Shortly after Princess Diana’s untimely death, do you remember seeing all of the pictures of her with children who had been injured after encountering landmines? I hadn’t realized it while she was alive, but apparently, Diana had a big interest in helping prevent such injuries by finding buried landmines and safely removing them. The pictures were quite heart-breaking.
This story from MSNBC shows dogs in Afghanistan who now have a similar mission. According to the story, Afghanistan is the most heavily-mined country in the world due to its 30 years of nearly continuous war. One of the senior instructors at a Mine Detection Center, a man named Bismullah (who looks a bit like Castro!) trains dogs to take over the important task of finding landmines before they destroy more people’s lives.
Starting when they are puppies, the school trains dogs for two years to follow their noses and locate mines. They have cleared about 60% of the country of mines planted by the Russians as long as 20 years ago. They are able to work much more efficiently than metal detectors because of their fantastically developed sense of smell.
Wonder how they’d do on Minesweeper?
More information on using dogs to find mines is available from the University of Western Australia.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!