Guest posted by tim, The Godless Heathen
"A US military dog who lost her leg while on duty in Afghanistan has become the first to be awarded the animal equivalent of a British Victoria Cross.
German Shepherd Lucca, aged 12, completed over 400 separate missions during six years of active service with the U.S. military, where she would sniff out explosives.
However, her final patrol came in March 2012, when she alongside her then handler Corporal Juan Rodriguez, discovered a 30lb improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
As Lucca searched for the device, a second bomb exploded and she instantly lost her front leg and suffered severe burns to her chest - but miraculously no soldiers were injured in the blast.
Corporal Rodriguez administered first aid to his dog before she was airlifted to Germany to recover, and within ten days she was up and walking again.
Today, Lucca travelled to London from southern California with her former handler and owner Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Willingham to be awarded the PDSA Dickin medal."
The rest here, with some great pictures and videos.