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The E-Sylum (2/7/2010)

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We've discussed the Dickin medals before, but it's been a few years. The latest will be awarded later this month. -Editor

HE has saved the lives of hundreds of troops with his uncanny ability to detect Taliban roadside bombs. Dressed in a heavy black protective coat, he works tirelessly in the searing Afghan heat, often while under enemy fire.

But all he wants in return for his brave efforts is a bowl of food, water and the odd cuddle.

Dickin Medal winner Treo

Because this military hero is a MUTT. Army sniffer dog Treo will receive the animal version of the Victoria Cross this month.

The now retired eight-year-old Labrador, from 104 Military Working Dog Support Unit, Royal Army Veterinary Corps, twice saved soldiers and civilians from death while out on patrol in Helmand.

Thanks to Treo, the Taliban's plots to slaughter hundreds of soldiers and civilians were foiled.

The proud pooch will be given his gong, called the Dickin Medal, by Princess Alexandra at a ceremony at the Imperial War Museum on February 24.

Dickin medal Treo's handler for five years, Sgt Dave Heyhoe, will also be there. Treo is now a family pet.

The Dickin Medal was started by vet charity PDSA and is the highest award an animal can get for gallantry or devotion to duty in a military conflict.

It was introduced in 1943 by PDSA founder Maria Dickin. Treo will be the 63rd animal to receive the medal.

A total of 26 other dogs, 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat have won the medal.

To read the complete article, see: A tail of Bravery (

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