How many lives were saved by heroic dogs? Has anyone ever counted?
I don’t know the exact number, but I’m sure that it is incredibly big! Dogs save humans’ lives at home, in the streets and, of course in the war, though these aren’t their wars. Some of furry heroes may die while saving lives; others do service almost the whole life.
This video is about another four-legged hero, a retired US Marine Corps dog which protected the lives of allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. A hero, which was honored with the PDSA Dickin Medal.
The 12-year-old German Shepherd who lost a leg while on duty, successfully completed over 400 separate missions during six years of active service. Her heroic actions were recognized by UK veterinary charity, PDSA, at a ceremony at Wellington Barracks, London on the 5th April 2016.
Lucca’s skills as a search and explosives dog protected the lives of thousands of allied troops, according to the U.S. Marines. Her success was such that there were no human casualties during any of her patrols.
On her final patrol, on 23 March 2012, Lucca discovered a 30lb improvised explosive device (IED) and as she searched for additional IEDs, a second device detonated. She instantly lost her front left leg and suffered severe burns to her chest. Corporal (Cpl) Juan Rodriguez, her handler on the mission, administered life-saving first aid to Lucca.
Cpl Rodriguez, said: “The explosion was huge and I immediately feared the worst for Lucca. I ran to her and saw her struggling to get up. I picked her up and ran to the shelter of a nearby tree line; applied a tourniquet to her injured leg and called the medics to collect us. I stayed with her constantly throughout her operation and her recovery. She had saved my life on so many occasions – I had to make sure that I was there for her when she needed me.”
Miraculously, none of the soldiers in the patrol were injured in the blast which injured Lucca.
Lucca was evacuated from Afghanistan to Germany and then to Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, to complete her recovery. Cpl Rodriguez stayed at her side throughout each move – even choosing to sleep next to Lucca as she recovered.
Within ten days of her injury, Lucca was up and walking.
Cpl Rodriguez continues: “Through all of her treatment and despite the pain she was in, her temperament never changed. Her fighting spirit was plain to see and I was so proud of how quickly she recovered.”
Video on the next page: