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article imageBomb Sniffing Dog Awarded Dickin Medal,

By Bob Gordon     Mar 7, 2010 in Lifestyle
The highest award for animal bravery in military or civil defense service, the Dickin Medal, was recently bestowed upon Treo, an eight-year-old Labrador Retriever by The Queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra.
The Dickin Medal is awarded by the The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom. Maria Dickin, founder of the PDSA instituted the Dickin Medal in 1943 to acknowledges outstanding acts of bravery by animals serving with the Armed Forces or Civil Defence units. It has become recognized as the animals' Victoria Cross', and is administered by the PDSA.
According to the Boston Standard (UK), Treo is "a courageous canine who has been taking on the Taliban with a Boston-area handler that has been awarded the animal's equivalent of the Victoria Cross for his life-saving work."
On February 24, 2010 at the Imperial War Museum, accompanied by his handler Sergeant Dave Heyhoe, PDSA patron, Princess Alexandra presented the medal.
Sgt. Heyhoe had effusive praise for his award-winning partner:
Treo is a very special dog. There's a reason why I call him 'my boy'; it's because I feel safe when he is by my side and I know he has saved my life many times over. During the six months we spent in Helmand Province the challenge was unrelenting, but Treo did not waver from his duties for a second. He's a true soldier friend.
PDSA chairman Michael Bolton offered similar words of praise, words usually reserved for human heroes:
We are proud to honour Treo with the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animals' VC, for his gallantry in saving countless human lives. He continued with his duties irrespective of the dangers that faced him and in the process saved many, many lives.
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