Military veterans are often remembered for their incredible bravery and courage while serving for their country. However, sometimes another important contributor is overlooked.
We owe so much to the military dogs who serve our countries, however they are often forgotten.
One of those military dogs is Layka, a German shepherd, whose incredible story proves that dogs really are a mans best friend.
Layka was a fully trained military dog, who was prepared to do anything in the line of duty. This would prove to even go as far as putting her body on the line for her fellow comrades.
This incredible loyalty and dedication was put to the test, when in battle Layka took four bullets from an AK-47 for her team members, in order to subdue an enemy shooter. After the battle, Layka was rushed to hospital, where she was operated on for seven hours. They were able to save her life, but unfortunately she had to lose a leg in the process.
Staff Sergeant Julian McDonald was the dog trainer for the regiment in battle. In an interview with National Geographic, he describes the guilt he goes through each day because it was ultimately his decision to send Layka into that battle.
Although the operation to save Layka was a success, it was going to take a long time to help her completely recover, not only due to now only having three limbs, but also her mentality may have been affected by the traumatic events.
However, the most amazing thing was about to happen for Layka. The military handler whose life was saved by her brave actions, had decided to do the same in return. He decided to adopt her in order to give her all the love and reward she deserved.
McDonald fought hard to adopt her, even though people were arguing that she was going to be too aggressive to be adopted into a family home. He felt as though he owed it to her to give her a happy life, as she had saved his life, as well as the other soldiers he was working alongside.
McDonald takes Layka to work with him, training other dogs and then spending extra time with Layka alone, making sure she is getting enough time to take out stress that she’s built up throughout the week. He uses things such as this bite suit in order to let her take out all of her aggression and continue in some way to do what she was born and bred to do.
When he first brought Layka home, his son was only one-year-old. He knew that he was taking a risk by bringing the dog into the house, however he said ‘they’re not scary, they’ve done scary things, but they deserve good homes.”