Meet Mali, a hero canine who dodged booby traps despite sustaining horrendous shrapnel injuries. His bravery earned him the Peoples' Dispensary For Sick Animals (PDSA) Dickin Medal, which is the equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
A Brave Military Dog
After significant and lengthy treatment for injuries sustained to his chest, legs and teeth, Mali retired from front line duties. He is still however, involved in training. According to a brother-in-arms in the Special Boat Service, "this battle-hardened warrior has shown his mettle and built a reputation among all the guys" In Kabul, Mali was involved in two very dangerous missions. One operation helped secure a multi-story tower block that had been seized by hostile Taliban forces, and another, when under enemy fire, Mali sniffed out insurgents and bombs as British special forces and Afghan troops raided a hotel captured by terrorists. (See: Lucca: A Dog For All Seasons.)
Actual footage from the battle, which occurred in 2012, reveals his act of bravery, depicting eight year-old Mali remaining calm as commandos scaled an outside wall and hauled him up several floors to bring him directly into the perilous fray. The dog skillfully detected hidden enemy fighters, and despite serious injury. persevered throughout the seven-and-one-half hour mission. Mali retired from front line duties after lengthy treatment for injuries.(See: Shadow The Flying Therapy Dog.)
While some may argue that Mali didn't think about what he was doing or make a conscious decision to act, it must be said that neither do heroes blessed with only two legs upon which they run. Humans rarely contemplate their moral responsibilities before impulsively reacting to a situation that may well put their lives in peril. An instinct deep, primeval and powerful propels heroic action. (See: Chihuahua Saves Deaf Owner From Oncoming Train.)
Enjoy your award, Mali.