K9: She’s Not a Dog – She’s a SOLDIER!

TheirTeam2

By servative

There’s this great episode of NCIS, titled Seek, from March 2013.

Wrapped in a plot, it is basically a tribute to service dogs – to their training, loyalty, and dedication – and to their handlers. At the end, Jethro Gibbs, the main character, observes,

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“He’s not a dog … He’s a Marine.”

Since I could never top that line, well, I stole it for this article. Gibbs summed it up well. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coasties or Policemen – regardless of their branch of service, in real life, these dogs save lives every day.

The episode was so touching that I decided to find out more about these dogs, and to see how realistic their portrayal was. For this, I realized, I knew just who to turn to – my friend John C. Steffens and his Military Working Dog named Abby. John graciously agreed to be interviewed, to tell me as much as he is allowed about his experience with Abby.

John is a Staff Sergeant Military Police Officer in the U.S. Army.  On his second tour, the Provost Master came to John seeking a Kennel Master for the brigade’s dog program. John volunteered. But when the unit was down-sized, so was John’s new position. John told them, “I still want to have a dog.”

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