Heroes are all around us. Some wear capes and have superpowers. Others stay undercover and watch carefully. Some wear coats – thick, fuzzy coats with happy tails and pointy ears. Yes, some are dogs!
Military dogs have always been true canine heroes. They risk their lives to serve and protect. One of them is Kuno, the four-year-old Belgian Malinois who went above and beyond to fulfill his duties.
Because of his brave acts, Kuno is now a retired pup with a brace and prosthetic limb. But he’s never felt more alive!
That’s why the Dickin Medal, the highest honor in the British military, has been awarded to Kuno. He deserves it, and even more, if we may add.
Kuno has several successful military missions behind him, but the last one will always be remembered. When the British troops attacked an al-Qaeda compound, Kuno was there. Soon enough, the troops were trapped and couldn’t evacuate.
Heavily armed forces with grenades and machine guns were all around Kuno and the brave British soldiers. The only way out meant casualties.
Kuno did something no one asked of him. His bravery came to the fore and went head first. Without any second thoughts, Kuno ran through a hail of gunfire and tackled the gunman. The course of the attack was changed, the tables turned, and Kuno helped to finish the mission successfully.
Although the soldiers were saved, the mission wasn’t a complete success. Casualties simply had to happen. Kuno was one. He received many gunshot wounds to his hind legs and was immediately rushed to the U.S. Army Veterinary Treatment Facility.
The operation was long and tiring. The result was a saved life, but at the cost of one lost hind paw.
Kuno is completely fine now. He has a prosthetic limb on one hind leg and a brace on the other. He’s the first U.K. Military working dog with a custom-fitted prosthetic limb. Even though he’s now retired, Kuno enjoys life with his forever family, who adopted him shortly after the incident.
Now Kuno has a normal life filled with love and cuddles!
Kuno’s bravery was, fortunately, recognized. It has earned him the Dickin Medal awarded by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), making Kuno the 72nd animal to win the award. Since 1943, when the award was founded, 35 dogs, 32 WWII messenger pigeons, four horses, and one cat have received the medal.
Way to go, Kuno! Enjoy your well-earned retirement, you brave dog!