Military dogs and contract dogs make just as much of a sacrifice as do the men and women who make up our military. They work side by side with our soldiers and put their lives on the line every day as they go on patrols and sniff out explosives. These dogs are not considered dogs, but soldiers and partners, which means they get a proper soldier burial.
Nero served in Afghanistan as a Contract Working Dog (CWD). CWDs are trained to go on patrol with soldiers and to detect explosive devices. Some are trained in narcotics detection as well, depending on the area they are working. Once Nero could no longer work, Mission K9 Rescue took him in to help give him a new home where he could relax and spend the rest of his days with his new mom, Judie.
Judie wrote a statement to Mission K9 Rescue in honor of Nero that said, “May God bless you and hold you dear for your brave and wonderful heart.”
For seven years, Nero worked as a CWD and retired when he was eight. He almost didn’t make it back to the United States. While he was on the plane from Afghanistan, a pressure problem occurred and Nero was near death once they landed. He was immediately taken to the vet who saved his life.
Judie brought Nero home and gave him a birthday party each year he lived with her. Nero definitely deserved that after how hard he worked and everything he had gone through. As he got older, he experienced health problems that come with age. In 2014, cancer was found in his feet. It was treated and he went on living the life of luxury with Judie.
Nero died when he was eleven years old. He died suddenly from an abdominal hemorrhage, which they do not know the cause of. In the veterinarian’s office, they draped Nero’s body with the American flag out of respect for what he did for our country.
CWDs are different than Military Working Dogs (MWDs) in that they are not owned by the military, just the contractors who work with them during their service. This means that the contractor needs to cover the cost to bring them back to the United States and cover the cost of any injuries they sustained while oversees. In addition, it is also the job of the contractor to find a suitable home for the CWDs, which is where Mission K9 Rescue steps in.
According to their mission statement, Mission K9 aims, “To Rescue, Reunite, Re-Home, Rehabilitate and Repair any retired working dog that has served mankind in some capacity.” They do not only work with CWDs, and MWDs, but police dogs as well. They have a page where you can browse through the dogs that are retired and up for adoption, all of which are absolutely beautiful. Thank you to all the working dogs and may they all get the same respect as Nero.