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Jun 8, 2010 10:23 PM by Andy Koen

Air Force thanks two "old dogs" for their service

In the past decade, Air Force service dogs Wodan and Chaky have guarded presidents, sniffed out bombs in Iraq and been shining examples of what working military dogs can be.

The two Belgian Malinois were recognized for their many years of service to the country Tuesday at Peterson Air Force Base.

Wodan will now slip quietly into retirement with his handler of the past 3 and half years, SSG Nick Pospischil.

Wodan's age and many years of service compelled Maj. Joseph Musacchia, the commander of the 21st Security Forces Squadron remarked, "I retired a 70 year old airman today and he worked for 70 years for the sole purpose of serving this nation."

Pospischil says he expects Wodan to spend his golden years lying around and relaxing.

"Were going to barbeque and have some fun," Pospischil said.  "To make up for all those years of service and make sure he enjoys what little bit of life he has left."

The Air Force would have liked to retire his colleague Chaky as well but cancer beat them to it.

The service dog was given full military honors at Tuesday's ceremony with the playing of taps and a special display of his dog crate and leash.

"He lived a very long life, a very fulfilling life for him," said his handler SSG Whit Young. "I don't think there is one handler who'd say they did not like working with Chaky or even being around Chaky."

The ceremony highlights the bond between dog and master, a relationship that's forged in training and strengthened by the stress of combat.

As Pospichil put it, "It's hard to put it into words when you go through what a lot of the dog handlers and the dogs go through over in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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