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THE DOGS OF WAR He was a dog of no account, a bastard breed someone threw out. A Kelpie with a bit of Blue, perhaps some Border Collie too. A dog endowed with working genes and sense of smell that's mighty keen. The Army boys said, 'He will do, he's just the type we want it's true. The work is hard, the terrain tough but we know this blokes got the stuff. He's got the stamina to work all day and this bloke will not shirk.' So Herbie went to war as well. They relied on his sense of smell. For Herbie's job was finding mines, thus saving those who walked behind and on this day he found the trace; they saw it written on his face but who would know the Taliban would detonate the mine by hand, and Herbie's life came to an end along with his two mates and friends before the mine could be disarmed – three mates were gone and others harmed. And Herbie's just one of a score of dogs that work – The dogs of war. Each day bravely they lead the fray – with just a pat received in pay. They give their all, their second chance. Time may be short, but just a glance from one bloke in a uniform sets their tails wagging – Desert Storm. Part of a team, the men rely – on canine smell and canine eye and if perchance the canine dies – then men in uniform will cry.

So here's to Herbie, Hammer, Jack and and those that didn't make it back. To those who served, and their lives gave – four legged people, loyal and brave. Who snuggled up when nights were cold – whose furry ears were often told of the anguish and fear that dwelt within – they sympathized, men felt the caress of a warm wet tongue, they listened when there was no one but them to talk to in the night – when waiting for the call to fight. He was a dog of no account, a bastard breed someone threw out. Now Herbie's guarding Heavens Gate – right alongside his Human mates. Maureen Clifford © 08/10 ****** Sappers Jacob Daniel Moerland, 21, and Darren James Smith, 25, were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan their bodies were reunited with loved ones at the RAAF Base at Amberley, in Queensland. Sapper Moerland had been in the war zone since February, 2010 and Sapper Smith served less than two months. Sapper Smith's bomb detector dog, Herbie, was also killed in the blast. The dog has been cremated in Afghanistan and his ashes are expected to be delivered to Sapper Smith's wife. The two young soldiers had the most dangerous job of their contingent - clearing roadside bombs ahead of their army comrades.

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