Dogs
Soldier forms unbreakable bond with K9 oversees then makes difficult decision to put him down
This broke my heart.
Cedric Jackson
01.13.21

Unless you’re a veteran, there’s no way to understand the toll that serving the country takes, not just physically but also mentally. Especially for those who serve overseas in war zones, being in the military is a true act of heroism. One story tears at the heartstrings.

Retired Staff Sgt. Logie

For years, Sgt. Logie served in the Army. At one point, he was deployed to Afghanistan. There, he was assigned to a team that swept areas for dangerous explosives.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

He’s introduced to Balto

As part of his duties, Logie was assigned a dog. But it wasn’t until his third pup that his life changed forever. In 2010, he was given a K9 by the name of Balto. This dog would be his partner in sweeping areas for explosives.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

An immediate bond

Logie stated there was something special about Balto. The two weren’t just working partners but best friends. They formed an unbreakable bond.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

Always side by side

Although a lot of people love their dogs, this was different. You see, Logie depended on Balto’s nose to identify potential danger. At the same time, Balto depended on Logie for his care.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

A vital team member

Consistently, Balto used his powerful nose to find all kinds of dangers. He located guns, grenades, and various Improvised Explosive Devices, better known as IEDs. He was a trusted member of the entire group and everyone loved him.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

On patrol

As they had done many times before, Logie and Balto were searching a grape field. Suddenly, Balto puts his nose high in the air. He was onto something. Then, he bolted toward a nearby building with Logie right behind him.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

Disaster strikes

That’s when Logie stepped on an IED. It ripped open the left side of his body, ruptured both eardrums, and left his legs severely damaged. The rest of his team ran to his aid and called for a medivac helicopter.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

Shocking discovery

Logie later learned the path he and Balto were walking on was lined with primary IEDs, which are far more dangerous. It was his K9 that physically pulled the sergeant away. If it hadn’t been for Balto, Logie would’ve died.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

Leaving his friend behind

As the helicopter took off, Logie looked out the window to see Balto staring at him. He knew that would be the last time he’d see his buddy. But then in 2014, this pup retired. After being flown to the US, Logie was reunited with Balto.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

Enjoying life to the fullest

Over the next several years, Logie and Balto lived an amazing life. They hiked, swam, you name it and they did everything together. But then one day, it all changed. Balto had become paralyzed from the shoulders down. The veterinarian said there was no way to fix the problem.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

Parting ways

For a while, Logie carried Balto outside so he could do his business. But he knew his friend no longer had a quality of life. That’s when he had to make the gut-wrenching decision to have him euthanized.

YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah
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YouTube Screenshot/ox 13 News Utah

Balto is now gone but Logie’s heart is filled with love and his mind with memories of a K9 that saved his life. He’ll never forget the sacrifice his best friend made. To both Sgt. Logie, and Balto, thank you for your service.

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By Cedric Jackson
hi@sbly.com
Cedric Jackson is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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