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Missing-in-action Labrador found in the desert

sabiAfter 14 months in the Afghan desert, a missing-in-action Labrador retriever — attached to an Australian Army bomb detection unit — was found by a U.S. soldier.

Sabi was declared missing after a bloody battle with the Taliban that began after an ambush of a convoy made up of U.S., Afghan and Australian soldiers. Nine soldiers, including Sabi’s handler, were wounded.

A U.S. soldier found Sabi roaming with an Afghan man in Oruzgan Province last week, Australia’s Townsville Bulletin reported.

The U.S. soldier said it was immediately obvious that the Labrador was specially trained — and understood English. ”I took the dog and gave it some commands it understood,” he said.

Sabi appeared in good health. She was flown to Kandahar to be checked by a veterinarian before her return to Australia.

The Australian Special Operations Task Group had made repeated attempts to discover the fate of the dog and never gave up hope.

”She’s a tough little bugger, absolutely as tough as nails,” Chief Trainer Sergeant Damian Dunne said. “For a dog to be missing for so long to be found … everyone is stoked.”

Sabi, like her fellow bomb detection dogs, came from a dog pound and was trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices. She was first deployed in 2007 and was nearing the end of her second deployment when she went missing last year.


Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time November 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Wow, her story would make quite a book. Better than fiction. Abandoned in a pound, rescued, trained as a military dog, sent on dangerous missions in a faraway country. Then lost and found again after a year of wandering. I hope the next chapter of her story will include a comfortable climate, lots of food, some green trees and grass, and humans who love her.