It was a proud moment for Ukraine’s famous mine sniffing dog Patron and its owner to receive a medal from President Volodymyr Zelensky. On Sunday, the medal was presented to recognize their dedicated service since Russia’s invasion.
The pint-sized jack Russell terrier is credited with detecting more than 200 explosives and preventing their detonation since the start of the war on Feb. 24. As a result, the dog quickly became a canine symbol of Ukrainian patriotism.
Zelensky made the award at the news conference in Kyiv with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The pup barked and wagged its tail, prompting laughter from the audience. Trudeau also patted his pockets as though looking for a dog treat.
“Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper – Patron – helps neutralize explosives and teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat,” Zelensky said in a statement after the ceremony.
The award also went to the Patron’s owner, a major in the Civil Protection Service, Myhailo Iliev.