Sabi is a four year old Australian sniffer dog trained to search for roadside bombs for the Special Forces of Australia, pictured here courtesy of the Times Online.
She was returned just a week ago by an unknown Afghan man, having been found at a remote patrol base in Uruzgan by a US soldier. It is not known how she survived over a year in the area, but the US soldier knew she was not a stray as she understood certain commands. Sabi’s trainer commented:
“I nudged a tennis ball to her with my foot and she took it straight away. It’s a game we used to play over and over during her training. It’s amazing, just incredible, to have her back.”
The black Labrador went missing in September 2008 when the Taliban ambushed US and Australian forces in the Uruzgan province. Her handler and eight other people were wounded.
In January this year, SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson, currently in London following a meeting with the Queen, was presented with the Victoria Cross for rescuing an interpreter during the battle. Donaldson commented:
“She’s the last piece of the puzzle. Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008. It’s a fantastic morale-booster for the guys.”
Sabi is now to go through quarantine and medical examination before she can return to Australia for a well earned rest.
Dogs have become highly important counterparts to the thousands of soldiers stationed in war zones worldwide and Sabi is the first dog to have been lost missing in action and still to return home.