Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week: therapy dogs come in all shapes

In the last few months our war-dog posts on the role canines play in soldiers’ post-war recovery — and the recovery of their families — has evoked many fervent and passionate notes. Whether we’ve profiled trained therapy dogs like Anna, the 4-year-old German Shepherd above with Sgt. Jesse R. Duenes, or former military dogs who’ve ...

561026_101203_therapydogs32.jpg
561026_101203_therapydogs32.jpg

In the last few months our war-dog posts on the role canines play in soldiers' post-war recovery -- and the recovery of their families -- has evoked many fervent and passionate notes. Whether we've profiled trained therapy dogs like Anna, the 4-year-old German Shepherd above with Sgt. Jesse R. Duenes, or former military dogs who've been adopted into military families like Gunner, it's clear (as we said last week) these dogs are contributing at the highest level.

So this time around I'm going to ask not just for stories about war dogs in the field, but for tales of those dogs waiting on the other side of the warzone -- the therapy dogs. If you have experiences or photos to share, send them along to the e-mail address above the postage stamp photo on the right. 

In the last few months our war-dog posts on the role canines play in soldiers’ post-war recovery — and the recovery of their families — has evoked many fervent and passionate notes. Whether we’ve profiled trained therapy dogs like Anna, the 4-year-old German Shepherd above with Sgt. Jesse R. Duenes, or former military dogs who’ve been adopted into military families like Gunner, it’s clear (as we said last week) these dogs are contributing at the highest level.

So this time around I’m going to ask not just for stories about war dogs in the field, but for tales of those dogs waiting on the other side of the warzone — the therapy dogs. If you have experiences or photos to share, send them along to the e-mail address above the postage stamp photo on the right. 

On another note, tonight is the night of the candle light vigil being held in Target‘s honor at Pima County Animal Care Center, the pound where she was mistakenly euthanized.

Chondra Perry (Brooke Army Medical Center)

Here Capt. Lawrence Minnis sits with his two pit bulls he adopted through the humane society’s Dog Tags program, in which Soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Fred W. Baker III/US Military

Here volunteer Mac McDaniel takes his therapy dog Baxter on a visit to Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.

Don Robbins, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs

Here’s Anna again, but this time she’s on a stroll through the garden at the Warrior Family Support Center with Spc. Richard Bonnell and pet handler Becky Atkinson.

Chondra Perry (Brooke Army Medical Center)

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.