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Four Legs and a Life of Service: The Fight to Allow Military Working Dogs to ‘Retire’ on U.S. Soil


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four-legs-life-service-fight-allow-military-working-dogs-retire-u-s-soilHeritage Foundation:

For Army Staff Sgt. James Harrington, it was a day he thought would never arrive.


It had been two and a half years since he last saw his golden-haired, brown-eyed girl, and Harrington had made a point to keep track of the 7-year-old’s travels, even after their lives went separate ways.


But standing at Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans on June 26, it was finally time for Harrington, 37, to reunite with Army Sgt. 1st Class Ryky.


Ryky is a Belgian Malinois, a type of Belgian sheep-herding dog, and she was headed to the Big Easy on a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston.


“Even though we were [apart] for two and a half years, it’s that you don’t forget the dog — and the dogs don’t forget,” Harrington says.


Harrington and Ryky, trained as an explosive-detection dog, met in 2008. They went on to do two tours together in the war zones of the 21st century. From September 2008 to October 2009, the pair deployed to Iraq, and from September 2010 to October 2011, they were in Afghanistan.Scissors-32x32.png

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I was shocked when I read the other day that the military doesn't normally ship these dogs back to the U.S. and that they are classified as "equipment." Not one of those dogs deserve to be left behind in a shelter!

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