Military working dogs usually retire after 10 or 12 years. When a military dog’s service is cut short, it’s because the dog is injured or gravely sick.
A black Labrador Retriever named Bob was a military working dog who spent some time training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He worked with the Marines then was deployed to Afghanistan as a bomb-sniffing dog.
He dedicated the rest of his career at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. Bob had to retire early because he had hip and leg issues.
Every service member who worked with Bob loved him. They described him as brave and loyal. He had done great service for the country and saved countless lives. Although he would be missed in the field, he deserved to enjoy his retirement.
Bob was given a military send-off worthy of a hero before he left the service for good. On his last day at the station, Bob received the Naval and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. The sailors lined up outside to form a path and give him a final salute.
In the past, retired U.S. military dogs were left on the battlefield or sent back to Lackland Air Force Base to be euthanized because they were listed as surplus equipment. Thankfully, President Bill Clinton signed Robby’s Law in November 2000 stating that retired military service dogs should be made available for adoption. Bob was fortunate enough to be adopted by his former handler, Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike Hausmann.
It was fitting for Hausmann to adopt Bob since they already knew each other and did not have to work through trust issues. Bob would have no trouble adjusting to life outside the military because he was with someone familiar. He could definitely spend the remaining years of his life being a family dog with lots of treats and cuddles.
Photo from Naval Air Station Oceana via Facebook