With their unwavering loyalty, fast reflexes and sense of duty, you can see why dogs have always held the esteemed position as man’s best mate – and are used as canine colleagues for soldiers all over the world.
But now there’s a set of snaps that not only illustrates the amazing connection that can be formed between an army dog and the handlers assigned to train them, but are also the perfect proof of just how ace dogs are.
Meet Duo Duo, a German Shepherd serving as a military dog in eastern China, who actually stood up to salute his handler Wang Xudong as he retired from duty. Now that’s respect.
The action took place at the Siyang Squadron station in Suqian, Jiangsu Province last Tuesday 28 November. Wang and his colleagues had been saluting their guard post one last time before their retirement, said the Daily Mail, citing People’s Daily Online and China News Service.
Duo Duo had been sent to patrol the camp at the time, but accidentally caught sight of his handler and refused to leave him – even though Wang told him to go. God, it’s like Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey all over again, but real life.
As Wang and his fellow soldiers gave their final salute to the guard post, the German Shepherd stood up on his hind legs, appearing to salute Wang himself.
Apparently, Duo Duo didn’t need any encouragement to stand to attention, performing the posture for his trainer entirely spontaneously. Duo Duo showed impressive strength and discipline too, holding the pose for over 10 seconds – that’s approximately 10 seconds longer than we’re usually able to pay attention to anything, so props to the little guy.
Thousands of people in China lapped up Duo Duo’s dedication to his trainer, taking to the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Weibo, to show their admiration for the dog.
“Some animals are more emotional than humans,” one user posted on the social media platform.
“Please treat army dogs well after they retire,” another person wrote.
Many more also showed their respect to other army dogs, who are trained to help human soldiers on a day-to-day basis.
You’ve got to put it to these animals, who are capable of abilities most of us humans can only dream of. We just hope that Duo Duo gets his own salute when it’s his own time to hang up his collar – and, while we’re on the case, will someone please give that dog a medal?