A soldier from Yorkshire and his sniffer dog have been saving lives in Afghanistan by helping to detect explosives. The soldier, L/Cpl Jim Wilkinson, works with his trusty sniffer dog Jamie, a Springer Spaniel, with 103 Theatre Military Working Dogs Support Unit.
Jim and Jamie worked on the front line for their country in December as Jim completed his second tour of Afghanistan. Jamie the sniffer dog however is much more experienced than his handler, having served for more than nine years.
Jamie was an abandoned puppy who was taken in by a rescue home, and picked by the army to be trained as a sniffer dog to detect explosives, no matter how small the quantities.
L/Cpl Jim Wilkinson stated about his colleague:
He’s such a pleasure to work with because he is so experienced, he knows exactly what he is doing and I can just let him get on with it.
Just having Jamie around can really help the lads’ morale – particularly if they have lost someone.
Jamie reminds them of their own pets at home and is just a bit of normality.
I’ve seen guys who have lost friends sit with Jamie for hours, stroking him and just being comforted by him being around.
This is Jamie’s last year of service as he will be retiring from the army when he returns from Afghanistan. Jamie has also served in Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Iraq. For his retirement, Jamie will go to live with Jim’s father in York.