Tuesday, February 6, 2018

US: Retired military working dog Rico takes his final mission

(Dover AirForce Base)  Members of the 436th Security Forces Squadron, military working dogs and their handlers formed outside the veterinary clinic Jan. 24, 2018, at Dover AFB for Rico’s “last call.” The eight-year veteran military working dog had been suffering from canine degenerative myelopathy for the last few months, and the decision was made to lay him to rest. “It’s hard to describe the loss I feel,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Salter, 436th SFS kennel master and Rico’s first handler. “I know Rico is in a better place and is running around again finding bombs and biting bad guys, but it’s also sad because my partner isn’t around for me to see whenever I need that look he would give. He had a way of saying ‘get up dad, time to work.’”
Rico retired from service as a MWD in January 2016 and for the past two years lived as the family pet of his last handler, Jason Spangenberg. Before that, Spangenberg and Rico tore up Afghanistan, both earning the bronze star for their selfless service detecting more than 100 pounds of explosive material on more than 100 combat missions over a four-month period in 2013. The two also trained more than 300 Afghan local police officers on counter improvised explosive device tactics and techniques.