dog

Sick Military Dog Gets Beautiful Sendoff Ceremony

by Todd Briscoe
Todd is a LittleThings editor. He grew up in Texas and has lived in New York since 2003. He doesn't own a Boston terrier, but he will one day soon.

Dogs are capable of so much more than eating us out of house and home, chewing up our tennis shoes, and just being cute.

Some dogs are amazing herders, like this Australian sheep dog who herds over 8,000 emus a day. Some are amazing at security, like this dog who was able to stop a robber. And, of course, many dogs have important positions as police dogs, or even in the armed forces.

The Air Force utilizes MWDs (Military Working Dogs) on a day-to-day basis for incredibly important work. These working dogs risk their lives every day, primarily in the detection of bombs and explosives, or hidden narcotics.

German shepherd Daysi worked as an MWD in the narcotics division for a little over one year. She was certified in January 2014, but recently her handler, Sgt. Paul Olmos, noticed that Daysi seemed to have pain in her legs. A medical investigation revealed that Daysi had a cancerous tumor in her leg, and it was spreading fast. Due to the tumor’s location, the doctor would not be able to remove it.

Heads of Daysi’s division sought every solution they could to find the best things to do for Daysi.  Tech. Sgt. Kevin Nelson, 802nd SFS kennel master says, “Euthanasia of MWDs is a last resort and we try to approach every option available before it comes to that. Most of our dogs get adopted out or continue on with their service in a civilian police department.”

It was clear to every veterinarian who looked at Daysi that she was in great pain and the pain was only going to get worse. They knew that putting Daysi to sleep was in her best interest.

On her final day, members of the 802nd Security Forces Squadron gathered outside the Holland Military Working Dog Hospital to give this hero the sendoff she deserved. The pictures are absolutely heartbreaking.

Please, please SHARE this post in Daysi’s memory.

Air Education and Training Command

Daysi and Olmos have been paired together since day one. It’s important for a handler and his or her dog to be tightly bonded.

“I’m single and I don’t have immediate family here, so I’d come on the weekends just to visit her and take her on runs,” Olmos said. “I couldn’t even tell you how much time we’ve spent together.”

Daysi was specifically known for her incredible athletic prowess — especially running.

Olmos says, “We ran though an obstacle course and up hills for a total of four miles. There were times when she dragged me up those hills. We became stronger together and I’ll never forget that.”

The Sergeant who runs the kennel says, “These dogs are our brothers and sisters in arms as well.”

Saying goodbye to Daysi was like saying goodbye to any of their other fellow soldiers.

Standing outside the animal hospital, Daysi’s brothers and sisters in arms came to salute her and give her the hero’s goodbye she truly deserves.

Please SHARE these heartbreaking photos in Daysi’s memory, and to honor all of the MWDs working out there.