International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day

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Our friends at a Paterson, NJ elementary school partnered with us again for another round of great artwork and letters being sent out to handlers. These were done in the first week of February, but didn’t arrive quite in time to be sent with the 1st Quarter Care Packages so they are now being sent in honor of International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, which happens to be today, February 23rd!

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They also sent some Old Mother Hubbard biscuits for the occasion!

I wish I had time and space to scan and share all of the cards and letters. It is really hard to select just a handful as they are all precious and all worthy of sharing.

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I was going to share these great photos on International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, but because of a family illness and hospitalization, I missed it. Thanks to these great kids for their support and know that your biscuits are on their way!

Military Working Dog Love

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, here are some of our favorite photos to showcase the connection, respect and love between dog and dog handler.  Some of these are older, but still great photos.

Above, A Military Working Dog plays with Staff Sgt. Stephanie Pecovsky, 11 SFG MWD trainer, while taking a break during a ruck march Aug. 8, 2012 at Joint Base Andrews, Md. The Airmen are getting the MWD acclimated to walking long distances and still performing their duties, before they are deployed downrange. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

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Courtesy DoD.

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Lucy and AJ.   Photo courtesy AJ Nieto

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Danielle Kubit, from Marine Corps Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, rewards her working dog, Britt, after finding a simulated improvised explosive device during a training exercise at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Feb. 23, 2009. Marines and Sailors from Task Force Military Police conduct exercises to ensure working dogs remain trained and ready for operations while deployed. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Chance M. Hiser/Released)
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Danielle Kubit, from Marine Corps Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, rewards her working dog, Britt, after finding a simulated improvised explosive device during a training exercise at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Feb. 23, 2009. Marines and Sailors from Task Force Military Police conduct exercises to ensure working dogs remain trained and ready for operations while deployed. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Chance M. Hiser/Released)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Danielle Kubit, from Marine Corps Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, rewards her working dog, Britt, after finding a simulated improvised explosive device during a training exercise.. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Chance M. Hiser/Released.

Natural Balance Pet Foods 2013 Rose Parade

Natural Balance Pet Foods 2013 Rose Parade Float Celebrates Military Working Dogs

Just prior to the Rose Parade this year, I was able to visit the Fiesta Float facility in Irwindale, Calif. to see the Natural Balance MWD memorial float being decorated and met Joey Herrick, CEO Natural Balance Pet Foods.

Dogs from all services and from WWII to the present were the focus of this floral tribute that will lead to a MWD monument at Lackland AFB in Texas later this year, and also hopefully, a similar one on the Mall in Washington, DC.

Also riding on the float would be Marine Gunnery Sergeant Chris Willingham, Corporal Juan Rodriques and retired Marine SSD Lucca. Lucca was the MWDTSA Hero dog in 2006. Natural Balance arranged for Chris and Lucca to fly first class from Helsinki Finland to LA for the parade…yes Luuca had her own seat up front!

The float is a replica of The National MWD monument, rendered in flowers and seeds. An 18-wheeler with trailer will crisscross the US with the actual bronze statues for the next six months, promoting the memorial. It will be at the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb 3 and end in Wash DC on July 4. Herrick wants another similar memorial to WWII, Korea, VN and current era MWD teams on the Mall in Wash DC. The Lackland monument is scheduled for completion and dedication in Oct 2013. Itinerary will be listed on the Natural Balance website. NB had t-shirts made for the parade float and memorial as well as enameled pins. Ask Dixie to model hers! Look for the truck and trailer at an event near you soon.

How to support to Military Working Dogs for Christmas

Handlers celebrating Christmas

Or Hanukkah, or Winter Solstice or whatever holiday you support, we send goodies to deployed military working dogs and handlers.

How can you help military dogs this season? We have some suggestions: donations are always a great way to go as they can be turned into anything from KONGs, to treats to the nearly $13 per box in shipping expenses. Do you have a contact at a company that could send us in-kind donations? WE LOVE to get items that are suitable to include in packages that we don’t have to spend money to receive: dog treats or toys, socks, hand warmers, snacks, grooming supplies etc.
You can online shop via iGive.com and a portion of the purchases you were going to make anyway can be funneled to our organization. You can partner with your friends, family, church members or other organizations and do a small fundraiser.

However you choose to help military K9s for the holidays, we will be sending packages and you can assured that somewhere in the middle of the Afghanistan mountains, these teams will know that they are remembered and appreciated.

Good Day at Fort Benning

At Fort Benning for the presentation of Governor Deal’s original May 18, 2011 Military Dog Handler Day Proclamation.

MWDTSA made its way to Fort Benning for the presentation of Governor Deal’s original 2011 Military Dog Handler Day Proclamation.

We have many more photos to share. Be sure to email us and let us know if you’d like to sign up for a free copy of our online newsletter. Just email us at info@mwdtsa.org.

Enjoy the photos. Thanks to all of our friends at Fort Benning and all of the folks attending. What an awesome day. We did miss those handlers who are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with one who is in pre-deployment mode. AND, always miss, Von Loh, who will remain part of my Fort Benning memories, even if he is stationed elsewhere in the world 🙂

At Fort Benning for the presentation of Governor Deal’s original May 18, 2011 Military Dog Handler Day Proclamation. At Fort Benning for the presentation of Governor Deal’s original May 18, 2011 Military Dog Handler Day Proclamation. At Fort Benning for the presentation of Governor Deal’s original May 18, 2011 Military Dog Handler Day Proclamation.

Happy 4th of July

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Just some photos to share the emotion of the 4th of July with everyone. Two of the photos are from the War Dog Memorial Rededication at Ft. Benning, GA in 2007. It was a beautiful day wih the flags flying near the memorial. This is a special place for dog handlers where they can gather to remember their dogs, their buddies and their missions. Just a look back to celebrate the heritage and history of War Dogs.

And, a prayer sent to all of those currently in harm’s way that they know those of us back home truly support them, their dogs and their missions. “We are thinking of you guys always, but most especially today, on a day that celebrates the birth of our nation and the meaning of freedom. Stay safe, guys, we love you.”

Keeping the memories honored – Memorial Day

Back in 2005, I had the opportunity to join veteran’s from the 62nd Combat Tracker Infantry Platoon members as they gathered together at ‘The Wall’ in Washington, D.C. Each of these men had served with someone whose name is on that wall. For these men who were so brave in the face of combat, spending time at the wall with their memories and the thoughts of their KIA friends’ names was difficult for many.

As we move towards Memorial Day this year, please keep in mind the reason behind this national holiday is to honor military men and women who died while in active service to this country. Spend some time on Memorial Day remembering thier sacrifices, honoring their memories and supporting their causes.

If some of you need a link to a nearby National Cemetery, please use this link below to find any cemeteries in your state/local area.

http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/listcem.asp