By Deborah Kandoll for Exceptional Canine
Military working dogs (MWDs) are the unsung four-legged heroes of our armed services. Every day, these amazing dog heroes put their lives on the line, on patrol and on specialized drug and explosive detection missions around the world. Wherever there are American security forces, MWDs are there serving right beside them. When these dogs grow too old or cannot physically continue on with the rigorous standards required of military working dogs, they can be retired from the military and offered for adoption to qualified civilians and law-enforcement handlers.
Finding a Dog Hero
Because there is a long waiting list, it can take a year to 18 months to adopt from the 341st MWD Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base (LAFB) in San Antonio. LAFB also adopts out dogs that “wash out” of the training program. Although they might not have been suited for military life, they’re still wonderful dogs. Many military working dog facilities exist throughout the country. To shorten the lengthy waiting time for your companion, you can also actively call any of these groups to inquire if veteran dogs will be retired soon. My website offers more information at MilitaryWorkingDogAdoptions.com.
These Dogs Are Indeed Special
I established my group’s website in 2008 as a result of my own personal MWD adoption experience. I made 50 calls before I discovered my first MWD, Benny B163, a beautiful black and tan German Shepherd. I thought I knew all about the breed after owning seven German Shepherds. But my Benny made me see what military dog handlers speak of in reverent terms. The relationship they have with their working dogs is unique from any other. The depth of its closeness, loyalty and trust cannot be quantified in words. My special 12-year-old Benny passed away from a heart attack on January 3, 2010.
My husband and I are now overjoyed to have 12-year-old Bino C152 (USA, Ret.) and 9- year-old Alex H116 (USAF, Ret.) as our new and much-beloved family members. Bino C152, a narcotics detection/patrol dog, had paws on the ground in Iraq for 14 months. Alex H116 served two six-month stints in Iraq as a patrol dog. Their time to enjoy a well-earned rest at “Ft. Couch” has come!
How You Can Learn More
I founded Military Working Dog Adoptions to help make sure that all of these dog heroes find happy homes. MWD Adoptions accepts donations, which it uses to transport adopted MWDs in need of a ride to their new homes. We also help out with military working dogs’ medical costs from time to time. Our paperwork as a nonprofit is pending. However, every dime we receive goes directly to help these veteran canines and the families who adopt them. Visit our website for more information on how to adopt or otherwise help one of these amazing creatures. Photo: @iStockphoto.com/egeeksen
Exceptional Canine expert Deborah Kandoll is the founder of Military Working Dog Adoptions. She and her husband, Capt. Michael Kandoll (USAFR, Ret.) are the proud parents of two former military working dogs.