I am an unabashed dog lover, and while I won’t get into a philosophical discussion on which animal makes the best pet, in my house, dogs are number one. They are some of the most loyal companions anyone could ever have. I can’t make a move without my English bulldog appearing at my side (especially when it involves food).
‘Dogs Do Speak, but Only to Those Who Know How to Listen’
The above quote by novelist Orhan Pamuk encapsulates the animal. Dogs, due to their loyalty, trainability, and courage, make for great teammates in our military, police, and emergency services. They have been used by armies for thousands of years. Greeks and Romans used dogs as sentries or in scouting patrols. Their earliest recorded use of dogs in warfare is in about 600 B.C.
During World War I, arguably the most famous war dog was Sgt. Stubby, a Boston Terrier who was adopted by the 102nd Infantry Regiment, part of the famous 26th Infantry (the Yankee Division). In 18 months of trench warfare, Sgt. Stubby was wounded by grenade fragments and suffered from a mustard gas attack. He once caught a German spy by the seat of his pants and held him until help arrived.
He was promoted to sergeant, awarded medals by both the French and Americans, and was the guest of honor of three different U.S. presidents.
Today’s military working dogs are doing an incredible job. They have saved countless lives of troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and several other places. They risk their lives to protect the lives of our troops.
Police and first responders have largely adopted dogs that provide a variety of roles including, drug and explosives detection, location and neutralization of suspects.
Hero Dogs and Their Invaluable Contributions
So when Fox Nation created the series Hero Dogs it immediately became a “must-watch” and it couldn’t be more highly recommended. Hosted by Fox News anchor Shannon Bream, it is a fantastic look at some of our greatest four-legged warriors, police members, and firefighters, most of whom, you’ve never heard of. But to the men and women that worked as their handlers as well as those who have served alongside them, they are true heroes.
Of course, no such series would be complete without mentioning Cairo. Cairo was a 70-pound Belgian Malinois military working dog that was attached to SEAL Team Six when they went to Abbottabad, Pakistan on the mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden. But as his handler told Bream, “there is so much more to Cairo than this.”
Born in the Netherlands in 2008, Cairo was frequently called upon to go skydiving, rappelling, and fast-roping with his handler. The troops in 2009 nicknamed him “Houdini” because he’d let himself out of his cage to relieve himself during security stops. When his handler would turn around, Cairo would be right back in his cage in the vehicle.
In July 2009, Cairo chased an insurgent into the thick brush and was wounded in the chest and leg. His injuries were treated just like any other wounded troop and a MEDEVAC was called in. Fortunately, doctors saved his life, he returned to active duty, and was a key component of the team during the bin Laden raid.
Another four-legged hero was Jackson, a skinny 50-pound working dog who saved his handler’s life several times. On its arrival in Afghanistan, the pair was alerted for a mission to help save another dog and his handler. On his first mission, Jackson alerted for IED tripwires and found two weapon caches.
After leaving the military, Jackson’s handler became a K-9 police officer. He spoke of his former companion so often that when, after seven years, he was finally able to adopt him he was given an escort by other police, citizens, and motorcycle groups to welcome him to his new home. Jackson then got a second career as a therapy dog helping veterans with PTSD.
Remco is also a famous Hero Dog. He gave his life when charging Afghan Taliban fighters while they were searching for Bowe Bergdahl. Remco was awarded the Silver Star for sacrificing his life to save other troops.
Remco’s handler, Navy SEAL Mike Toussaint, remembers Remco, as a “complete live-wire,” sitting uncharacteristically still and looking somberly into his eyes before charging toward the enemy. Toussaint Remco’s death felt like losing a friend.
Another episode of Hero Dogs centers around Lucca, a German Shepherd/Malinois mix that conducted over 400 missions and was awarded the PDSA Medal from Britain.
Bass, a Marine MARSOC working dog with tours in Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan, who was awarded the Medal of Bravery on November 14, 2019, also has his episode on the series.
And then there is Judge. A yellow Lab, Judge was a recipient of the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards. He was an arson dog for the Allentown, PA fire department. Judge was so adept at finding the telltale signs of arson that arson numbers went down by 55 percent.
We encourage all of our readers to check out not just Hero Dog, but all of the great shows on Fox Nation.
So, as I watch another episode of Hero Dogs, with my English bulldog Boomer, the colonel’s wingman happily snoring away louder than any Green Beret I had ever served with, life is good… with a dog.
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” – Will Rogers.
This article was originally published in May 2021.