Annual Memorial Day Post from my Editor

[Author’s Note:  In what has become a tradition here at the dogs of beer, I hand today’s post over to my editor Gryphon so that he can give a nod to all the service dogs who have served in our Armed Forces.]

Hi all!  Memorial Day is a day dedicated to honor our troops, both two legged and four, who have fallen in the service of our country.  Sadly, I can not write a post about my breed mates that are no longer with us as it makes me too sad to think that they will never again enjoy scraps from the table, a lazy afternoon on the couch or a relaxing game of fetch.  But I honor their sacrifice and hope they are all enjoying playing with each other on the other side of the rainbow bridge.  Bless you all.

Instead I want to talk about two dogs and their amazing stories.

First, I just found out that back in 2011, my breed-mate “Cara” and her friend U.S. Military Handler Mike Forshthe set the world record for the highest dog/man parachute deployment.  How high were they when they jumped?  30,100 feet!  I have to take Ed’s word that it’s very high, as the only distance I’ve ever jumped is from the bed or couch to the floor.  The altitude was so high that both Cara and Mike had to were special oxygen masks during it.  Way to go Cara!!

Cara and Mike during their World Record jump.  I'm not sure that looks as fun as play fetch.
Cara and Mike during their World Record jump. I’m not sure that looks as fun as play fetch.

The second dog I’d like to honor is my breed-mate Layka, who in October of 2012 became the first military working dog honored by the 341st Training Squadron for her heroic actions while assigned to a U.S. Special Forces unit in Afghanistan.  The 341st Training Squadron are the people responsible for training military dogs, so they know a thing or two about how well a dogh as performed in the service of his/her country.  Here’s her story from Air Force News.

Layka had been dispatched to clear a building of explosives and help look for enemy combatants after a brief fire fight.

During her search, the dog was ambushed by one of the assailants. Layka received multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and a limb, which later had to be amputated.

Severely wounded, she attacked and subdued the assailant, protecting the lives of her handler and other coalition team members behind her.

Once the area was secured, Layka’s handler and a physician’s assistant began treating the injured canine. Layka was then flown to a theater hospital for the first of several surgeries, eventually losing her right front leg. She arrived in San Antonio in early July for rehabilitation at the Daniel Holland Military Working Dog Hospital.

Congradulations Layka!  Enjoy your well deserved retirement!

Layka on the day of her commendation.
Layka on the day of her commendation.

Finally, Ed found this picture of the internet which I think is way cool!  My breed-mates are decked out in some pretty impressive sci-fi type equipment.  Check it out!

high tech dog

Man, if I had that type of equipment I’d never lose my tug toy again!

Well, that’s it for me this year.  I’d like to thank Ed for once again giving me the opportunity to recognize all the great things my breed-mates (and yes, even those prancy German Shepherds…JK, love you guys!) in the service of our country.  Blessings to all of them, and especially on this Memorial Day to those who did not return….


On This Memorial Day – a Word from My Editor

[Author’s Edit:  My apologies to my “editor” for missing the dead line on this one.]

[Editor’s Edit: Don’t let it happen again stress boy or I’ll have you picking up my poop….oh, wait….]

Hi, my name is Gryffon and I’m the Belgian Malinois that lives with Ed and Tracey. While I really have no true ties to the Dogs of Beer, Ed always jokes that I’m his editor.  Apparently, my duties in this job consist solely of laying next to him on the couch while he’s trying to write a post and knocking the laptop around with my “big ol’ head”.  He obviously doesn’t realize I’m just trying to help steady that flimsy thing.

Anyway when I woke up this morning I was shocked to find them not in their usual Monday morning routine (which usually consists of a lot of moaning and complaining), and found out that today was a day to honor all of the veterans who have served in the Armed Services.  Since Ed didn’t have an idea for a post (he’s lucky I’m not truly his editor – the lazy bum), I asked if he could type some words for me to honor my breed and their contributions to the Armed Forces.

You many not be familiar with Malinois as we’re not the normal “seen walking down the street on the end of a leash” type breed, but you may have seen us none the less.  Next to German Shepherds we are the preferred breed for military and law enforcement use.  If you’ve ever seen a K-9 police unit and thought, “that’s a funny looking shepherd”, then chances are it was a Malinois (and we’re not funny looking, they are).

As a breed, we tend to be loyal, intelligent and protective; everything you’d want in a service dog.  We tend not to be overly aggressive, unless our partner gives us the word and then you don’t want to be the guy I have a hold of.  Ed’s played tug with me for the entire length of a 30 minute TV show without me letting go of the toy.  Imagine that hanging off your arm or leg.

We also make good security dogs.  Ed recently told Tracey that the local K-9 unit came to where he worked to do a demonstration.  The officers hid a cotton ball that had been stored with a bag of pot in a field the size of a regulation baseball diamond.  Ed says my breed mate didn’t take much more than a minute and a half to find it.  So think about that the next time you get the wild idea to bring home souvenirs from Amsterdam.  We’re also trained for explosives detection which is important to both our civil and military duties.

Many of my breed mates are trained over seas in France or Belgium, because of that many of them take their commands in French.  In fact, we are truly international dogs.  We’re currently the preferred dog for the Unit Oketz of the Israel Defense Forces as well as the Royal Australian Air Force.  And one breed mate, Cairo, was used during the assault that lead to the death of Osama bin Laden.  Where ever our troops are, we also follow.

Since I don’t want to tire Ed out typing (really, dude) and I’m beginning to feel the need to go into the kitchen and see what Tracey’s cooking, I think I’ll let some pictures tell the rest of the story of the brave K-9s who serve.

Going where we’re needed…
…ready to do our duty….
…together we stand…
…not realizing that some will return….
…and some will not…
…honoring all (four legged and two) who have sacrificed so much…
…so that most of the time I can do this.

A toast to all who’ve served, whether you know why or not!  We at the Dogs of Beer salute you!

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