Ruby Wins  Chris out flatTraining military working dog, Ruby, in Iraq.

These are some scenes from a recent training session of MWD, Ruby. One photo shows Ruby stopping the “bad guy” and the second shows Ruby providing backup while her handler checks out the prostrated “bad guy”.

We know you are really a stand up guy, Chris. Thanks for sharing the photos.

South Cobb High School has a dedicated Animal Club called “Boggs Doggs” which is supported by the entire campus community of administrators, teachers and students and is under the leadership of Chemistry Teacher, Rhonda Sykes.

For a sneak peek at some of the things they do, check out their website:

Two of the student members, Alex and Jenny, went above and beyond the call of duty and wrote out Christmas cards to be sent to all of the deployed dog handlers that we could reach across the theatre of operations. Their cards were read and displayed at kennels from the Syrian border to the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan.

The entire Boggs Doggs group also requested an opportunity to “adopt” some dog handlers and we matched them up with four Camp Pendleton Marines, just in time for Christmas. The group wrote personal letters to all four handlers. Enjoy photos taken while the students were busily composing their Christmas letters. Thanks, Boggs Doggs for a job well done!

Boggs Doggs writing letters Letterwriters Merry Christmas greetings

You gotta love that FURminator Company. They make a terrific product and then, patriotic and generous, they share that wonderful product with us so we can support our Military Working Dogs. Since the charting of MWDTSA, the FURminator Company has been very gracious with us and, of course, we also have numerous individual donors who send us FURminators, too. (Including my own veterinarian.) This item is often at the top of everyone’s “Wish List”.

Here are some photos that we’ve taken or had sent to us showcasing the wonder grooming tool. Notice how in some cases, you could almost build another dog out of the hair taken out of the coat. You know that has to feel good to a working dog.

When I checked with one of the handlers to whom we had sent a FURminator as soon as he landed in Iraq and asked him if others in his unit would like to have one, he send this reply: “Actually I think there was two guys who tried to get me to part with mine. LOL. I’ll check to see if they’re still in need of them tho and ill get back to you.”

I love being FURminated FURminator 100_1446

One of the things that I love is getting “awesome calls” or “awesome emails”. These are the contacts out of the blue from people saying, ” I want to help.” “We’d like to do a fundraiser.” or “We have a donation for you.” Last week I got an awesome call from Jody McGlothlin telling me “We have a donation for you.” I went to pick it up today and it was a wonderful give from Invisible Fence. Here’s a photo of Jody with the information packet and check tucked safely inside. Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Warm memories of homes, hearths and hounds at holiday time bring a special smile to the hearts of many folks. Today was a such a day for me. I got a Christmas card with a wonderful photo of retired MWD Egon and former AF Handler James Kessel. Egon is such a great, great dog. Earlier in the day I got a call from one of my friends advising that there might be a few retired MWDs available within the next few weeks here on the east coast.

If you’ve considered adopting a retired Military Working Dog, have a good knowledge of and history working with large breed dogs and can provide a loving retirement home for a true American hero, please let us know. Most of the retired dogs will be in the 8-10 year range and some will have aches and pains of old age and hard work, but their hearts will continue to want to please you.

Off TrackLet me take a brief moment out of the whirlwind of activity surrounding the holidays, the gifts, the trips to the post office and the emails stacking up to share some of the beauty of the season with you.

For many people, their first dog as a child indicates the type of dog they enjoy as an adult  a dachshund, a schnauzer, a beagle etc. For me, my first dog, Lassie was my constant companion from before I can even remember. She was as ever present as any influence in my childhood. And, although she wasn t a collie, to my toddler s brain, I must have thought she was. But, it wasn t so much the look of Lassie that seeped into my soul as the spirit of a dog like Lassie. And, as an adult, about the first decision I made after getting married and buying a house, was adopting a dog.

Not just any dog, but a stray German shepherd dog we named Gypsy, who was rescued by some kind soul when she was in full season and full of buckshot. We spayed her, guessed her to be about three years old, started obedience training and began the journey of learning about this magnificent breed, the German shepherd dog. That was 35 years ago and I never cease to be a student of the wonderful lessons these dogs can teach me, but I sometimes simply forget to take time and stop to look in awe at their beauty, their eyes, their kindess and their elegant lines and floating trots. For whatever breed you adore, whether it be a Labrador Retriever, a Belgian Malinois or the GSD, there is a special beauty there that speaks directly to the quiet place in your soul. Let me share some of the beauty of our Military Working Dogs with you.

MWD Barry just chilliln' in the air conditioned vehicle

Rex_V (Ft. Stewart Dog handed by James Hurt) Rex in the snow

Sabine with plaque and flag

MSgt Ferguson on Blackhawk Iraq

Ken Besecker presenting flag to Fabio Yepes. Sabine Yepes (store owner) and Jennifer O'Neill and Jeff Taylor (store employees) look on.


In unincorporated Macedonia, Georgia is a wonderful business called TC Country, a store that specializes in the country life. They carry feed, seed, country and western clothes, gifts and supplies for horses, dogs and cats. The store is owned by Sabine and Fabio Yepes and has been a stalwart supporter of Military Working Dog Team Support Association, Inc. from the beginning. They helped in so many ways as we got our organization started up and running by giving us wonderful donations and great pricing along with spreading our news by word of mouth to their customers.
Over the year and a half or so that we’ve been sending support to Iraq and Afghanistan, we shared their story with some of the dog handlers. One of the handlers, a Program Manager in Iraq, asked if we would be interested in having an American flag flown on a dog mission to later present to the Sabine, Fabio and their staff. We did just that. In September of 2008 we were finally able to get everything together to make the presentation. Here are a few photos of that day. Thanks again Sabine, Fabio, TC Country staff and the wonderful customers who have so generously shared their gifts with the dogs and handlers. We are also including a photo of the Program Manager that made the event possible.

More items donated by MS. Wilson
Items donated by Ms. Wilson

Items donated by Ms. Wilson

Donated items from Top Dogs

Donated items from Top Dogs

James Kessel and Egon at Top Dogs

James Kessel and Egon at Top Dogs

Egon at Top Dogs

Egon at Top Dogs

MWDTSA has had some amazing support for our missions this past week. We received a wonderful check from Top Dogs Pet Boutique which will assist us with the postage costs of sending boxes of holiday support. In November we kicked off the fundraiser at Top Dogs with an opportunity to meet two Vietnam Veteran Dog Handlers and one currently retired Military Working Dog, Egon. The warm reception that we received at Top Dogs and the incredible support from their customers was heartwarming.

Additionally, we received a thoughtful and generous donation of in-kind products to be sent to the dogs and handlers. It was rounded up by one individual with the support of some of her friends and was so overwhelming that it really finished out most of the shopping that we needed to do for the holidays. Truly an inspiration. We’ve spent the better part of this week packaging Priority boxes and heading up to the local Post Office with “hand trucks” full of packages being sent to various kennels.

The local post office staff has adopted us as their own. Sometimes we hear grumbling behind us as we wait in line with an obviously large and time-consuming number of outgoing packages, but when people comment and we let them know the boxes are for the dogs and the troops, they immediately settle down and smile- usually sharing a story about their own loved ones who have been in harm’s way along the way. It is this kind of support that makes me know what MWDTSA does touches many more people than just the handlers.