Doggy things


 

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12/3/17

War hero gets a new four-legged friend after his bomb-sniffing military dog dies of cancer

Ex-RAF dog handler Mick McConnell served with life-saving spaniel Memphis in Afghanistan and was devastated by his death but new pup Sasha has given him a new lease of life.


RAF veteran Mick McConnell loves getting out and about with new dog Sasha

A war hero who lost his life-saving military dog to cancer has adopted a new four-legged pal.

Mick McConnell was seriously injured while serving in Afghanistan with his spaniel Memphis – who prevented countless deaths and won a medal for sniffing out Taliban bombs.

But the brave pooch died last month after a battle with cancer.

Now  former RAF police dog handler Mick – who lost his leg in a booby trap bomb blast – has taken on a new pup called Sasha.

Mick McConnell with his new sprocker pup Sasha 

Mick, 42, from Elgin, said: “Sasha is doing brilliantly. When I lost Memphis, I started going downhill a bit. I was sleeping during the day and not being as proactive.

“But Sasha has given me a great boost. She isn’t being trained as a working dog – just as a companion for me. She has given me a new lease of life.”

He said his new sprocker pup – a cross between a cocker spaniel and a springer spaniel – will never be a replacement for his combat buddy Memphis.

Sprocker pup Sasha will not be trained as a working dog 

Memphis was walking ahead of Mick on patrol in 2011 when the squaddie stepped on the device.

Mick eventually lost his foot in 2013.

The loyal dog went to his injured handler’s side and stayed until help arrived.


24/2/17
From Dave Acott

Demo Team - Edinburgh

Royal Tournament at Earls Court 1980.   I am in the front row 4th in from the right.
2/2/17
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, ocean, sky, dog, outdoor and nature

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Memphis, the Arms Explosive Search dog who belonged to former RAF police dog handler, Mick McConnell. In 2011 Mick wasinjured in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED and after two years of rehabilitation, he took the difficult decision to have his foot amputated. He said Memphis had been instrumental in helping him cope with his life-changing injuries. In 2015 Memphis received the Canine Award at the Soldiering On Awards for his dedication.


20/12/16

I have had a plaque made commemorating all RAAF Police Dogs that served in Butterworth and Tengah, this will be unveiled by my current OC in Feb 2017 close to the section that has sine been torn down, after 1996 RAAF Police Dogs no longer deployed. Tengah is a stumbling point at the moment. my first posting to Butterworth was from 1980 -1983.
FLTLT Bill Perrett -- Bill was considered the father of the Dog mustering here in Australia, ex Brit was commissioned in Australia, passed away about 10 years ago. Wondering why the significance of Bill having a photo outside the section, was it a Handover??? I don't know.
RAF Auxiliary Police Dogs -- going through our records I see a number of Malaysians were supplied dogs from Australia, some Brit's as well. were they trained at out Police Dog School here in Australia or were dogs simply sent to Butterworth and trained in Malaysia??? I don't know.
RAF AUX Dogs patrolled the Base until RAAF dogs arrived in September 1971, this I think is on the mark, I have spoken to a guy that escorted the dogs from Australian to Butterworth. Old RAAF Historical records are a little inaccurate talking about RAAF Police Dogs patrolling areas when indeed it was the RAF Auxiliary dogs. I have names of the Malaysian and Brits who these dogs were teamed with.
Any information pertaining to Butterworth or photos would be greatly appreciated. I know the small set of kennels that I was told were RAF kennels north of the cricket oval are no longer, that was a small kennel bank. I was last in Butterworth last Jun 2012 looking at siting a new kennel bank on base near the flight line.
I am keen on holding an event for past and present dogs handlers at a location called the "Boatie" a few hundred meters from the old section to commemorate our dogs, looking at the later half of 2017. I know CO 19 SQN (RAAF Butterworth) is favourable. I want a clear accurate record left for those coming after us.
Thank you again for your help, any help would be greatly appreciated as I am concentrating on Butterworth and will try and ascertain more information on Tengah (Singapore) as well.
We just didn't keep records to well.
Kind Regards
Al
FSGT Alan Grossman
SECFOR MWD
95 Wing Headquarters
RAAF Base Amberley QLD 4306
07 53614925


10/12/16
RAF Northolt Dog Section




18/11/16

Wimblington couple pay tribute to RAF police dogs with ‘Rusty Rooster’ memorial art at Newark Air Museum.

13:40 15 November 2016

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

A Wimblington couple’s ‘Rusty Rooster’ memorial art has been installed in the war memorial gardens of Newark Air Museum.

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorialSara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

Steven and Sara Raven have been designing and creating rusty metal garden art since May 16.

The husband and wife team were approached by Nigel Bean, a former RAF police dog handler - who served for 23 years and trained 17 dogs - who spotted the pair at a county show.

Sara & Steve Raven with their memorial art piece.Sara & Steve Raven with their memorial art piece.

The memorial they then created for the Newark Air Museum is a tribute to all RAF police dogs who had served from 1942 to 2014.

“Family and friends all loved it and wanted pieces for themselves. So this hobby business began and ‘Rusty Rooster’ was born,” said Sara.

Nigel Bean, former RAF laying a wreathNigel Bean, former RAF laying a wreath

“Steve has always loved working with metal. Growing up on a farm there was always something requiring his attention; needing to be welded, grinded, cut from metal.

“Then one day he finally treated himself to a new plasma cutter and cut something for the garden.”

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorialSara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

Steven added: “Initially it was an idea that we simply stumbled upon by chance.

“It has quickly proven a hit at the local events we have attended.”

The tribute, named ‘Rusty’, was installed in the memorial gardens in September.

For more information on Rusty Rooster Garden Art visit www.facebook.com/rustyroostergardenart


11/11/16
Newark Air Museum








8/11/16
C shift dog handlers RAF Tengah 1965. Thanks to Dave Jenkin's son who took the photographs.


L to R in the group standing. Ian Myles. Bob McGhee. Les Coomber. Bob Laird. Dave Jenkins. Brian Dixon.

26/10/16

Corporal Kieran Jones and Borik an RAF Police attack and explosivesfirearms search

Corporal Kieran Jones and Borik, an RAF Police attack and explosives/firearms search dog, are taking part in an eight-nation Deployed Operating Base exercise in Germany this week.
Corporal Kieran Jones and Borik an RAF Police attack and explosivesfirearms search

2/10/16

This morning was time to dedicate a tree and plaque in memory of a friend Clive Gilmore, over 46 years service to the RAF Police Dog School.


Air Dog Baco who won the Dog Trials this year






Newark Air Museum
This morning Jude and I placed our memorial to all RAF Police and working dogs around the world, Tuesday the 16th August is International Working Dog Memorial Day and we hope that our commissioned piece of work Air Dog Rusty will be a fitting memorial to those dogs that have served their countries in times of peace and conflicts.
We will remember them.
Nigel Bean

RAF Police "Air Dog Baco" getting a jump on things...

16/7/16

Memorial to AES A/D Buster unveiled at RAF Waddington

on 16th July 2016


More photographs can be found at:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mwvpdvmftfi3woc/AAB8BOyWOm7CviqtCIbTE_z-a?dl=0[/url

7/6/16

Last surviving 9/11 rescue dog put down - with a hero's send-off


Bretagne, the last surviving search and rescue dog from 9/11 is walked by her handler Denise Corliss past a flank of members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department as she was brought into the Fairfield Animal Hospital to be euthanized.  CREDIT: KAREN WARREN/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA AP

The last surviving rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks died on Monday.

Bretagne, a 16-year-old golden retriever, was put down at Fairfield Animal Hospital in Cypress, Texas, with her handler Denise Corliss by her side.

As Bretagne entered the hospital she was saluted by representatives of agencies including the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department and Texas Task Force 1, who came to pay their respects.

An American flag was draped over her body after she was euthanised, and officers saluted once again as she was taken away.



Denise told TODAY that Bretagne’s kidneys had started to fail in recent days, and that she realised the time had come to say goodbye when the food-loving retriever refused her meals for three consecutive days.

"She was really anxious last night and she just wanted to be with me," Corliss said on Monday. "So I laid down with her, right next to her. When she could feel me, she could settle down and go to sleep. I slept with her like that all night."

Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Captain David Padovan told TODAY that his team’s attendance was “a very small way for us to pay tribute to a dog who truly has been a hero … Just because she's a K9 doesn't make her any less part of our department than any other member."

Corliss, an electrical engineer, first became interested in the work of disaster search dogs in the late 90s. She took ownership of Bretagne, then an 8-week-old puppy, in 1999, and began training as a volunteer dog/handler team to help support federal emergency response efforts at disaster sites.

 
 Bretagne this week CREDIT: KAREN WARREN/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA AP
“I was so excited about doing this, but I didn’t have the appreciation of how life-changing it would be,” she recalled last month. “It took 20 to 30 hours a week easily to stay on top of training. This is what I did when I wasn’t at work.”

The two of them qualified as members of Texas Task Force 1 in 2000 – and their first deployment was at the World Trade Center site in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Together they spent two weeks working 12-hour shifts at Ground Zero.

In the following years they were deployed to disaster sites including Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ivan, before Bretagne’s retirement from search work at age 9. Bretagne continued to work in her retirement, frequently visiting a local school to help first-graders and children with special needs.

Bretagne was last survivor of around 300 dogs who worked at Ground Zero. Dr. Cindy Otto, a vet who worked with 9/11 search dogs, said: “You’d see firefighters sitting there, unanimated, stone-faced, no emotion, and then they’d see a dog and break out into a smile.

“Those dogs brought the power of hope. They removed the gloom for just an instant — and that was huge because it was a pretty dismal place to be.”

21/5/16

RAF Police Military Working Dogs Join Their USAF Counterparts

20 May 2016

News articles by date

RAF Police Military Working Dogs and their handlers have had their skills tested in a friendly competition against their United States Air Force (USAF) counterparts at RAF Lakenheath.

Cpl Ali Shannon and Tommy

It is the first time RAF Police have been invited to compete against their USAF colleagues at RAF Lakenheath since 2001 and before the contest commenced, both teams performed a capability demonstration, with the RAF team focusing on attack work and the basics of tracking.

Throughout the week, RAF Lakenheath has seen a series of events organised by the USAF Security Forces Squadron to mark National Police Week which commemorates and pays homage to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. 

SrA Bryce Bates and Gina

One of the organisers, Master Sergeant Jason Hallmon was instrumental in securing the attendance of the RAF team and said: “I’ve had links into the RAF with our exchange officer for a while now. This is a great way to bring the two communities together, build relationships and look to the future as we hope to do more together.”

The RAF team consisted of four handlers drawn from various units and the USAF team included personnel from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. This interaction is seen as an important step towards strengthening relationships with the USAF Security Forces ahead of the arrival of the F35 into the UK. The aircraft is scheduled to be based at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Marham so both teams will be tasked to provide security. 

The Teams

Warrant Officer Lee Close, Training and Operations Manager, Military Working Dogs said: “Today has been a lot of fun and we’ve enjoyed the level of hospitality extended to us. For me, it’s not just about the contest or the demonstrations though - it’s a way for us to start furthering our professional relationships with the USAF ahead of the F35’s arrival. 

Cpl Peter Ratcliffe and Kwinto ‘attack’ Sgt Andy Ackers

“The vision is for our two organisations to share policing and security intelligence plus operating procedures to ensure the aircraft remains fully protected on station. This has been a great first step in that process.”

With differences in the way that the two nation’s dogs work, judging duties were carried out by experts from both the RAF and USAF to choose a winner for each team, with an independent judge, without military working dog expertise, choosing an overall ‘Top Dog’ for the day. Corporal Marc Lawson from RAF Marham and Staff Sergeant Kelly Webster from RAF Mildenhall won the individual titles, whilst ‘Top Dog’ for the day went to Corporal Shaun Perkes from RAF Brize Norton.

Editor: Sal Davidson

Photographs: TSgt Matthew Plew

Cpl Ali Shannon and Tommy.

SrA Bryce Bates and Gina.

The Teams. 

Cpl Peter Ratcliffe and Kwinto ‘attack’ Sgt Andy Ackers.

MOD Crown Copyright 2016

18/5/16

Air dogs put through their paces at RAF Marham

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. SAC Rose Buchanan ANL-160513-115853001

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. SAC Rose Buchanan ANL-160513-115853001

 

 

RAF Marham has hosted its first dog trials for eight years, an unusually long time for these annual events to have been missed.

That was due to operational commitments and shows just how busy the personnel at Marham have been all over the world over much of the past decade.

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. The handlers along with their canine companions take part in several different events that test their handling skills. This event is an annual tradition for dog sections across the Royal Air Force. ANL-160513-120044001

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. The handlers along with their canine companions take part in several different events that test their handling skills. This event is an annual tradition for dog sections across the Royal Air Force. ANL-160513-120044001

Historically, station trials at a dog section would be an annual occurrence, where dog handlers would compete against one another in the disciplines that would be expected of a protection dog team while they are on patrol.

This year, however, Sgt Furniss was able to host RAF Marham’s Station Dog Trials 2016.

He entered five teams into trials: These were, Cpl Roberts and MWD (Military Working Dog) Monica; Cpl Lydon and MWD JoJo; Cpl Matthews and MWD Fedor; Cpl Pitman and MWD; and Cpl Fields and MWD Diva.

These disciplines that were to be tested were ‘Manwork’, where the dog team would apprehend a criminal through a bite, ‘Windscent’, where the dog team would use the scent of an individual on the wind to locate them on the airfield, ‘Nightwork’, where the dog team would have to protect a given area that contains assets where a ‘criminal’ is trying to get on their area and lastly the ‘Arena’, where the Dog Team would be marked on obedience and agility.

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. Photo: SAC ROSE BUCHANAN ANL-160513-115600001

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. Photo: SAC ROSE BUCHANAN ANL-160513-115600001

At the end of an exhausting and nerve-racking two days, Cpl Roberts was awarded first place in the Criminal Workout, Windscent and Nightwork, whilst Cpl Matthews was awarded first place for Best Turned Out and first place for a near perfect Arena.

Cpl Matthews and MWD Fedor were the only team to successfully complete a 20m send away

Special recognition went to Cpl Pitman’s Dog, MWD Dara, who hit the ‘criminal’ so hard that she was able to completely take him of his feet before he face planted into the grass.

OC RAF Police at RAF Marham, Flying Officer Hitchen said, “I am immensely proud of the hard work that all of the dog section members have put into support these trials but in particular the pride, confidence and professionalism shown by the competitors.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for the handlers to showcase themselves and encourages them to strive for perfection.”

The only thing that was left was for the Stn Cdr, Gp Capt Davies, to award was 3rd, 2nd, and 1st places; 3rd place was awarded to Cpl Matthews and MWD Fedor, 2nd place was awarded to Cpl Pitman and MWD Dara, with 1st place going to Cpl Roberts and MWD Monica.

Cpl Roberts said, “I am over the moon with the result.  Monica is a fantastic dog but she can be stubborn so I have had to work really hard over the last year with training.  The competition was tough so I take my hat off to the other competitors.”

This year the RAF Marham Military Working Dog Trials was sponsored by the London Road Veterinary Centre and head vet and practice owner Alex Dallas attended the trials.

He said: “It is an honour to work with the RAF Police Dog Section and I have always admired the work they do.

“To see them in action has been eye-opening and I have renewed respect for both the handlers and dogs!”

London Road Veterinary Centre in Lynn has been working with the RAF Marham Police Dog Section for the last 40 years.

This year the winner of the trials will receive the London Road Championship Cup.

Alex Dallas added, “Over many years of working with the Police Dog Section we have got to know both the dogs and handlers well, so congratulations to the champions!”

 

4/5/15

Hero Hounds: The Training Behind Military Working Dogs

Now that British combat operations in Afghanistan have come to a close, the role of the military working dog (MWD) is changing.
 
In this special report, Forces TV takes a look at the dogs helping to keep our British soldiers safe.
 

http://www.forces.tv/93588665

22/4/16

Military working dogs and handlers based in Rutland given bravery awards

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Military-working-dogs-handlers-based-Rutland/story-29152629-detail/story.html

 

18/4/16

1/2/16

http://forces.tv/72309374?image=1

In action - Man's Best Friend

1/1/16

Paisley Sheriff Court

A PET that attacked an experienced dog handler and left him permanently scarred is to be put down after a sheriff ruled on the "most difficult" case of its kind he had heard in his career.

He said that the dog could only be spared if he was satisfied that no further danger was posed and added: "With a heavy heart, I cannot be satisfied that the dog will not present a danger to public safety and accordingly, order its destruction."

He told the accused that he would refrain from disqualifying him for owning or keeping a dog in future as he considered him to be "a responsible dog owner."

17/12/15

Security Professionals Award for RAF Police Dog Handler

A RAF Police Dog Handler has been recognised at an awards ceremony hosted by the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP).

Sgt Bullen and Airdog LassSergeant Claire Bullen is a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer who has been in charge of a RAF Police Working Dog Section for three years. The section provides the vital arms and explosives search capabilities to UK Police forces and other Government organisations.

Responsible for maintaining and deploying her team, plus ensuring the health, welfare and operational capabilities of a fleet of dogs, it has been Sergeant Bullen’s efforts in the current challenging environment that led to this formal recognition from the WCoSP.

The awards ceremony, held at Sadler’s Hall in London, is now in its fifth year - with the RAF Police winning the military category on three occasions. It was attended by a range of military, police and security professionals who had gathered to honour the winners from a range of categories.

Presenting the award was Master of the WCoSP - Stuart Seymour, who said: “There is no doubt about the number of lives saved by military search dogs and this award to Sergeant Claire Bullen recognises the vital role in their welfare and deployment fulfilled by the leaders on the front line.

“The Company is delighted to honour Claire and all the handlers, kennel staff, vets and dogs that keep the RAF Police's Military Working Dogs in the forefront of the fight against terrorists and criminals.”

Sgt Bullen’s section has been instrumental in the discovery of improvised explosive devices, homemade explosives and numerous amounts of ammunition. These successes were in no small part to enhanced search techniques that were devised and implemented by Sgt Bullen.

On receiving her award at the prestigious ceremony in front of colleagues and family members, Sgt Bullen said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award, but I couldn’t do this job without the support of a team of dedicated and professional people who work extremely hard day-in and day-out. This award is really recognition for the efforts of the whole team.”

Editor: Sal Davidson

Photographs: Provided by Gerald Sharp Photography

Sgt Bullen and Airdog Lass.

MOD Crown Copyright 2015

 

31/10/15

DSPG Netheravon Flight Parade

I was honoured to receive the RAFPA trophy today for best GPD. Please find an attached photograph.

Kind Regards,
Alex.
Cpl A Bell



Reading a pensions magazine when I came across an article by a Mike Brown.
 
Mike said he was a dog handler, 1955 time. He was on the demo team and then was posted to Ringway/Handforth. He had a black dog named Sugar.
 
Another ex dog handler read the article and contacted Mike. His name is Colin Norman, he had a white dog named Mougli. Served at the same time, but I don't know where.
 
If this rings a bell with any Associate members and they wish to make contact, I should be able to provide some contact details.
 
Regards..Norman.

 

The attached pictures show a four foot square, hand made quilt, donated by the maker, to be sold in aid of our EMB charity ‘Children’s Brain Tumour Research’
I am hoping to get in excess of 75
I wonder if any of the dog handlers (or anyone for that matter) who visit your sites can suggest a venue to sell it and get the best price for our charity I would appreciate it.
Rather than clog up your site with replies(a lot of members won’t be interested) could they email me direct on 276curtis@tiscali.co.uk
Thank you in anticipation
John



 
 

 

 

Unsung heroes: the brave dogs who fought in WWII

Would you send your pet to war? Reams of once secret documents have revealed the heroic deeds of the British dogs recruited in the fight against Adolf Hitler

 
WWII troops with graduates of the War Dogs Training School, near Potters Bar
 
 
 

6:00PM BST 26 Sep 2015

 

In May 1941, during the dark days of the Second World War, a few small adverts started appearing in the columns of various press publications up and down the country.

“To British Dog Owners,” the bulletins proclaimed. “Your country needs dogs for defence. Alsations, Collies and other large breeds. Here is your great opportunity to actively help to win the war – will you loan one?”

The adverts were primarily designed by the War Office to test public opinion over the merits of sending people’s beloved pets to combat, but the response was overwhelming.

Within two weeks there had been a staggering 7,000 offers of dogs – not least because in such straitened times many were struggling to feed their pets.

ADVERTISING
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

One woman sent a message to accompany her offer: “my husband has gone, my sons have gone, take my dog to help bring this cruel world to an early end.”

And so, the most unusual regiment of the war started to form.

Britain had used dogs in military service before. During the Great War, Lt Col Edwin Hautenville Richardson had trained hundreds of Airedales up at his kennels in Shoeburyness, Essex, to carry messages along the communication lines of the Western Front.

But the War Dogs Training School was a different beast altogether. When it officially opened for business on May 5, 1942 at a greyhound kennels in Northaw, near Potters Bar, 40 recruits were eagerly awaiting training. By the end of the war some 3,300 had been successfully dispatched to units across the globe.

Around 200 were killed or reported as missing in action, others went on to achieve some of the most heroic deeds of the war. A few animals were heralded following the end of hostilities, but for many their contribution was never fully recognised. Indeed hundreds were simply disposed of by the authorities in 1945, never to see their beloved owners again.

Now a new book, written by husband and wife team Christy and Clare Campbell, aims to re-write the role of the war dogs in history. The pair, both journalists and authors, have uncovered reams of once secret documents detailing the fiascos and bravery of the animals recruited in the fight against Hitler.

Those such as, Rex, a stray black labrador, who in 1945 helped detect so many mines in the Reichswald Forest that he was hailed by his platoon commander his platoon commander, Lt Peter Norbury, as the bravest dog he had ever seen: “saving casualties that would most certainly have occurred but for his devotion to duty.”

The duties so faithfully carried out by the graduates of the War Dogs Training School also paved the way for the heroism of their modern forebears in the Royal Veterinary Corps. The PDSA Dickin Medal, which was introduced in 1943 as the Victoria Cross of animals to recognise incredible bravery on the frontline, has been awarded 65 times since, including four times to dogs in Afghanistan.

In 2010 it emerged that UK Special Forces were parachuting German Shepherd dogs equipped with video cameras into Taliban strongholds to search buildings for insurgents. At least eight animals were killed during operations but as one SAS source said, “that would have been eight SAS men.”

Many more were attached to regular troops, searching the ground for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and buried weapons and rooting out ambushes. The arms and explosives search dog Buster, who passed away in retirement in July this year aged 13, was known among troops as the dog that saved 1,000 lives.

 

 

'The search and patrol dogs give the guys a little bit of home when they are out there'
Corporal Stacey Graham

 

Corporal Stacey Graham was one of the dog handlers deployed to Helmand in 2012 alongside Bosh, her Belgian Malinois. “As soon as he arrived it was like an instant input of morale,” says the 27-year-old RAF police officer. “The search dogs and patrol dogs give the guys a little bit of home when they are out there. Also there is the reassurance of what the dogs can do.”

Back in the Second World War, soldiers given animals from the War Dogs Training School were expressly ordered not to grow attached – “DON’T make friends with or pet any of these dogs,” barked an official decree.

But in Afghanistan, Graham admits, this is not something she ever quite managed with the now retired Bosh. “Not to sound like a big softie but he was my best friend out there. I loved that dog to absolute pieces and still do. He meant the world to me. When things were bad I had him and he was there to look after me and the guys I was with. It gave me massive reassurance.”

 

In 1942, the dogs were sent into combat with nothing like the training they receive today. The war dogs made their debut in North Africa but the experiment proved a disaster. Of the 36 listed as being sent out to the campaign, only five survived. The curt description of their deaths in the records tells of many a tragic end. Chum, an Airedale, was described as “drowned on landing” in November 1942. Prince, a Labrador attached to the 5bn Northamptons was said to have “burned to death in a bombed out vehicle.”

However under the expert eye of Herbert Lloyd, the legendary Cocker Spaniel breeder and chief technical adviser at the War Dogs Training School, its training methods soon began to dramatically improve.

Lloyd’s daughter is 78-year-old Jennifer Lloyd Carey, herself a renowned canine expert and the longest-running competitor at Crufts who has attended every show since 1948. She remembers, as a child, saluting at the trucks as they shipped donated animals to the training centre - and her father being constantly busy doing night-training with the dogs. “The book is an amazing investigation and makes me very proud of my father,” she says.

As the war progressed, not only were the animals trained to guard, patrol and sniff out enemy mines, but some were even taught how to parachute in behind enemy lines. Brian, a two year-old Collie Cross, was one of the most-famous so-called “paradogs” and was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his service. During the D Day Landings, Brian and several other animals dropped in to France under heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire.

He survived the war and returned to his owner to resume civilian life before dying of natural causes in 1955.

Yet many would not prove so fortunate. Only 1,500 of the war dogs actually came home. The rest were bought by the government for further service in Germany and destroyed (the strays first) when their “military usefulness” was over. Of the 17 dogs cited for the RSPCA For Valour Medal - only three actually ever received it.

Even in the modern era, many who have served their country so bravely have ended up meeting a similar fate, due to fears of dangerous behavioural issues back in the real world. In 2013, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sparked anoutcry after it emerged that 280 dogs had been put down in the previous three years – including two that had been assigned to guard the Duke of Cambridge. As a result it said it would review its procedures so former guard dogs are checked by a military vet and an experienced dog handler before a decision is taken whether or not to put them down - and will always try to re-home them wherever possible.

Perhaps, finally, Britain's pet veterans can look forward to an honourable retirement.

Dogs of Courage by Clare and Christy Campbell is published by Corsair priced 14.99. To order your copy for 12.99 plus p&p call 0844 871 1514 or visit books.telegraph.co.uk


6th September

Rogues gallery — with Mick Larkman, Steve Gray,Dusty Mack, Iain Todd and Stewart McArdle at Windermere House

Okay, folks ! At the request of his wife and friends, I am afraid that I bear bad news regarding one of our erstwhile colleagues, Roger Johnson.
I am sure that there are quite a few of you who remember Roger. Unfortunately, he is now suffering from a condition called "Picks Disease" (aka "Picts Disease") which is an aggressively progressive form of Dementia. The prognosis is that Roger has only a very short time left !
Friends arranged a "party" for Roger and others in his Care Home on Sunday 6 September.
A few old Dog men (and a woman - Georgie Mack) attended at Windermere House, in Hull, to help raise funds for the Dementia Charity.

Address :-
Windermere House,
Birkdale Way,
Hull,
HU9 2BH

 Chris Wyman and Nigel Cox

 

US Military Allies Explore New Hyper-Sensitive Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

Global Dynamic Security trains dogs to use their natural hunting instincts to find bomb odors more quickly than conventionally trained and operated bomb-sniffing dogs. Photo courtesy of Global Dynamic Security
Global Dynamic Security trains dogs to use their natural hunting instincts to find bomb odors more quickly than conventionally trained and operated bomb-sniffing dogs. Photo courtesy of Global Dynamic Security

A handful of key U.S. allies around the globe are considering the purchase of a new kind of bomb-sniffing dog designed to harness innate wolf-like hunting instincts and locate dangerous source odors much more quickly than conventional bomb-detecting dogs.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are among the countries exploring dogs trained by a small Virginia-based firm called Global Dynamic Security, which was founded in 2010, company officials said.

"We are currently preparing to train and ship dogs to U.S. allies," Shawn Deehan, Global Dynamic Security founder and CEO, told Military.com in an interview.

Deehan claims his innovative training methods, proven in numerous test scenarios, are based on prolonged study of the natural hunting behaviors of wolves and thousands of years of evolution.

"Our behavioral science model is based on the evolved nature of canines and based on evolution itself. I studied wolves for more than 10 years and observed their behaviors. That was instructive, and it illuminated what was really happening with wolves," Deehan said.

Unlike most existing bomb-detecting dogs, which are usually led on a leash by a handler, Deehan's dogs are trained to rapidly use their natural hunting abilities without needing to be led by humans.

"We hyper-sensitize them to an odor. We amplify and intensify natural canine hunting behavior and allow them to perform off of a leash," he said.

Having trained thousands of dogs over the years, Deehan says he has succeeded recently in demonstrating how quickly his dogs can independently detect bomb, drug, ammunition and other key odors. The four demonstration dogs trained using Deehan's new method are able to detect source odors in a different, much faster way compared to most existing bomb-sniffing dogs currently used by the military and law enforcement communities, Deehan said.

The demonstration dogs include two Malinois, which are Belgian Shepherd dogs, a Dutch Shepherd and a Czechoslovakian Shepherd, Deehan said.

"We felt that in order to have integrity, we needed to prove the method 100 percent in a number of scenarios. In the last three years, our dogs have been as close to 100 percent reliable as they can be," he said.

For instance, Deehan said his dogs were able to locate a bomb-scented Q-tip buried in the mud in an upside-down salt shaker three acres away in less than four minutes.

"The salt shaker contained a Q-tip that had been in a bag containing bomb odor. The salt shaker was then put into a hole that was two inches in diameter. The holes were turned upside down and the shaker was put into the mud beneath the grass. The dog was starting from 120 yards away. The dog worked a three-and-a-half acre field. Our dog found it in around four minutes," Deehan said.

Deehan argues that most conventionally trained bomb-sniffing dogs, which are often brought through areas in grid pattern and typically led by humans, would likely need at least 45 minutes to an hour to find the same Q-tip.

"Dogs can follow the trail of a deer for three miles. Dogs have been hunting prey for millions of years. The conventional method has introduced human behavior into something where human beings were never present. We studied evolution itself in a way that no one has ever studied," he claimed.

Deehan plans to train thousands of these dogs and deliver them to interested U.S. allies around the globe. Each dog costs $110,000; however, that price includes a one-year maintenance, support and training contract, he said.

 

 
 
These were taken at a 2TAF Dog Trials '67 '68.

Could have been Geilenkirchen or Rheindahlen. Long time ago but could be of interest to your Doggie readers.
 
Mike Lester

6

From Will Barrow.... Just been presented this by the lads and lasses on the Henlow RAF Police flight in remembrance of Buster. Proper choked. A great bunch who I will miss.

PICTURES: The Lossiemouth Raft Race

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The annual Lossie raft race took place on Sunday (August 2) drawing a crowd of over 3000 people despite the unpredictable weather.

The race is organised by the Royal Air Force (RAF) base along with Moray Council and Grampian Police to raise money for local charities and engage with the local community.

This year Cash For Kids and the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ were the chosen charities.

Of the 19 teams that started the race only 5 managed to finish, with one team’s raft falling apart even before the start line.

 

 

RAF Lossiemouth’s Police Dog Section were the victors ending the Steamboat Inn’s short 1 year hold of the title.

The winning craft was built from oil drums.

The design, used last year as a Viking ‘long ship’, proved manoeuvrable and quick as it led in a close finish with ‘Cash for Kids’ raft.

Flight Lieutenant Ollie Harbridge said: “The raft race was a great success again this year. I’m obviously happy that a RAF Lossiemouth team won and I think the friendly competition helped to make this year’s event the most enjoyable yet.

“It was however a shame that most of the rafts didn’t make it to the finish, with only 5 teams making the finishing line.

“I’d like to thank the local businesses and residents of Lossiemouth for their continued support, for their patience during the disruption of the day, and their generous donations that have enabled us yet again to raise so much money for charity and put on this community event with such success.”

The money raised from the event will be split equally between MFR Cash For Kids and the Make a Wish Foundation. These were chosen to ensure two local charities receive all the benefits from the generosity of local people.

The final result of the race was:

1st – RAF Lossiemouth Police Dog Section
2nd – MFR
3rd – The Steamboat Inn, Lossiemouth
4th – 1 (F) Squadron
5th – ‘The Spitfire Sirens’, RAF Lossiemouth
** Remaining teams failed to finish.

Fancy Dress Competition Winners: ‘The Spitfire Sirens’, RAF Lossiemouth

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015. This years theme was BoB First place, the RAF Lossiemouthpolice  Dog Secotion. 2nd; MFR  3rd the Steamboat

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015.

 

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015.

The RAF Police winners

 

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015.

No hard feelings from runners up…or those whose craft couldn’t cross the finish

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE

Outfits that don’t seem too tactical for the chilly waters

 

Lossie Raft RAce

A great spectacle for service men and women as well as local people

 

Lossie Raft RAce

Is that a bit of sabotage going on there? Or is it a rescue?

 

Lossie Raft RAce

Sabotage seems more and more likely…who can say though


3/8/15
 

Help required from someone trying to research his late father's RAFP service... This photo was possibly taken in Malta... Given the prominent sign for the dog section, can anyone confirm the RAF station/unit...??

Steve Davies's photo.

Steve Davies