When Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald was serving in Afghanistan, a split decision saved his and his brothers’ lives. Julian decided to take U.S. military combat dog Layka into a building.
The decision would save the men’s lives, yet it would humble Julian for the rest of his. Layka was shot four times by enemy fire at point-blank range. Even after that, the courageous dog still fought off and subdued the shooter.
Julian and the men were saved but, like Kay the bomb-sniffing dog, Layka endured seven hours of surgery and had to have one leg amputated. Julian knew what he had to do: adopt Layka.
“I owed this dog every moment that I have from here on out… I felt really bad because I was the one that put her in the building. Then happy at the same time because I was still alive and my buddies to my left and my right were also still alive,” Julian admits. “If the dog has put in the time for the country, then the country owes it to them to put the time into them.”
Yet, the process wouldn’t be easy. They told Julian that Layka was too aggressive, that she was essentially, “unadoptable,” but he fought for her anyway.
“It’s disheartening to know that the people sending me out on targets and are making me fight, call these animals ‘excess equipment,’” Julian says.
Eventually, he was able to bring home the hero who saved him and his fellow men home. Is she too aggressive, because she was a combat dog? Just take a look in the video below.
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