A bomb sniffer dog that dodged death over five tours of duty has retired with full honours.
Buster, who was attached to the RAF, has earned himself an impressive row of medals following campaigns in Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan and what’s more, rather than turn his back on the military forever, he is now the official mascot for the RAF Police.
The 9-year-old springer spaniel help to avoid countless deaths in theatres of conflict, from identifying would-be suicide bombers armed with explosive-laden vests and chasing down Taliban warriors, to sniffing out improvised explosive devices designed to kill unwary American and British troops.
However, his days of front line heroism are now behind him and he is enjoying a well-earned retirement living with his handler Sergeant Michael Barrow, of the RAF Police.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Sgt Barrow praised Buster’s bravery at the sharp end of the war on terror:
“Each time [we were attacked], Buster waited calmly for the action to cease, then carried on his search for improvised explosive devices, and keeping patrols safe.”
However, as anybody who has ever seen The Deer Hunter will attest, adjusting to civilian life after experiencing the horror of war can be difficult, and Buster is no exception. Sgt Barrow commented:
“We had to teach Buster to play with the other dogs.”
“When he was a working dog he only got toys when he made a find. And when he came home he collected up all the dogs’ toys and became very protective of them.”