Buster, the arms and bomb-detecting dog, was a true military hero. He served five tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia, and is thought to have saved over a thousand — perhaps thousands — of lives. The 13-year-old springer spaniel passed away at his handler’s home in Lincolnshire. Buster had recently retired, enjoying life with his handler and two other dogs, according to Metro.
Flight Sergeant Will Barrow was his handler and had even written a best-selling book about his many exploits, entitled Buster: The Dog Who Saved A Thousand Lives. Barrow stated the following about the courage and accomplishments of his beloved canine companion, as reported in the Independent.
“He saved my life every day we were together. I owe him so much that I can never repay the debt, even if we lived for ever.”
In 2003, Buster won the prestigious Dickin medal for his military service. He was also the lifetime mascot of the Royal Air Force Police. In 2012, he won the Crufts Friends for Life Award.
The Royal Air Force released a statement that they would remember Buster for “his exceptional efforts” in the military. It also indicated that, later this year, the RAF would be “arranging a special event to celebrate RAF Police Military Working Dogs which will give the Force an opportunity to remember those special companions that have saved thousands of lives and served so admirably.”
Barrow and Buster were known to be an inseparable pair. Even this past week, the two attended a local school to hand out end-of the-year reports to students. The RAF even celebrated the dog’s life on its Facebook page, and Buster’s life celebration went viral, with over 26,000 “likes” and many comments on what a great hero he was. For example, some wrote tributes to the four-legged dynamo: “RIP Buster!! My brother…had the privilege of working with Buster in Afgan, he was a true hero!! Thinking of Willl [sic] and his family too xxx,” and “RIP, Buster the four-legged turbo-nosed hero. Your efforts saved many lives.”
Dogs are often said to be man’s best friend. Some private dogs are true heroes as well. Jamie Kraczkowski’s pit bull, named Isis, defended her against a violent physical attack by her drunk boyfriend, Jamie Dopke. Isis literally saved Jamie by grabbing the attacker’s pant leg. After being bitten in the leg, Dopke bolted away. The breed-specific legislation against pit bulls was subsequently lifted in Hazel Park, Michigan, as a result of the dog’s heroic act, according to an article in the Inquisitr.
[Photo Courtesy Facebook]