This Sunday, villages, towns and cities across the UK will come to a standstill in sombre remembrance of those lost in war. This Remembrance Sunday will be the 100-year anniversary of the end of WWI, and so, on this extra-special day, we thought it was timely to think about the past and present working dogs who serve and who have also sadly died for us. The purple poppy is the symbol of remembrance for the animals that have served during wartime.
We didn’t have to go far to learn all about this, as new Ruff and Tumble employee, Chris Hope, was a dog handler for five years in the British Army!
Chris & Khan on Duty
He served as a Dog Handler with 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, going on an operational tour to Afghanistan with 101 Military Working Dog Squadron. Accompanying him was his Military Working Dog Khan, a big German Shepherd. As a Protection Dog Handler, his daily tasks were to secure the main camp of Bastion and protect fellow troops out on ground operations in hostile conditions.
Dogs have been successfully used in combat for many years, and are still a highly regarded asset within the Military due the incredible power of their acute senses and desire to please their handlers.
Khan taking a much needed break
For Protection, Shepherd breeds tend to be best, due to their size, strength and presence. For Vehicle Search and Arms and Explosive Search Dogs, the gundog type breeds are preferred, such as Labs, Cockers and Springers for their enthusiasm and drive. In the intricate route searches for IEDs the Belgian Malinois are mainly used for their high concentration levels.
With their unfailing loyalty and intelligence, these highly trained and trusting dogs risk their lives every day for us. These amazing dogs save many lives and often bring much needed comfort and support into the lives of our brave Armed Forces.
Khan holds a very special place in Chris’ heart to this day and he tells us that when he had to hand Khan on to his next handler at the end of his Tour he was devastated. Thankfully Khan survived his service years and he was retired and lived a happy life for the rest of his days into old age with one of his other former handlers.
Chris’ training in dog husbandry, kennel management, canine first aid and dog training make him the expert at Ruff and Tumble when it comes to dogs – and he still enjoys working and training his four dogs, Wilf, Bert, Scooby and Scrappy.
Look out for Chris on our stand at the many events we attend across the year – and if you have any dog problems, well, you know where to come!
If you would like to do your bit to help retired service dogs find themselves their forever homes after working life then please take a look at Hero Paws UK. Hero Paws UK are working hard to build a sanctuary where ex service dogs can destress and prepare for life as a pet.