Missing sniffer dog Sabi found after 14 months in Afghanistan
Kevin Rudd and US General Stanley McChrystal pat Australian explosive detection dog Sabi, recently rescued from the Taliban after going missing during a contact 14 months.
November 12, 2009 1:29PM
FOURTEEN months after Sabi went missing, in the same firefight that led to SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson being awarded a Victoria Cross, the much-loved veteran explosive sniffer dog has returned to barracks.
Sabi was declared Missing in Action in September last year during a fierce gun battle involving Australian, US and Afghan special forces pitted against well-armed Taliban insurgents.
Nine Australian soldiers, including Sabi's handler, were wounded during the bloody engagement.
But with hopes of ever recovering the labrador alive virtually lost, against all odds, Sabi was located last week at a remote firebase in northeastern Oruzgan province by a US soldier.
"The US soldier who recovered her and who can only be identified by his first name, John, was aware his Australian special forces mates were missing one of their explosive detection dogs.
"He said it was immediately obvious Sabi was no ordinary canine,'' a defence statement said.
Special forces personnel had tried repeatedly to ascertain Sabi's fate after the firefight, the statement said.
Her Australian special forces trainer said despite being MIA for more than a year, Sabi, was soon taking orders including the retrieval of tennis balls, one of her favourite games.
Among those celebrating Sabi's return was Trooper Donaldson, currently in London after a meeting with the Queen.
"She's the last piece of the puzzle,'' he said, adding: "Having Sabi back gives some closure for the handler and the rest of us that served with her in 2008 - it's a fantastic morale booster for the guys."
Missing sniffer dog Sabi found after 14 months in Afghanistan | The Australian
Aww! Nice result