Soldier Adopts the Dog that Saved His Life

Ellen's Good News

Military working dogs are just as worthy of honor and respect as their human colleagues. One soldier is giving one brave canine injured in combat a new life by taking him in and providing him a safe, loving home.

Layka, a German Shepherd, was shot four times by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan. She managed to attack and subdue the shooter, saving her handler, Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald, and the other members of their team.

Layka suffered multiple injuries, including losing her front right leg. McDonald was so grateful for the dog's service, he made plans to adopt her and help give her a proper retirement.

"She saved my life, that's why I'm here. So I owed it to her to save her life," McDonald says in a short film produced by National Geographic. "That's why I adopted her, and that's why I fought so hard to adopt her even though people say she's too aggressive."

Layka gets along great with his young children and loves playing with them. "If you bring them into a home environment, they will become a product of that environment," says McDonald. "All animals learn to adapt and survive."

"These dogs are just like our brothers," he adds. "I have a lot of respect for them, because they do stuff that I wouldn't want to do."

McDonald hopes that his good deed for a good dog shows the world the sacrifices that soldiers of all species make during battle.

"Just like us, they deserve to be retired," he says. "Our hats go off to them."

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