thus acknowledge their effort! Hopefully the dog will get an extra good bone as well ;-)