The definition of a hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities, and I have recently learned about a hero who is all those things…except the person part.
Earlier this week, Lucca, a bomb sniffing Marine canine was honored as a war hero when she received the PDSA Dickin Medal, an honor bestowed on animals who exhibit gallantry and bravery. The Dickin Medal is the animal equivalent of the British Victoria Cross, which is on par with the United States’ Medal of Honor.
During her 400 patrols searching for explosives and IEDs in Afghanistan and Iraq, Lucca was so successful that not one soldier from the U.S. or the UK was injured, except when Lucca herself lost a leg to an explosive device while on patrol in 2012. Her handlers credit her with saving the lives of hundreds of soldiers over her six years of service.
Heroes don’t have to be human; they just have to be brave.
Lucca is now retired and living happily in California with her first handler and trainer. Watch Lucca’s story here…