Posted November 30, 2019 14:15:16The K-8 handler of a K-12 soldier is celebrating his dog’s bravery after his dog successfully saved him during a firefight.
The K9 was one of the officers on a patrol at the edge of the Dandenong Hills, about 70 kilometres west of the CBD, on Saturday.
It was not known if the K9, named Bump, was wearing a life-saving device but it did deploy its tail and was seen on a nearby rooftop and near a bush.
The officer said he was worried about the dog as it was not wearing a collar and had a black muzzle.
“I had the worst day of my life because of the dog,” he said.
He said he and his colleagues did not have a good understanding of what they were up against.
Mr Koepp said he did not think Bump would be able to see the battle but was “extremely grateful” to the dog for being there to help.
Bump is a service dog for the K-1 officer.
I thought he would be here to protect me and my dog but it was a dog that I knew that I could trust, he said, adding that he was pleased the K8 was there.
When the dog was deployed, Bump was able to grab a rifle that had fallen from a bush and run back towards the patrol.
“I don’t think we ever thought we would get there without it,” he joked.
His partner, a K9 handler, said Bump’s bravery was “tough, yet not unbeatability”.
The K7 handler said he could not be more proud of his K9 partner, who he said has been a “huge asset”.
“We were out there trying to protect a couple of people,” he told News.
“And they just happened to come along and help us.”
The K8 handler said his dog was a “hero” for taking Bump down a hill with him and the rest of the patrol, which had been outnumbered.
“[Bump] is a professional.
He is a veteran and knows the terrain very well,” he added.
In addition to saving the officer, Bump is also part of a special task force on the K7 patrol, called “K8-9”, which he said is trained to be “all in” and “no-bullshit”.
Bump’s training included working with the K3 handler, who is also a K8.
There are three K9 handlers on the patrol and a K7, which is split between the K6 and K8 handlers.
Both have a different role to their K8s.
K7 handler “has to go to work” and the K5 handler is deployed to a target, the K1 handler is tasked with a target and the other handler is “out in the field”.
K8 handler is a specialised “support animal” who does not get along well with other animals, such as kangaroos, but is trained “to be all in” for long distances.
They can carry a rifle, have a dog and a backpack, and can search for food and water, he added, adding “there is nothing like having a K6 dog on your side”.