Troops hunt for a home for an army dog of war

BRITISH soldiers in Afghanistan are campaigning to save a daring dog.

Tangye, a black labrador, has patrolled alongside the men, surviving gun battles and explosions.

But the threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is now too high and the soldiers, from C Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, fear he could be blown to bits, so want to find him a home in the UK.

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Territorial Army soldier Lance Corporal Brent Meheux, 44, from Exeter, said: "He has been such a morale-booster. But he can't do what he loves doing over here any more – it's too dangerous."

Tangye was named after a village on Helmand river opposite their base at Kajaki. He has been living there since a British soldier bought him as a puppy from a dam worker about five years ago.

L/Cpl Meheux said: "When the lads are under contact he will run up and down the line barking and wagging his tail. It's as if he is shouting encouragement. He loves it.

"But we had to stop him coming out on patrol. The IED threat is just too high.

"He's done more tours than any other British soldier. The boy really should be retired now. We want someone to help us get him back to a safe home in the UK."

Tangye appears less keen on retirement and still waits for the soldiers before they go out on patrol. "He somehow knows when a patrol is about to start and he will be waiting for us," adds L/Cpl Meheux.

The dog helps bring normality to the camp, but he is not the only hound in town. AK, an ex-fighting dog, is often looking for attention. Although the wolf-like dog is affectionate with the troops, he is a fierce hunter and can often be seen with a jackal body part hanging from his jaws.

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