Readers of The Earth Emperor’s Eye will know of the dog Malachi, the messenger, and his antics and sacrifices in protecting Mother Nature and serving the Emperor.

Well, is it merely coincidence that a dog named Mali has been awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross medal for bravery?  The military dog helped protect soldiers in Afghanistan from explosives and insurgents.  After a grenade injured his chest, legs and an ear, Mali finished his mission before returning home for treatment. He is now retired from frontline duties and has made a full recovery.

Jan McLoughlin, director general of the PDSA, the veterinary charity that awards the medal, said: “Mali has displayed a truly awesome ability and determination to seek out explosives and insurgents during a key operation. To achieve this while exposed to close combat and such intense enemy attack makes him an incredibly worthy recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal.”

His current handler, Corporal Daniel Hatley, who also trained him as a puppy before he was deployed to Afghanistan, said: “I am extremely proud of Mali. The way he conducted himself when it mattered most enabled my colleagues to achieve success in close combat.”

Whilst the handler at the time of the operation said Mali had a reputation as a ‘guardian angel’. He has a certain magic! Congratulations Mali!

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