Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sgt Rambo is the March 24, 2019 Pup of the Week

I was awoken earlier this week by my phone barking.  I checked my messages. The Governor Of Dogs had texted me:  “A military dog is passing over today. Be prepared.”

When military or police dogs become immortal all the dogs of their ilk, who had arrived before them, form a line, from the Bridge, then up the stairway, and for several more feet on the cliff overlooking the River, until they reach me at the swearing-in altar. Every year more service dogs pass, and more dogs stand in respect.  I will not be surprised, in ten years, if the line is so long I will be standing in the town square
I heard the church bell toll.  It was the most effective way of spreading information in my communities of Doggyspace and Blogville.  Us dogs have refined hearing. We can tell the difference between individual peels. This one summoned the dogs of war.
They were already lined up when I arrived in my black judge's robe.  Usually, while waiting for a new dog, there is a hum of excitement emitted by the crowd. Today there was only respectful silence.

His name is Sgt Rambo.  After more than a thousand hours of training, Rambo did his service in the Marines.  His charge was to sniff out explosive devices to keep his comrades at arm's safe. He served both stateside and overseas in 2011 and 2012.  He became ill and lost a limb and then he was retired out of the military.

He shared a home with army veteran Lisa Phillips.  Phillips started a non-profit called Gizmo's Gift. It raised money to pay for medical care for retired military dogs.  Sergeant Rambo became the charity’s mascot.

The organization also finds forever homes for retired police and military dogs.  Sgt Rambo and Phillips visited educational events, schools and businesses to raise awareness about service dogs.  In 2015 Rambo was awarded military dog of the year at the American humane association hero dog awards.

And now the bell was tolling for him.  I saw Rambo slowly walking on his three legs as he crossed the Bridge.  Despite the loss of limb he still carried himself with dignity. As he reached the stairs, a dog stepped out of line and handed him his missing leg.  It slipped into place quickly. Rambo smiled in relief then climbed the stairs.

We could tell he wanted to test that leg on a good run.  But, he still kept his military bearing as he climbed the steps.  When he reached the top, the boxer band played God bless America. When the trumpeter blew the final notes, I administered the oath, and every dog cheered.

After Rambo got his wings, he was given a large feast.  I was invited, had a bit of food and promptly left. I was the dog who had given the oath, like a preacher at a wedding.  No one minded me being there, but they hoped I would quickly eat the fish and go.

A few days after Rambo's passed he invited me to attend his funeral as a ghost.  I thought it would be a typical backyard affair with close friends and dogs. But Rambo was given a full military funeral with a 21 gun salute.  Phillips received the folded flag. There were hundreds of ghosts and even more military personnel who attended. It was a lovely salute to a hero.

All dogs deserve such tributes, and our parents would like to give them to us.  Maybe someday they will. For now, we will leave it to just the brave.


  1. It's good to know canine heroes are given such salutes.

  2. Such a hero, we are glad he is with you now.

  3. we bow our head to honor a hero...

  4. We are proud to know that Sgt Rambo received such a fitting send off and welcome to the Bridge
    Hazel & Mabel


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