Today I met a VERY special dog…..

Tink - Dog photography Bedfordshire-1
Apart from her sweet eyes, the first thing that struck me about Tink were the scars on her face. Her owner shared her very moving story with me….

Tink the Labrador was born in America, but trained to be a service dog in the UK, before serving in the war in Afghanistan in 2012.  During her time there she identified many Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), alerting her handler and his colleagues to the danger and allowing them to be safely diffused.

Tink - Dog photography Bedfordshire-3

Unfortunately during one incident where Tink correctly identified a Taliban bomb, another close by exploded in her face (she still bears the shrapnel scars to this day). Tink understandably ran off after the explosion, and was only captured due to the kindness and bravery of an Afghan interpreter who risked his own safety to recover her. She was transported by Helicopter to the canine treatment centre and following her treatment and recovery, was bravely back on duty just 3 weeks later. She subsequently identified a further 16 devices, and no doubt prevented a huge amount of injury during the course of her work. Tink was deservedly awarded a commendation for her service.

Tink - Dog photography Bedfordshire-2

Sadly though, Tink never completely recovered from her traumatic ordeal. She was retired as a service dog, and placed in the Defence Animal Centre in the UK. Happily, the day before her 5th birthday, Tink found her forever home with a young family who completely adore her! She is now 9 years old and still enjoys long walks and lots of cuddles with her humans.

Tink - Dog photography Bedfordshire-4

I am sure everyone agrees that we owe so much to Tink and the many service dogs like her (and of course their amazing handlers) for the brave jobs they do.