Dogs are heroes!
Not all dogs are dog veterans, but they are all heroes. Ok, maybe some are more “heroey” than others. Take, for example, my dog Lucky. He’s seven pounds of attitude.
Being a chihuahua, he acts tough but runs when things get tough. As much as that doesn’t sound very formidable, I fully believe that if something started attacking my granddaughter or putting her in danger, he’d give all he’s got to protect her.
I think most dogs have that protective streak in them and, in the right situation, would give their lives to protect those they love. Most dogs never have actually to prove it, but that streak is there, just in case.
Dog veterans are trained to be heroes.
The dogs in this category are a special type. Even though they don’t volunteer for service, they answer the call to the best of their ability. They are selected for their physical and mental attributes, as well as their “drive” or enthusiasm for the work. As they’re trained, they truly grow into their roles and provide some amazing services for us.
Programs intended to teach dogs the skills required and test for necessary abilities help these dogs learn the roles that they are to fill. However, as much as a training program can teach skills, it can’t teach “want to” or “need to”.
The dogs that don’t have this quality generally don’t continue in their training. They’re still good dogs, but they don’t meet the high level of a great “fill-in-the-blank” dog. The successfully trained dogs serve us in so many ways. They deserve our respect and gratitude.
Roles of dog veterans
Military – Dogs have been used to help in war for centuries. There are records of dogs being used even before the birth of Christ. And we still use them today. The dogs that assist in the military are true veterans. They give their lives readily just because we ask them to.
Police – There are dogs that are trained to help the police in detaining suspects. Sometimes they help locate narcotics or bombs using those amazing noses. Specially trained dogs can sniff out people who are lost or even deceased.
Support – Sometimes, these dogs can support our human veterans who are having a difficult time with mental or emotional issues. Studies are inexact, so far, but it’s a very interesting concept. Dog veterans can sometimes support their handlers, considering the close bond they build. By the way, check out this great organization for helping human veterans get support dogs, Pets for Vets.
Dogs step up when they’re needed
Like little Lucky, many dogs would protect their person or their home with their lives. There are examples of dogs who’ve found help for their hurt or unconscious humans. Some dogs find their way home from hundreds of miles away because it’s home. Even when they aren’t specifically trained for it, some dogs step up to the role.
Then there are service dogs. These dogs are incredible in their own right, but since this is Veterans Day, much of this discussion should be saved for another day.
Since today is Veterans Day, I think we should show our appreciation and give thanks for the amazing, brave dogs that have served us in the past, work for us now and will bravely take care of us in the future.
Dogs in service; just one of the many reasons to have dogs in our lives. Read my post for other reasons, if you need them.
What do you think about dogs as heroes? Tell me about it in the comments below. And don’t forget to thank the veterans!