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Buddy's Medal of Valor
Operation Baghdad Pups
Sirius, Search and Rescue Dog
Lex, US Marine Corp Bomb-Sniffer: Iraq
Remember 911: Sirius
Dynamutt, US Air Force Bomb Sniffer: Iraq
Buddy, a Bremerton, Washington Police K9 was
shot and killed July 30, 2001 while trying to
apprehend a suspect. Buddy's handler, Officer
Mike Davis, returned fire and critically wounded
the man. Buddy was awarded the Medal of Valor
for giving his life in the line of duty. The Medal is
awarded only when the supreme sacrifice is made.
Buddy had been on the force just 3 months.
U.S. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan befriended local
animals as a way to help cope with the emotional  
hardships they endured everyday while deployed in a war
zone. The Operation Baghdad Pups program provided
veterinary care and coordinated complicated laws to
reunite these beloved pets with their service men and
women back in the United States.
It takes hundreds of hours to train US Air Force
K9 Bomb-Sniffers, affectionately called
"Dynamutts". Shown in this painting along with
Dynamtt are the devices used in training sessions,
Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Sirius Black, a German Shepard, was named for the Harry
Potter character. He was a Search and Rescue dog in
Virginia. He was training with the Virginia Task Force 1
FEMA team (the team that went to Haiti recently) in
hopes of also joining that team.  However it was
determined that Sirius loved the wilderness search and
rescue a lot more than urban rescues. Sirius passed
away in 2015.
Trained as a bomb detection dog, Sirius died in his crate
that morning as his handler, David Lim himself was buried
while rescuing those caught in the attack. Sirius was the
only K9 fatality. There were about 350 FEMA-certified
search and rescue dogs and their handlers who answered
the call that week for the massive rescue/recovery
On the grass in front of the Purple Heart
Monument in Huntsville, Alabama is Lex, a US
Marine Corp K9. Overlooked in the places of
honor are the more than 3,000 dogs that
served in the Vietnam war, of which only a
handful returned home to the United States.
"Law enforcement agencies and the military utilize canines in a variety of capacities including-- patrol partners; apprehension assistants; trackers, locators, scouts;
substance detectors including drugs, explosives, arson investigation and guard dogs. Here I've done a series of paintings in recognition for all that Hero dogs and their
handlers do. Read about the heroic dogs that inspired the series."
Summon the Heroes
The Vietnam War Memorial, Washington D.C.
A patrol of American soldiers and a single War Dog
emerge from within the black granite stone of "The
Wall". Their ghostly figures and engraved names
remind us of the sacrifice each has made, all in the
name of freedom. Saying Thank You is not enough
to the over 50,000 men, women and canine heroes
who died in Vietnam.
Lucy, a FEMA-Certified Labrador, was one of over 350
devoted dogs who lent their superhuman senses to
the search and rescue operations at the World to
call off the search, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and on-site veterinarians
agreed that SAR dogs were being exposed to hazards
and respiratory conditions that were unwarranted,
especially after the "rescue" effort was downgraded
to "recovery".
Sentries on a Flooded Road; Okinawa, WWII
Every Day Heroes
Tacoma Fire Department
Fire departments around the world use scent dogs
distinguish one scent from hundreds of others they may
pick up at any given time. Their ability to track and
distinguish chemical agents help investigators close many
cases of arson-caused fires.
I Could See in His Eyes
He had Something to Tell Me
Cowboy is a SAR Border Collie that helped with
rescue and recovery at the World Trade
Center. A dog's sense of smell has been
estimated to be at least one million times more
refined than ours. They can detect sound
vibrations at 250 feet; and most importantly,
these marvelous workers are dedicated and  
determined beyond the limits of exhaustion
like no human or machine could ever be.
The Silence Was Deafening
Scrapbook of a War Dog: Chips
German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix that attacked
and captured a crew of enemy machine-gunners
fortified in a pillbox in Sicily in 1943. He saved
many lives. He was awarded the Silver Star for
Bravery and The Purple Heart for his wounds as
he fought against the Germans that shot him. He
was promoted in person by General Eisenhower
to Private First Class. He returned home soon
after and passed away at just six years old. Walt
Disney made a movie about Chips, and there are
several books written about Chips.
Their Last Watch: September 28, 2006
Officer Matt Williams and his K-9 partner Diogi, were shot
and killed in Polk County, Florida after an apparent
routine traffic stop. The suspect fled into the woods and
Officer Williams and Diogi followed him where he shot
Diogi once and Officer Williams 9 times. The suspect was
shot and killed the following day by the SWAT team.
Officer Williams was 39, leaving a wife and 2 sons. Diogi
was just 3 years old.  
Pearl, 2010 ASPCA Dog of the Year
Surrendered by her owner to a local animal shelter, Pearl
was discovered by volunteers from the National Disaster
Search Dog Foundation (SDF), and quickly completed her
training and certification as a search dog. Along with her
handler and companion, Ron Horetski  she was deployed
to save victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Horetski and Pearl, along with other SDF canine disaster
search teams, spent each day searching for victims
trapped alive under the rubble. Pearl and the other SDF
teams dug through concrete and debris—as far as four
stories below the surface—and helped bring 12 people to
safety. For her remarkable work and dedication to
others, Pearl is a true canine hero and a great example of
a rescued dog who is now working to rescue others.
Togo, Sled Dog Hero of 1925
Many dogs have saved lives at the expense of their
own. In Alaska there was the Serum Run of 1925,
also known as the "Great Race of Mercy." Togo
was "famous for his leadership, intelligence, and
ability to sense danger." This 12 year old Siberian
Husky ran 300 miles across open sea ice, managing
to lead his dog sled team 15 times as far as normal.
Their mission? To get serum to Nome, Alaska, to
ward off an epidemic of diptheria in 1925.
Semper Fidelis
25 Gallant Marine Dogs, Guam Memorial
To honor the dogs that served in the Pacific
Theater during World War II, is the US Marine Corp
War Dog Cemetery on Guam. In the battle for Guam
(21 July to lives of 250 Marines when he warned
them of Japanese troops ahead. Kurt is honored by
a life-sized bronze statue at the War Dog Memorial
on Guam. Carved into the stone are names of
twenty-five other Dobermans who gave their lives
liberating the island and who are buried nearby.
Stand By Me
Conn, US Marine Bomb-Sniffer, Afghanistan
A U.S. marine from the 1st Light Armoured to sniffer
dog named Conn, while on patrol near a desert
sandstorm in Helmand, Afghanistan September
13, 2010. This was one of the deadliest months for US
Troops in the 10-year-long war in Afghanistan;
38 casualties.
Kiyah, Airport Security Dog
Sometimes a highly trained dog is better than all
the security gadgets we can dream up. Plus, these
security dogs love going to work. They screen
cargo, baggage and abandoned luggage. The dogs
are constantly trained on any new type of
explosives they may encounter. They can be
remotely controlled from a distance to inspect
suspicious items. The dogs do what humans or
machines can't, and that's why they are so
important to the security effort.
The US Marine Corps used dogs donated by their
owners to take islands back from Japanese
occupying forces. All breeds of dogs were eligible
to train to be "war dogs of the Pacific". These
dogs were to be returned to their original owners
after WWII ended, however, if the dogs could not
be "de-militarized" or re-trained to be companion
animals again, they were destroyed.
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Art By Janette Stiles