Layka, Military Dog

Kayla Winters, contributor

Layka, a Belgian Malinois, was in Afghanistan helping American troops. During her time in Afghanistan she saved many lives because of her heroic actions. “Layka was sent into search for injured or live combatants and explosives. Once inside, she engaged an enemy combatant while taking four rounds…Her handler removed her from the building and headed to a predetermined point for extraction where the medics started working on her. ”She “lost one of her front legs when she was shot four times during an ambush in Afghanistan in 2013.”Despite everything, she still was able to save the soldiers from inside the building she was sent to save. “Now 5 years old and adopted by her Afghanistan handler, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald, Layka faces the possibility of losing her remaining front paw from a bad ATV jump earlier this fall.” It is so sweet that they have each other. They were both there, they were both dealing with the after maths of being in Afghanistan. Unfortunately Layka has a bad case of PTSD where she is sensitive to loud noise. It is even worse during the fourth of July, with all of the fireworks going off. Later on in the articles it talks about, “Switzer and her husband have been helping Layka get the care she needs since 2014, the year they met her and raised funds to get the dog a prosthetic leg. When she was injured this year, they again jumped in and helped get her to the University of Tennessee’s Veterinary Hospital, where she’s being treated for her broken paw.” She later goes on to say “We love animals and we help a lot of animals,but she’s a hero, she saved our troops,” Switzer told ABC News. “She didn’t ask to go in, she was trained to go in. We’re just enamored with her and what she has been through in her deployment.” When people act like this it restores faith in the lives of many Americans and many more people around the world. We use animals in warfare which is not right, like she said before they did not choose to be there, they were told. Layka got hurt her paw last week and because she only has one front leg her owners were very worried for her. But anything she has needed since 2014 has been given to her. Which is the right thing to do. Because of her we got those troops out safe but now if she even gets a little hurt people worry.  Layka was the first canine to be given an “honor from the 341st training squadron.” (“the 341 is the organization that trains dogs for the military”). The very fact that Layka was the first military dog to be given an award is a really big deal for not just her and for our world because people use animals in warfare all the time and when they get hurt people do not really think about it.