July 2, 2010

THE REFORMATION ROLLS ON...:

Overcoming taboo, Iraq turns to dogs to fight bombs (Reuters, July 02, 2010)


A “dirty dozen” bomb-sniffing dogs whose canine nature makes them taboo in the Arab world is helping to win over Iraqis to the idea dogs are man’s best friend – especially when the animal saves your life.

At Baghdad’s police training college, some of the 12 Alsatians and other breeds now deployed as bomb sniffers in the capital speak to the cultural aversion that has likely cost lives in the fight against a still potent insurgency.

The names of the dogs – Tom, Pieter, Benny and Shirley, all four donated from Europe – are often a mouthful for their Iraqi handlers, but they haven’t been changed.

If they had been altered, “I might get offended if a dog has the same name as me,” laughed a veterinary official at the college, adding: “English names are good.”

Posted by at July 2, 2010 1:30 PM
  
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