Posted by Tania Kindersley.
It's a dog day, what can I tell you?
The tremendous Treo the army Labrador is getting a medal, for sniffing out explosives and saving many soldiers' lives. There is nothing I love more than a proper working dog, and this fellow is doing some serious work.
Report in The Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/24/labrador-awarded-animals-victoria-cross
And more from Major Paul Smyth's excellent Helmand blog here: http://helmandblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/video-top-dog-bomb-sniffer-treo-wins.html#links
Lovely quote from Treo's handler, Sergeant Dave Heyhoe: 'He is also a very good friend of mine. We look after each other.'
I try, without a vast amount of success, not to get too sentimental about dogs. I remind myself they are animals, not humans, and to anthropomorphise them does no good for their dignity, or ours. But, as anyone knows who has a canine, they do bring a very particular and heart-expanding kind of love. And in the case of this marvellous creature, they can actually save your life.