With Memorial Day behind us it is important to recognize the unsung heroes of our nation’s armed forces: the war dogs. These highly specialized K9 units seek out and identify improvised explosive devices (IED) for their human counterparts, allowing them to be disarmed and removed safely. The bond is especially strong between dog and handler; a relationship that soldiers lives depend on. This article follows the journey of Marine Corporal Jose Armenta and his German shepherd partner Zenit from their rigorous training, to their harrowing battlefield experiences and beyond.
It’s stories like this that remind us of the significance of animal companionship. The connection between owner and pet, or soldier and his canine partner, runs deep within us, becoming an integral part of our daily lives. As veterinarians it is both a source of pride and incredibly humbling to do our part to keep these bonds strong and long lasting.