Lucca: Americas Top Dog
A young veteran shifted in his uncomfortable wheelchair ever since he lost his leg in combat he struggled to adapt to his new life at times. His frustration and grief threatened to overwhelm him. That was why his therapist had recommended that he attended the therapy dog event. Supposedly the common canines would offer comfort and help him recover from his mental wounds. The veteran wasn't wasn't so sure he wanted someone who understood what he was. Going through. Not a pampered pet but he straightened in excitement when he saw the nine year old Belgian Malawai German shepherd mix approach her golden for rippled in the sunlight and her big pointy is. Were perked up alert alert for any new site so sounds however. The veteran was focused on something else. She was missing her front and left leg her trainer Gunnery Sergeant. Chris Willing Ham introduced the dog as Luca she was a former marine and who had lost her leg on duty but even this tough. Canine had fun nicknames. Luca and Mama Luka. The young man reached forward letting Lucas Sniff and lick his palm. His heart swelled. Here was a dog who knew what heaping through and now she continued to happily serve. How wagging tail and lolling tongue evidence of her cheerful demeanor as S.? He stroked Lucas for the veterans suddenly felt a lot less alone in the world. You're welcome to dog tales apart cast original every week. We retell the stories of historic heroic canines. We'll profile dogs. Who Save people from Earth? Quakes went to outer space and even spurred the invention of Velcro L. Crow if you're looking for funds stories and a warm heart you'll barking up the right tree. I'm your host Alistair. You can find episodes of Doug Tales and all other podcast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream details for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type don't tales in the search bar at podcast with grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram Graham at podcast and twitter at Parkas network. And if you enjoyed today's episode the best way to help is to leave a five star review wherever. You're listening doing this week. With telling the story of Luca Abell Jim Mallon wa. German shepherd mix who was deployed twice to Iraq and wants to Afghanistan Afghanistan as a bomb sniffer. She had a phenomenal career leading more than four hundred successful patrols before she lost a leg in an explosion but Luca is known not only for her wartime service but for her post retirement career as a service. Animal all dog lovers know about the special bond that develops between canine nine and its master. Scientists don't fully understand why dogs are so loyal and loving to their human caretakers. But they know that these social bonds a key to a young dogs development Luca a bomb sniffer for the US Marines. Shed a special love with two different trainers. Each master changed her and intern. Luca transformed both of them forever. She met her first partner. Marine Chris Willingham in the spring of two thousand six the two year old Belgium maller Wa German shepherd mix was fresh out of basic obedience training and ready to learn all about bomb-sniffing duties. Chris was immediately struck by Lucas clear shop gates. She looked tim up and down which he interpreted as curiosity and intelligence. Although she obediently sat still he could see how how she thrums with energy. Chris was immediately taken with the dog. He dubbed Mama Luka and Luke Cabrera from that first first fateful meeting. Chris began what he called the best job in the world every day. He practiced with Luca from the outside. Best best sessions might have looked like playtime but in reality. Chris was laying the groundwork for a bond between trainer and Canine bomb-sniffing dogs see their duties like a game of hide-and-seek if they find a special hidden item they get a toy. A train might behind an object. That smells like bomb making chemicals and stash it near something tempting like discarded food if the dog is able to focus on their mission and avoid. Avoid the distraction. They're rewarded with a place session. But in the real world there are usually multiple I e D's hidden in a small area area. A bomb sniffing dog needs to find that target get their rewards and then get right back to work to emulate this experience trainers get. The dogs used to only playing for a minute or two then resuming their hunt. At first Lucas problem was that she liked her prizes. Too much. Once had toys came out she couldn't be bothered to return it or hunt for any more chemicals sensitive objects so. Chris had to adapt his tactics. Chris knew that Luke loved rubber. Treat Phil Chew Toys called Calms. So he began bringing Tutu each training session instead of just one. Once Luca found her first practice bomb he would throw a calling for Luca Chase. She'd fetch it. Chew for a minute and then Chris with throat the second another race would ensue off to which he throws the original again. Not only was the extended did fetch session fun. It was exactly what Luca needed to keep her motivation up when her rewards were bigger she was more willing to Focus Gazon her tasks. Once Chris finally took the Kong's back she excelled. Chris believed she was the best in her class. The anecdote highlighted the importance of forging. A strong connection between trainer and dog. Luke responded positively to longer play sessions but another canine might have needed a different incentive. It was Chris Responsibility to understand Lucas Personality and adapt his style oil to hers once. Chris figured out what Luca needed that bond was unbreakable and this was important as a good connection is key to a bomb. Sniffing dogs success. Nothing can replace. What a well trained? Canine can bring to a team. Although nearly nineteen eighteen billion dollars have been spent trying to develop better explosive detection technology. Nothing has been able to top a dog's natural abilities. He's part of. This is because of a canines amazing. No's Columbia University's doke Nisshin researcher. Alexandra Horowitz it's explained smells have different layers which probably give dogs a much bigger range of types of information in other words if someone were to put but three strongly scented objects together a human might only noticed the blend but dogs can pick out the individual smells and even determine how much time has passed since they were each left. This means that dogs can smell the chemical components. That make up improvised is explosive devices or homemade bombs they can pick up the scent even if the bombmaker tries to mask them with other smells and they can find find the weapons four times faster than human bomb detectors and with over fifty percent more accuracy however the job was still risky especially because Luka was trained to work off leash in other words she was able to range around following following her nose wherever it took her without restraints. Chris had no way to physically prevent her from running off through a minefield instead. She had to stay disciplined willing to follow any verbal command. Right left stay. Luckily Lou Cabrera was highly intelligent and a quick student. Chris had nothing but confidence in the dog even as they shipped off to Baghdad. Chris Luca were deployed in two thousand seven. The deadliest year for marines Iraq Lucas first deployment was sure to be a trial by fire. They landed on April twenty third two thousand seven precisely one year after they'd first been assigned to one another compared to an ordinary bomb-sniffing dog who can hit the field off six to eight weeks. Lucas extended training period was an eternity but in reality Hell Year of preparation was appropriate for the high level skills. She developed to work off Leash Zhou as Maria Gudava jr explained in her book. Top Dog the story of marine hero. Luca if standard working dogs have bachelor's degrees specialized such dogs have PhD's and Lucas soon demonstrated that she brought more to the table than her bomb-sniffing abilities almost as soon as she in. Chris arrived at their new home. Base members of the platoon approached the team to Pat Lucas head. And scratch her is. She was happy to greet her visitors with a smile and a wagging tail her good attitude was infectious but Chris didn't realize allies how valuable her positive demeanor was until his first night Camp Falcon. He was awakened before dawn by the sound of alarms and explosions. Enemies were lobbing mortar shells toward the base. Chris scrambled awake slid slid harness onto Luka and sprinted to the nearest shelter as he shut the door behind him. He faced a sea of scared soldiers. But as soon as they saw the dog they all relaxed she offered just the comfort they needed during the attack while they waited for the all clear each soldier one by one pet her and shared stories of their own beloved pets back home. The encounter in the shelter was just one of many times. That Lucas Demeanor helped morale. She also provided stability while on patrol. Chris Luca abair were initially assigned to accompany an army platoon as they fought for control of the Tigris river which flowed south of Baghdad it Luca more than rose to the occasion as she and Chris searched along the banks she identified at least two improvised explosive explosive devices. Or I-I DIS Chris Signal to the troops behind him. They cleared the area before activating the bombs. Making the land. Unsafe one small. It was the first of many victories fluker during her first deployment. She identified dozens of weapon cash hash as an IEP DIS. She was so successful. She was deployed a second time in October. Two Thousand Eight this time accompanying Chris too deep Aena in southern Iraq. During the two tours there were no fatalities or human injuries. Under Lucas. Watch her work was thorir. She demonstrated incredible focus in the field and she was always at Christie's side when they patrolled rolled when they practiced and when they slept Chris came to feel like Luca was an extension of himself he even earned the nickname name dot guy from some members of his platoon. Who didn't know his real name? He didn't mind. He was proud to be associated with Luca Bear. It was during this second tour that Chris got to know one word Rigas who went by the nickname rant. They'd actually met briefly while stationed in California but it. It was in Iraq that Chris I saw rod in action. He was also adult trainer with a Belgian memoir named Ralph. Chris was impressed impressed by the professionalism and Catholic attention to detail road lights Chris too but even more he loved Luca. He hoped he'd see the cheerful canine again. After his deployment ended Chris and luke return from Iraq in April a two thousand nine after which they helped train new dogs and handlers and California he was grateful to be stateside again but it came with a challenge. He never faced abroad. Hey Luka had to stay on the base every night while he went home to his family luckily she didn't have to be alone for along. Chris visited her every day. In addition once rod returned to California in the spring of two thousand eleven he also made a habit of stopping by Moluccas Kennel and keeping her company he never failed to smile. It had good nature and bright intelligent gays just as rod and Lucas. Started to bond Chris's term of service was coming to an end. He weighed the pros and cons of leaving. The Marines means. He loved Luca desperately. He often woke up at night anxious that he couldn't hear her breathing beside him. He knew she wasn't old enough to retire. If she was going into the field again he wanted to be with her on the other hand. His family needed him back home. His daughter had been born while he was abroad and Chris wanted to get to know how better so even though he knew it would hurt hurt to lose Luca. He chose not to reenlist one warm night in March launch. Two thousand eleven. Chris Chat Luca out of her Kennels and took her for a walk up a Grassy Hill. He wanted to say his goodbyes. In the quiet beauty of nature Luca had no way of understanding what was going on. She just sat atop the hill had knows periodically seriously twitching. As the slight breeze. Brought her new sense. Chris listened to her breathing. Occasional scrabble's of pause against the dirt art sporadic thumps of her tail against the ground. He wanted to remember every detail given the danger sheet face. He didn't know if he'd ever see Luca again. After this Lucas sustains a life threatening threatening battlefield injury now back to the story from two thousand seven the two thousand eleven Belgium memoir German shepherd mix Luca served as a bomb sniffing dog in Iraq. During those four years she worked nearly nearly four hundred successful patrols with no recorded fatalities or injuries. Her bond with her trainer Chris Willingham was powerful. Foale which was why his heart broke when he chose not to re enlist rather than plunge straight into civilian life. Chris accepted less dangerous position as a detachment commander at the American Embassy. In Finland. The new job had several perks. WCHS including the option to live with his family in Helsinki. But it didn't call for a bomb sniffing dog. Luckily Chris had the opportunity T- TO PICK WHO Lucas new partners should be and he had just the right person in mind. One broad Rodriguez he goes rod already knew he wouldn't be working with his former partner Rolf again and was awaiting a new dog. So he had an inkling of what to expect when Chris called him and said that he wanted rod to work with Luca on the next deployment. Rod was humbled by. Chris's trusted Austin Him. He'd always known that Luka was more than an ordinary bomb-sniffer she was Chris's dog his feelings for all but confirmed confirmed with Chris's next words. He said one thing. I'm hoping to adopt Luca when she retires. I'd like her to be part of our family. I just wanted you to know that from the outset rod replied. I'll take good care of her but she'll be your couch potato staff sergeant with that. Chris gave Rod Moluccas favourite toys as he waited tit for the final days of his service to run out. He gave Rod Watt Tips. He could their first couple practices. Were rough whenever Luca. Successfully Salie identified a chemically. scented toy road would praise her her tail would wag but she paused to wait for more information. She didn't feel like like the job was done until Chris confirmed that she done well. Once Chris joined a practice to watch Rawdon Luca in action and assess. Assess how they were bonding. He hid just out of sight behind some bushes so as not to distract the dog but as soon as rod gave the Command Luke to seek she bounded into a sprint and stopped right outside the Bush where Chris was hidden. She'd found something something better than any toy Rawdon. Chris agreed that Luca would benefit from a bit of distance. So long as she believed that Chris would come back for her at any moment. She keep rod at arm's length so Chris reduced the number of visits. He paid Luca he stopped hoped. Dropping by the Kennels to patter and play and in his absence Rod and Luca established their own report. She came to trust him even love him even. So it was worrisome when rod land he and Luca will be deployed to Afghanistan's Helmand Ullman province. One of the deadliest military destinations. Six of Afghanistan's ten most violent regions within Helmand. Lucas Service in Iraq had been difficult but Afghanistan would be her harshest test although he'd been keeping his distance. The Chris knew he had to give Luca a final farewell before she left during what seemed like could be their last day together. He patted her back and pulled her in close for a hug. His Face Frist against Lucas. Sensitive is Chris vowed. This isn't goodbye. Luca it's just a temporary thing roads a great guy and he'll take good care of you with his partner in tow rod flew to Helmand province and adapted to his new normal. He shed bunk bed with another trainer while Luca and her new roommate made a Belgium. Malamute named Darko slept on the floor. During the day. Luca maintained her typically cheerful demeanor. The other soldiers couldn't help but notice her omnipresent smile and wagging tail once wrote call to Man Patting Lucas head. The soldier explained she's really calming road was encouraged to see that. Lucas temperament hadn't changed since his separation from Chris. He didn't want any feelings wings of abandonment to interfere with how work while bomb-sniffing dogs aunt pets. It's still important to establish trust loyalty and affection action between the Canine and it's trainer as marine turn journalist. Sarah oems explained in an article for business insider bomb-sniffing dogs a a motivator by the promise of treats play but the highest performing military animals also long to earn their trainers praise. And this Zayas US springs from a healthy and affectionate relationship. There's also the fact that bomb-sniffing is difficult tense. Work just like like people. Dog Sneak. Mental breaks to unwind and avoid potentially deadly mistakes if a canine likes. It's trainer and enjoys playing. They'll be more able to let loose and shake off the ongoing stress even in Afghanistan. Rod found that Luka was highly focused eager you get to please and curious about the world around her. She practically lives help with excitement when he patted her head or said good girl for the first few months Luca maintained her perfect record. Wrought was especially impressed at her obvious experience and comfort around minefields. He barely had to give her instructions at all. When they arrived? In a dangerous area she just began sniffing thanks to her professionalism. Eliza and skill Luca cat racking up the fines and I e e d buried near a farm bombs in the center of haystacks each represented presented a life saved an injury never sustained on March twenty third two thousand twelve when they were ordered to investigate a barren arenfield. In southern Afghanistan's know how Suraj district it felt like any other patrol according to Intel. I will likely buried read amongst the dirt just another normal day eight year old Luca. Luca kept her nose to the ground and her tail in the air. Sniffing the whole way through the field she crist crossed and soon gave the urgent tail wag. That only meant one thing. She found something Rod and the army. Patrolman gathered round to see what Luca had identified a cache of firearms and ammunition surely left by insurgents. Urgence road called for the rest of the troops to collect the weapons while they worked Luca whimpered and poured the air eager to keep sniffing so rod. Let her go once. Again Mama Luka paste over the dry land is cocked forward nose to the ground. She had no way of knowing how much dangerous she and her team wherein but she did know that the stakes were high her nose that valuable asset that allowed her to detect bomb making materials also clued her in to what rod was feeling Italian and Portuguese researchers found that human sweat changes its chemical composition when the person us in this feeling either happy or scared and when forty Labrador retrievers were fitted with heart monitors and exposed to the fear sweat their own impulses increased. Not only did the dog's sense. The People's fear they end pathetically became frightened themselves so now. Luca almost certainly picked up on rods nerves. She stepped carefully then identified another sent sent this time. It was a bomb once again. He called his team who disarmed and removed the I. E. D. as the I. E. D. was removed. Luca continued to work. She could smell more. The patrol resumed excited by her continued. Success Luca bounded fullwood her feet touched earth and a shower of dirt. Dirt spewed up around her Rod. Her two distinct sounds cut through the air. The first was the roar of an explosion. The second was a pain frightened. Howell Luca had stepped on a buried? I E D and it had blown beneath her rod knew. This wasn't even the worst of the danger. Taliban snipers sometimes hid near minefields. Picking off soldiers medics while they tried to rescue their injured. Comrades heedless of the danger he sprinted over to the blast site to find Luca Howling and whimpering in pain road could see that left front leg was bleeding profusely and her poor was missing. He shouted first aid support and Applied Attorney Kit. But he didn't want to wait. Not while Lucas endanger he gathered the injured bleeding dog into his arms and ran toward a tree. A few dozen feet from the site night of the explosion. It offered a bit of shade but would leave him exposed but he didn't care. Luca was in trouble when the medic joined him. Rod slipped another turner cat around Lucas injured. Limb it helped stem the bleeding. But she needed he did professional treatment. Emergency helicopters arrived within ten minutes transporting both Luca and rod to the nearest the medical facilities at Camp Levick there. The doctors who greeted Rod were prepared with both human and animal. First Aid Kits mm-hmm unfortunately the physicians soon determined that Lucas injuries were too severe for them to treat. Luckily luckily there was a better equipped facility in Kandahar airfield. Roughly a hundred miles away and given Lucas heroic service so far the military would ensure her safety and comfort for the transfer. Finally Luca rolled into surgery. Where battlefield veterinarians Rene aeriens determined that? Her leg couldn't be saved. They scheduled a follow up procedure for the amputation. The road was relieved to learn that his sweet loyal intelligent dog would survive but once his initial gratitude wore off off he faced other new worries with the Trauma Changed Lucas personality which she ever trust him again and what about Kris still waiting to introduce Luca to civilian life surely he would be heartbroken to learn of how she'd been hurt. Would he blamed. Rod Awed the accident when he I emailed the gunnery sergeant rotate out his apology but to rods relief. Chris wasn't angry. He was grateful he later explained. I could sense that rod kind of felt like he had. Let me down with Luca getting injured and that was not the case at all his quick actions the training that he had received kicked in and with disregard for his own life saved wbt. Luca's life Chris's forgiveness was just what rod needed. He could let go his lingering guilt and focus on being with Luca during her sure to be lengthy and difficult recovery process for so long Luca had been known for her cheerful disposition and positively. But the dog would need support and optimism more than ever as she learned to live with only three legs up next. Luca adapts to a new way of life but continues to serve how country country now back to the story from April two thousand seven to two thousand twelve Belgium. Alan Watt German shepherd mix. Luca served three tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq running more than four hundred successful patrols. Her nearly perfect record was only marred by her accident. On March Twenty third two thousand twelve which resulted in the loss of her front left leg. Her TRAINA China. One Rod Rodriguez sat in on conversations while vets debated the best way to amputate limb. They could keep a stub in place. which would allow Luca to wear a prosthetic or remove it all the way up to her torso veterinary prosthetics? Were still new. And relatively untested arrested at the time and preserving a stump carried risks. Her muscles would atrophy and introduce other complications. Luckily she was strong and had been in excellent health prior to the explosion with assurances that she should easily learn how to walk on three legs. It's Rhode gave his permission for Lucas entire leg to be amputated then to ensure she never felt alone. He sat in on the surgery later. Were Luca slept off the painkillers and sedatives rod stayed in her cage. She didn't leave his lap until the next morning when he and one of the hospital. Workers Corrup- they outfitted her in a special a harness designed to help her regain her balance until she adjusted to the missing limb injury hadn't dampened her bright. Demeanour Lucas strolled around the grounds outside the surgery tail wagging she was undeterred by her injury and still thrill to see brought outed has signed the next day. Only forty eight hours after the amputation. She was comfortable walking without the Hanis at all. Rod didn't know how long it would take lucre to recover completely but he certainly didn't expect that little more than a week after her surgery she'd it'd be back to sprinting at full speed. Gladly running down thrown toys and cheerfully depositing them at rods feet. Lucas recovery recovery process was bitter sweet for Rod. Of course he loved her and wanted to see her learn to run and play again but he also knew the once. Luca was back on her feet. She'd be discharged and he would have to say goodbye. The Fateful Day arrived on July fifth breath. Two Thousand Twelve road was delighted to learn that. He was approved to accompany Luca on her flight to Helsinki. where she'd be reunited with Chris? He was even granted a few weeks of leave to help. Luca transition back into Chris's care. It would give him a little time to to let go. The morning of their international flight. Road and Luca Played One last game. Fetch even though he'd been at her side through her entire recovery practice. He was still astonished that she was just as quick and agile. She'd always being. It was like she. She didn't even notice one of her legs was missing the flight to Finland felt endless and Rod wasn't the only one who is anxious as Chris. Willingham drove to the airport with his wife and two daughters. He wondered if Luca Uca had forgotten about him even worse. He worried that her personality. My tip changed thanks to her trauma. What if the happy playful dot? Oh He'd once love was gone forever. His concerns continued to swell through his mind as the plane pulled up to its gate when the passengers filed out the doors and spilled into the terminal. Chris immediately spotted rod and Luca. The dog doc was unmistakable. Even in the crowd. Chris Knelt forward extending his hands. Even though Luker was three legged rod could barely keep up with the dog she strained her leash pawing at the air and and barking in her excitement to finally be reunited with Chris. Finally she reached her first love and disappeared into his arms. uh-huh a massive clothing Luca jumped and licked her master. He laughed petting her and scratching her their head. Joyous meeting was everything he'd hoped it might be as man and dog hugged and celebrated Rod Hung Back. This wasn't his celebration. It was his heartbreak Chris. Rod whisked Luca from the airport and took her to to her new home. They went on walks and tours together as the days went on road spent less and less time with the dog better for her to get used to not having him around later before he left. Helsinki road gave Luca a warm hug. Uh He whispered. I just want to thank you for being there to watch over me Luca donor. I'll ever see you again. But if there's any chance chance I can. I will never forget you but you're going to have a great life in this family. This is the future you deserve. Be Good looker. As for Chris he was eager to make her civilian life as joyful as he possibly could as he told. CNN in a later interview. Today I do my best to keep her spoiled in her well. Deserved retirement and Chris and Luca had their happy ending but previous trainer had vowed to find a way to see her again and he meant to keep that promise which was why. Rod Attended Dallas's Sky Ball on October Twenty Six two thousand twelve the fund raiser Razer garlic celebrated military heroes and veterans and that year for the first time ever one of the honorees was an animal specifically Luca while roadway to pick up his luggage at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport. He felt the poke of a wet nose rose on his leg. He immediately knelt to hug the dog. He'd missed so much Luca. Positively squirmed with happiness. She couldn't contain tain the ball. Which Chris and Rodney both attended cemented? A lifelong friendship between the veterans. They had one thing in common. That love for Luca and while they'd always respected each other now. They became true companions in the years that followed rod frequently reunited with Luke and Chris at public events. They all shed afloat during the Rose Parade on January first two thousand thirteen the following year. The trio marched together in a veteran's Day parade and were among the first to tour the newly constructed four four World Trade Center for the first time in her life. Luca didn't have to choose between the two trainers she loved. They both came to her but she wasn't content to just play with her two loves a nap her days away. She wanted to get back to work retired. Working dogs usually adapt best when they find ways to keep busy. This is because service canines tend to be highly intelligent and up for a challenge. These traits make them good in the field and they don't go away once. The dog is discharged from its job. In fact giving a former working dog regular regular stimulation and challenges is one of the best ways to help them transition to their life as a pet in Lucas case. That meant that she. It didn't fully retire at toll but instead changed career parts beginning in March two thousand thirteen nine year old. Luca began working with veterans to Provide Comfort and hope she and Chris traveled from military base to military base letting former servicemen and women. Pet Her hug her and play with her. She was great at her new job after all she was a veteran too do and had been injured on the field of battle but that didn't dim her hopeful spirit her happy grins and wagging tail. Promise that a better life lay ahead for other wounded vets. In addition to a military base visits Luca also traveled to schools and appeared at public events. She and Chris helped teach people about veterans issues and always offered a sympathetic ear. If anyone just wanted to talk. Chris and Luca settled into a comfortable routine. Their lives weren't so stressful now that they were no longer responsible for digging up. IEP Oh you dis. Their work was important. But it wasn't life threatening but the world hadn't forgotten about Lucas service or her incredible bum finding record and in the spring of two thousand sixteen. Chris received a phone call with incredible news. Luca was being awarded the dicken medal since one thousand nine hundred forty three. The dicken medal has been distributed by the People's Dispensary Serie for sick animals. It's considered Britain's highest possible military recognition animal can receive. Luca was the I. US Marine Corps dog to receive the honour on Tuesday April fifth. Two Thousand Sixteen Chris Willing Willing Ham and one Rodriguez applauded and cheered while the shiny metal was draped over Luca Bez neck the German shepherd Belgium Mala panted her tongue lolling. It was almost like she was smiling for all the photographers. Lucas ceremony was featured on CNN. NBC News and the Huffington Post. Thanks to America's love affair with dogs have fame soon eclipsed that of other Dickin- medal recipients including Gi. Joe A World War Two carrier pigeon or upstart a British police horse that controlled traffic after after a nine thousand nine hundred forty seven aerial bombing. Another recipient was nine eleven search and rescue dog Apollo who you may remember from a previous assode. Although the award rocketed Luca to stardom she soon returned to quieter humble life and and had days were good right up until the end on January twenty first two thousand Eighteen Lucas facebook fan page operated by Chris Willingham posted. It's with a heavy heart that I tell you that. Luca passed away yesterday us today. Luca truly was a special dog raw. Deny a both fortunate to have served as her handlers. We will will forever be grateful for her service and companionship. The posting assured Lucas more than thirty thousand friends and followers that that she spent Halla stays with the two people. She loved the most Chris and Rod and since her passing. Luca has continue you to inspire in the summer and fall of two thousand nineteen her dicken medal and a lifelike statue featured in a temporary war dogs exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Chris has spent time since her death. Traveling and speaking about issues related to service animals camel's while Luca may have begun her career on the battlefield. Her legacy lies in her good attitude and her ability to bring peace peace and joy to everyone she met with a comforting veterans. All Romping with Rod and Chris Mama Luka has become an enduring symbol of hope and love. Aw thanks for listening to tales for more information about Lucon. Her train China's we found topdog by Maria good average especially helpful to our research. Every dog has his day and Ave is Mondays Sundays. We'll be back then with a new episode. You can find more episodes of dog tales and all other past originals for free on spotify. Not Not only does spotify already have all of your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all your favorite podcast originals like Doug Tales sales for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream does take on spotify. Just open the APP and type dog tales in the search bar. Several of you have asked how to help us. If you enjoy the show. The best way to help us is to leave a five star review and don't forget to follow us on Facebook Instagram at Park East and twitter at podcast network. Join US next time for another good story. About a good dog doc tells was created by Max Cutler and is a Parka studios original it is executive produced by Max Cutler sound designed by Anthony Val sick with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Collie Modern Isabella Way and Joel Stein. This episode of Dog Tales was written by Angela Jorgensen with writing assistance by Erin Land. I'm Alison Hi podcast listeners. It's Alistair if you love dog tales. We'd love to hear from you. By taking a quick survey your feedback will help us. Continue Making your favorite shows better than ever please visit podcast survey dot me slash dog to answer a few short questions it. It may seem small but your input really matters. That's podcast survey dot me slash dog. Thank you for your continued support and for listening.