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Combat Dog Diesel

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Combat Dog Diesel, like all working dogs before and after him, are an integral part in the success of every mission. He did everything that was asked from him, without any hesitation. On one such mission, Combat Dog Diesel took an AK-47 round to the chest. After significant rehab, Diesel returned to support his crew on several more combat deployments, saving many lives.


“Combat Dog Diesel served at a special missions unit and deployed 8 times to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was responsible for the demise of many jihadis and for saving the lives of many Americans. Combat Dog Diesel received multiple combat awards, including the Bronze Star with a “V” device, and the Purple Heart. Our generous donors made his retired life less painful and more comfortable.” – James Hatch, Founder of Spike’s K9 Fund

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Spike's K9 Fund

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“Spike’s K9 Fund focuses on the care and preservation of working dogs. Our aim is to ensure every K9 receives exactly what they need to continue their work and to thrive in action and in retirement.”


Blog post from, James Hatch: “Medical Assist GuideStar”
Back in the early 2000’s I was allowed to go on a “buy” trip to the Netherlands with the fellows who had been chosen to pick K9’s for our unit. It was an amazing trip for many reasons, but for me it was memorable mostly because I met Combat Dog Diesel. At the time Diesel’s name was “Harry” which I thought was fine, but regardless…


The people in charge of testing the Dogs had a series of tests that they put our candidates through. One of the tests was designed to see if the Dog was confident on his own, without his handler. Harry, AKA Diesel was taken out into the woods and secured by a fairly short line to a sturdy tree.


After Diesel was secured, the handler walked back the 700 meters to where the rest of us were observing. We waited for about 20 minutes and we watched Diesel. Diesel seemed pretty damn content sitting in the woods smelling the smells and relaxing. Then it was time for the second part of the test. One of the observers was a trained “helper” or decoy and he had a long sleeve hoodie on and underneath one of the sleeves he had a thin bite-sleeve hidden. He walked towards Diesel and acted pretty shady. He didn’t walk a straight line to Diesel, he walked in a weaving pattern and acted sketchily, sometimes looking at Diesel and sometimes hiding his face.


Diesel just sat there on his haunches and watched this chuckle-head get closer. This was the key part. How would Diesel react when this sketchy looking human came towards him aggressively?
Well, the human started picking up speed and acting combative as he worked his way to within striking distance of Diesel. Diesel didn’t bat an eye, he waited and waited and when he knew the human was close enough, he launched at the “bad guy” nearly ripping the tree out of the ground and locked on to the sleeve. Diesel was not afraid. Not ever. Not for one second. Needless to say, Diesel came home with us.


Diesel ended up doing 8 combat deployments. on his 6th deployment Diesel was shot through the chest and damn nearly died. He was sent home to rehab and then, a year later, he deployed again.
Diesel was a serious badass and he served this nation well. When it was time for him to retire, he was adopted by one of my teammates. He and his wife took Diesel on knowing that he would have some medical issues but they weren’t sure how much those would cost.


Turns out they were pretty expensive. When the Military retires a k9, the family who adopt that Dog is responsible for all of its care. Most military or law enforcement families don’t have a big enough chunk of discretionary income to drop 5-$10,000.00 on veterinary bills.
That’s where we step in. Diesel needed some medical care and we were fortunate to have generous donors known as the “Spike’s Pack” who stepped up and help us take care of him. Diesel lived his few retirement years like he deserved. With comfort and love.


All of the k9’s who work to serve our communities or our nation, deserve to be well cared for. It is why we have it as one of our campaigns. Recently we helped a former USMC K9, who did deployments overseas on behalf of our nation and then came home and worked for a Police Department.


His medical bills were over $10k. He deserved the care. Our Spike’s Pack supporters have given us the ability to make sure the Dogs are cared for. This is done in the name of Combat Dog Diesel.


We need your help to make sure we can cover these k9’s whether they are active or retired. We ask them to use their bodies to help protect us. It is our duty to give them the best life we can give them.