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.”
It turned out that Layka loved being around the family, and didn’t even mind being prodded and poked by a curious and extremely interested little toddler.
McDonald stated that he was “happy that he did it [sent her into the building] because he’s still alive, and his buddies are still alive because of her actions.” And for that, he owed her his life.
He also talked about Layka beginning to understand that she didn’t have to find a bomb in order to be able to play with a tennis ball, there would always be toys for her to play with in the garden.