Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Tough conditions for military dogs in Afghanistan
Need for proper care of canine veterans
I appreciated the article by Hal Bernton about military dogs [“The troops’ best friends,” News, Oct. 29]. I was also impressed by its placement on the front page. It is important to be reminded of the contribution and sacrifice made by all members of the military, including working dogs.
Bernton’s choice of tenses helped prepare me for the not-so-happily-ever-after ending I knew was coming, context notwithstanding. War is terrible. Soldiers are injured or die in the line of duty. So do their dogs. So did Dinomt.
However, this is not the worst fate for a military dog. It’s my understanding that the dogs that develop PTSD-type behavior and are sent home are quickly euthanized upon return. It seems despite their valuable service, they are considered not adoptable. Given the dismal record the military has for taking care of its human veterans, it’s sad but not surprising it would expend little effort (or compassion) on its canine ones.
Soldiers returning from the last decade’s conflicts are slowly being given the attention they deserve. I wonder if it’s possible that some day these deserving dogs might experience the same.
— Heidi A. Beck, Renton