On Sunday, May 8th, a two-year-old Jack Russell terrier name Patron was honored by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The tail-wagging, bomb-sniffing dog received a medal for his service to his country along with his human dad Mykhailo Iliev.
The Defense of Ukraine, the official Twitter page for the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, shared a video clip of the ceremony. Patron was clearly excited to be receiving his honor.
According to NPR, Patron has sniffed out more than 200 undetonated bombs since the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022. The dog is trained to detect gun powder. Once he finds a scent, Patron notifies his human teammates who work to uncover and defuse the ordinance.
Outfitted in a vest with a Ukrainian flag and his name, Patron labors alongside his human dad, Iliev, who works for the Civil Protection Service.
When he is not sniffing out bombs, Patron likes to stop and smell the tulips as seen in this Instagram post.
With over 260,000 Instagram followers, the hard-working pup has become a social media celebrity. Take a moment to browse the photos of Patron working, playing, and meeting with world leaders - it is sure to bring a smile during a difficult time.
War is a ghastly endeavor, with innocent people killed, massive property destruction, and lives forever changed. Amidst the pain and tragedy, we find heroes - individuals who risk their lives to help their country. Sometimes those heroes have four legs, chase balls, and enjoy eating cheese.