• June 26, 2014

Behind the Cover: Martin Schoeller and the Three-Legged Dog

Kurt Mutchler

This post was originally published in June 2014. We’re resurfacing it as part of our #ThrowbackThursday effort to give some love to our favorite posts.—The Proof Team

For portrait photographer Martin Schoeller, known for his signature eye-to-eye, full-face portraits, the least of his worries is having his subject stand still on the X marked on his seamless background. But when it came to a three-legged decorated war hero, one leg lost to surgery after taking four rounds from an AK-47, this was exactly the problem.

Picture of the photographer using tennis balls to help Layka the dog post for a photo.

Layka, a Belgian Malinois, a breed known to have inexhaustible energy—the highest of all dog breeds—graces the June cover of National Geographic magazine. “She was a celebrity in her own right,” Martin said, and after capturing a few frames, “I knew I had my hands full.”

Martin was going for a dignified look, fitting of a war dog that almost gave her life to save a squad of soldiers in Afghanistan. “The dog is basically a soldier and we treated her with the respect of a military person,” Martin said. “She’s not a lap dog that sits on the sofa, but a disciplined fighting dog.” He wanted to capture her in this spirit. To do that, Martin knew he had to photograph her with her mouth closed. And that was the tough part.

“The close-up was harder than I thought it was going to be, the dog was so full energy,” Martin said. She was “like the energy bunny and never slowed down.” As a result she got hot during the shoot and was heavily panting—and out came her tongue. The dog just couldn’t sit still.

Picture of several takes of Layka the dog's portrait

“We took her outside to run a bit of energy out of her, and she was so quick on her feet that I you couldn’t even tell that she only had three legs.” But that didn’t seem to slow her down. “We used the tennis ball, made noise, jangled keys trying to capture her attention like a baby,” Martin said. He gave up on the tennis ball because she just got too excited when she saw it and lurched off the X.

So Martin hunkered down, lowered the thermostat to 62°F and got to work. Layka’s owner, Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald, was at her side, comforting and encouraging his dog with all his love and affection.

Picture of the final image of Layka the dog that was used for the June 2014 of National Geographic magazine

Exceptional portrait photographers have the ability to connect soul-to-soul with their subjects. Mentally bobbing and weaving like a boxer in a ring to capture that elusive moment—the twinkle in the eye, the sought after expression, the special facial gesture, until they know they have it. Martin went several rounds before he landed what he knew was the knockout punch. He connected with Layka for a split second and grabbed the prize he was after.

See a video about the special relationship between Layka and Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald.

Read more about the June 2014 feature story, “The Dogs of War”.


You can hear Martin Schoeller speak about intimate portraiture on Proof. To see more of Schoeller’s work, visit his website.

Related Story: Conversation: On War Dogs and Perseverance

There are 137 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. John pike
    April 24, 2016

    Photographer is great. The last photo on page chosen really captures what seems to be real feeling of fight in that dog that has suffered.

  2. Diane
    January 10, 2016

    Look into my eyes, my big brown eyes

  3. Donetta H
    April 6, 2015

    She’s gorgeous! Thank you for sharing her story.

  4. Chris
    November 18, 2014

    wow i wish i had a dog like that, one that would be willing to give her life for her country and is still happy after loosing her leg or arm……

  5. Jorge
    November 16, 2014

    Beautiful dog…i had one in my country many years ago.I miss her.

  6. Maureen S Green
    November 12, 2014

    I couldn’t agree more with all the previous comments. There are people and animals who cross our lives and who leave their mark on us. We all know of someone/animal like Layka. As a child, we had a dog – Lass. Man…what an amazing ‘person’ she was. My mum watched her as she tried to free herself from some chains the neighbour’s had attached to her and a tree. Mum wasn’t a dog person but Lass had caught her eye and there was a connection. She asked me to see how much they wanted for the dog. This was in the 70’s. The teenage boy said “a carton of cigarettes and 5 bucks!”. Well mum gave me 20$ and said run to the dairy. The deal was done before both husbands/fathers were home. My dad laughed at seeing the dog whose name was Lass on her collar. The neighbours father wanted Lass back. Dad said “come and get her!” She never left. Lass had run away from a few places. She was a failed police trained dog. They had said she wasn’t aggressive enough. At the end of her life and throughout it, we celebrated the fact she made eye contact with Mum. She always maintained that in that very brief moment, mum saw a real soul behind her eyes. Lass knew evil no matter where it was. She could smell it and feel it way before any of us got a single clue. No one messed with her and she was the coolest fur sister we all had. I applaud you Layka.

  7. Gina
    November 9, 2014

    What a majestic lady!! Thank you SSgt for ging Layka the love and devotion she gave to you and your brothers. God bless you both.

  8. Joel Kudra
    October 28, 2014

    I am drawn towards particular animals.
    Now when I saw the first photo of Layka, tears filled my eyes as a result of her extraordinary beauty, and her heroism in having protected a unit of soldiers. It took a soldier to do that!
    In order for you to have excelled in such masterful photography, you needed an excellent subject. So the prize goes to her.

  9. Frankie B
    October 25, 2014

    Truly amazing. This dog and other military canines deserve the highest honors. Thank you to all the heroes for your services and sacrifices

  10. Amanda
    October 12, 2014

    This is beautiful. The link to the story leads me now where. Is there another?! I’d love to read more.

    • Janna Dotschkal
      October 14, 2014

      We have updated the URL. Apologies for the confusion.

  11. trystan
    October 8, 2014

    So cute

  12. JUDE
    October 5, 2014

    i like the dog

  13. Joseph
    October 3, 2014

    No words to describe…

  14. Celeste
    September 16, 2014

    Oh, such a sight. Thank you for offering these wonderful shots. Layka is so dignified and clear-eyed. I bet she is ready to go and defend again. A hero. Thankful for Heros like Layka and people like you for sharing your impressive work.

  15. Bill Ledbetter
    August 23, 2014

    Good Dog! And beautiful too!

  16. Joann
    July 25, 2014

    those “babies” are so very special….as are ALL our “babies” but these guys/gals are extraordinary!!!

  17. Ava
    July 20, 2014

    It is a beautiful thing when photographers can portray such heroism, consequence of war, and tragedy.

  18. Frankie Puthoff
    July 14, 2014

    I have great respect for our military dogs, their handlers & all our soldiers. I am amazed at what the military dogs can be trained to do and that the training is in line with the dog’s instincts.
    I must admit I’m embarrassed. I feel successful that my dog is housebroken, sits on command and usually comes when called.
    I certainly lack the skills of the original trainer, the trainer who pairs the dog & it’s handler & teaches them how to work together, & the handler & the dog. My hat’s off to each of you!

  19. John Conley
    July 7, 2014

    These dog’s are true hero’s. They are amazing in the jobs they do. I was lucky enough to have been able to adopt one (NERO) and give him a home and the rest and love he deserves after a job well done.

  20. Kathleen Malone O’Connor
    July 6, 2014

    Sorry–I used an incorrect spelling of her name–it’s Layka not Kayla–my apologies.

  21. Kathleen Malone O’Connor
    July 6, 2014

    Kayla is a magnificent example of her breed–such nobility and authority in her gaze–a brave soldier who loves to serve. It is only a shame that her fine qualities are being dedicated to war. Also–I profoundly agree with others who have noted that most service dogs with the military are not brought home and cared for as she has been. Such service deserves not only respect but also a guarantee of a forever home! Brava Kayla!

  22. Jarrod
    July 6, 2014

    Definitely captured the spirit, and respect of, this amazing soldier

  23. George Likimani
    July 6, 2014

    Nice and moving pictures. I’ve have learnt its not just taking pictures..that you have connect with whatever you’re photographing. I just luv the dog’s pictures

  24. frankhvalenzuela
    July 6, 2014

    Beautiful Dog. Beautiful photos. My fullest respect for this wonderful animal.
    Thank you for sharing the pictures with us all.

  25. Cher
    July 6, 2014

    What a beautiful and courageous dog! They made me smile. Thank you for that!

  26. Christy
    July 6, 2014

    It’s tough getting an animals attention when photographing. Much respect to this beautiful dog!

  27. gabriela
    July 5, 2014

    Highest Respect !!! Bautiful and special dog

  28. Tanmay swaroop
    July 5, 2014

    I would have looked at her photo and vedios for around 10 times and still i want to see her again and again, her bravery got tears into my eyes. love you layka for saving my brothers and sisters in combat, I’ll tell everybody i meet in India about you..
    love you and respect you for your bravery “Madam Layka”

    greaters regards
    Tanmay swaroop

  29. Beatriz lopez
    July 5, 2014

    que ejemplo nos dan los animales ojala aprendamos

  30. Lorraine kransdorf
    July 5, 2014

    Let’s remember Dog backwards mends G-D

  31. Patricia Weatherley
    July 5, 2014

    What an amazingly beautiful dog .

  32. Maria DLS
    July 5, 2014

    She’s worth all the efforts. What a very precious dog. Beautiful.Thank you Lyka. 🙂 We Love you.

    July 5, 2014

    Absolutely beautiful dog.

  34. Janice Holloway
    July 5, 2014

    When all the words have been used, there are no words. Blessings,

  35. Jenn
    July 5, 2014

    Layka is a beautiful exemplar of the breed. I have a Malinois and know how challenging they can be. Despite that I would not trade his loyalty for anything. I know that dog would die for me and my family if he had to. Proud to own one of an exemplary breed.

  36. Monica
    July 5, 2014

    Beautiful picture of Layka!

  37. Thomas
    July 5, 2014

    Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. God bless our companion soldiers and thank you for serving not only us, but America too!

  38. John Sneed
    July 5, 2014

    Therese, your desire for America to stop making the world worse is accepted. We will no longer send money or aid to any country that requests it. We will no longer worry whether we are responsible to give aid when a cyclone, flood, earthquake or other disaster occurs. We recommend that we will end being a nice guy and follow the lead oh China and India by polluting the planets air.

  39. Lari
    July 5, 2014

    Excelnte foto, llore

  40. Maura O’ Riordan
    July 5, 2014

    I just love Kayla and her fighting spirit if ever needs a home she’ll have one Ireland

  41. Astrid Lelieveld
    July 5, 2014

    Hier wordt je stil van. Prachtige fotoreportage. Dank Kayla en zeer zeker ook haar honden collega’s met begeleiders. Respect!

  42. John moore
    July 5, 2014

    Yes I agree, with everyone regarding this magnificent creature. I just find it sickening our country discards good many of it’s animals used in service like trash after using them unless a solder, somebody of rank or some sort of standing, makes a serious effort to acquire/bring them home. (Unless things have made some drastic changes which I doubt given the care and benefits most of our veterans have to fight for such as service dogs for PTSD) Any one else find that disturbing?

  43. karen
    July 5, 2014

    She is the rock.

  44. LIM
    July 5, 2014

    Doggie contribute very much

  45. Harald Müller
    July 5, 2014

    That’s clearly a beautiful dog. The fact that people use this loyal animal for war is rather a sad story though.
    Today we don’t need war heros but smart and responsible people who understand that violence usually doesn’t lead to peace or real improvements for the people.
    Thx to Obama who led the Usa to a less military way. We have to continue moving to a new direction!!

  46. Mario Cesare
    July 5, 2014

    Makes one cringe in hindsight when we cast our minds back to when over 400 war dogs were left by USA when they pulled out of Vietnam!…and begs the question. Could we ever leave another Layka behind?

  47. therese
    July 5, 2014

    Bautiful dog. But oh America, please stop to try to save the world by doing it worse.

  48. OrthoPets
    July 3, 2014

    The entire OrthoPets team was very honored to work on Layka. She is a true hero!

  49. Richard Anthonius
    July 3, 2014

    stunning photograph, connected soul to soul and eye to eye and all the story…respect!

  50. Nathan
    July 3, 2014

    When we received this Nat-Geo in the mail and I saw this dog on the cover, I could barely contain the tears in my eyes. What a beautiful creature. There’s a distinct intelligence in her eyes that you don’t see in all dogs. She’s a hero. I’m proud of her for taking care of our troops, and I’m proud of our troops for showing her the respect and loyalty she so greatly deserves. Simply wonderful photograph. In my humble opinion, it will forever be one of the best.

  51. Reinhard Boos
    July 2, 2014

    Highest Respect !!!

  52. terry kirkman
    July 1, 2014

    I met and adopted my first malanois in 1968…michele marc d’or…was his pedigreed name…misha was his call name. he was number 275 to ever be registered in the U.S. just 3 months old when we got him he was the same age as our daughter, sasha….sasha and mischa…. so wonderful together. within a couple of months it was clear that mischa’s “job” was sasha….all his herding instincts were focused on her with exception of his taking me on when i was very sick, never leaving my side during that time. We were the closest home to the Hollywood Sign and the hills were his domain. A whole lot of dog, so welcome in our lives. a total member of the family and gate keeper to our home.

  53. Sue
    July 1, 2014

    You indeed captured the perfect photo of this hero – it immediately brought me to tears. She is a worthy hero. Great job capturing the moment.

  54. Edd Hayes
    July 1, 2014

    I have been honored to be a part of a couple of Veteran’s Memorials, as sculptor. There should be more to honor these four legged heroes honoring their service. Way to go pretty lady, way to go.

  55. sharon kahulugan
    July 1, 2014

    if you’re in a war, i know that your mindset is you’re ready to die for your country but for me also for these war dogs as well..

  56. Mary Landry
    July 1, 2014

    What a very special animal(person). So very proud. I am beaming.

  57. Natalie Boehm
    June 30, 2014

    Did you notice the photographer’s self portrait in the depths of her eyes? Neat touch!

  58. Judy Lemke
    June 29, 2014

    Our hearts just leaped with pride when we saw the picture of Layka on the cover. She is indeed a hero and a true survivor. We have have a Belgian Mailnois or “Malinut” and she is our second one. They are a very special breed – committed, loyal, loving, but, yikes, they are for sure like the Energizer Bunny! We applaud you fantastic photographs, and thank you for a wonderful article.

  59. Armymommax2
    June 29, 2014

    Mr. Schoeller and NatGeo Staff,
    Our many thanks go out to you and your team. All your photos captured Layka in her most beautiful light. One cannot begin to imagine the debt of gratitude felt for this “Fur Person”, for her dedication and loyality to her handler. ( My Son). She is a beautiful creature with intelligence beyond compare.
    We value Layka as a beloved member of our family. God Bless all those who selfishly place themselves in harm’s way so others can have the Freedoms and security deserved. Whether they be animal or human, Our Soldiers deserve international respect and recognition for their service. For this I thank you most of all.
    Shedding light through your photographs, hopefully these Canine Warriors will receive the honor they deserve for serving around the world.

    Highest Regards,

    Lisa Sparrow
    Spartan Mother

  60. Steven Duane Newcomb
    June 29, 2014

    She’s beautiful. And these are great shots.

  61. Delaney Disque
    June 29, 2014

    What a beautiful dog! This dog deserves to be honored! How sweet and adorable she is. Wonderful and brave dog!! Great story. I will tell this message to anybody i know!!! What a brave hero!!!!!! 🙂

  62. Leon Yelmene
    June 29, 2014

    When working with dogs a person finds out that in so many ways, you’re working with a Higher Level Being! Beautiful work on taking these photos and I can imagine it wasn’t easy at all. But what a wonderful, beautiful way of capturing this beautiful Spirit! Thank you for sharing your talent and this Wonderful Spirit.

  63. Dwight Coburn
    June 29, 2014

    Your picture really captures the essence of a “DOG”. I have raised 7 lab and always amazed at there commitment. No questions asked! Your photo touched my sole.

  64. Sridhar C
    June 29, 2014

    If Layka likes hugs – here is a million of them

  65. andrew
    June 29, 2014

    the man called dr g needs to get out of his rut and broaden his mind!! Can he tell me whos going to save any country in the world when there is a pointless but hatred driven attack on it? russia?china?austria?astralia?antarctica? usa are peace keepers!!Well done America and thanks

  66. Sally Z
    June 29, 2014

    I was totally impressed by her courage, her persistence, her loyalty and her elegance. She’s a real hero and we should respect all the other dog heroes who are fighting for love and peace in the world.

  67. VeraJean Hughson
    June 28, 2014

    Absolutely a beautiful and dignified animal. He is a hero and deserving of my respect.

  68. Raineerickson Erickson
    June 28, 2014

    Gratitude for the ‘heroes’ of our world & the artists who tell their story!

  69. Rick
    June 28, 2014

    Layka is my Grand Dog. Do I love her? Oh My! I spoil her when she gets to visit me, just like I do her owner. What a JOY!

  70. David Kravick
    June 28, 2014

    Its great these Dogs,are recognized for there SERVICE

  71. kiranparmar
    June 28, 2014


  72. duval
    June 28, 2014

    Elle ne le sait pas, mais elle peut-être très fière d’elle mais une chose est sur on l’est pour elle, je l’a trouve magnifique <3

  73. Aiza
    June 27, 2014

    looking at Layka’s photo stunned me for 10secs or so. Awesome!!

  74. Mary Pedersen
    June 27, 2014

    What a beautiful dog..and Thank you to Layka and Staff Sgt Julian Mc Donald for their bravery and service to our country. BRAVO

  75. Yutta Moore
    June 27, 2014

    Most animals show appreciation for you being there person—–but all Dogs give you unconditional love —even while being neglected or abused , so PLEASE if you see something –hear something–suspect something –DO SOMETHING for them in the name of Layka , thank you all

  76. Heather
    June 27, 2014

    That is an amazing story and the photos are amazing! Thank you for sharing this incredible story of a REAL HERO! God Bless our Military and their families for their love for our country!

  77. Nancy S
    June 27, 2014

    I had to laugh when I read this… She was “like the energy bunny and never slowed down.” As a Malinois owner, I can honestly say that a typical Malinois will outlast the energizer bunny! My dogs trains daily, take several walks a day, and walks/runs on the treadmill for a minimum of an hour. This breed is not bred to be a pet. To Layka & Staff Sgt. Julian McDonald, Thank you and may God Bless you with many more years together.

  78. Harmony
    June 27, 2014

    What an elegant soldier god bless America …. May we remember the fallen and repair the returned broken … Embrace each other for we are all we have .

  79. Wes
    June 27, 2014

    First off, a job well done by this impressive war dog and it’s handler for saving the lives of so many.

    Now to comment quickly on the idiotic comments by Dr G. Yes innocent men, women and dogs do get sent to battle and they don’t do it for a piece of metal on their chest. That piece of metal is just that…but it’s their brothers and sisters they fight alongside for. It’s patriotism. And unfortunately it’s also for idiots like you to freely express your ignorance. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has so much deeper meaning than oil as you so suspect. I will assume you have never stepped foot on hostile territory otherwise you would know regardless of the reason your called to duty…it is your duty. In stead you probably sit on your couch, watch the news and in your mind become an expert on the matter. Yes America needs to wake up…get back to the roots on which our country was formed. And you Dr G need to wake up and realize this article was to honor a service dog that greatly deserved the recognition as a hero and not a place for you to unload your nonsense about a topic you have no clue to discuss on.

    Why do I feel so stongly about this, because I too was a dog handler and did three tours in Iraq and three in Afghanistan. I know the sacrifices and the fears of these men, women and dogs that are faced on a daily routine. I see the good in those countries that our presence has made. So stay within your little circle of friends Dr G or at least do the right thing and keep your mouth shut with your opinions and allow this dog the recognition it deserves.

  80. Scott Childress
    June 27, 2014

    What a wonderful dog! As a former Marine, thank you, Layka and SSGT MacDonald for your service! We have a Malinois and couldn’t ask for a better companion! Thanks for the pictures and stories, NG Magazine!

  81. Connie
    June 27, 2014

    What a magnificent animal!

  82. kombizz
    June 27, 2014

    nice one

  83. Jay
    June 27, 2014

    It’s a pleasure and an hunour to have this breed and all breed that serve our country they truly are remarkable animals friends loved ones they are family it’s a shame the ones left behind from family that can’t afford to take care of them no longer we need more protection and help for thouse needed animals they only want love and respect and you shall receive the best friend in the world if I only could I would have as many as possible but Iv had a liver transplant and about to receive two more surgerys so it’s very difecoult if any organization can help me with special care dog it would welp me very much I’m willing to pay for all the needs for an adoption no I’m sorry I’m not willing I will just need help in doing so or an organization to help me my god bless all the dogs and serviceman serving this great country no the best country in the world my god bless them all.

  84. jignesh
    June 27, 2014

    Really brave dog inspire to every person

  85. Rae Watanabe
    June 27, 2014

    Your picture prompted me to buy my first National Geographic magazine! 🙂

  86. Brittany Mcdonald
    June 27, 2014

    Her Name is Layka, not kayla. She is a female…not a male! Please no conspiracy comments! Let’s honor my baby girl…not take advantage of this forum to say negative things about our country or government! This dog changed 100s of lives including mine! I love my baby girl!

  87. Angela E.
    June 27, 2014

    Thank you all service dogs! You guys are put in the most dangerous of situations of all. You’re service has saved many of those in the armed forces!

  88. Viveca Joy Skyles
    June 27, 2014

    Layka, thank you and you are beautiful!

  89. Lakash Warnauth
    June 27, 2014

    Dogs r man s best friend ,but Kayla is a hero,God bless Kayla

  90. Dorothy Janetzke
    June 27, 2014

    Thank you Layka & all dogs of war everywhere.

  91. Denise Carter
    June 27, 2014

    What beautiful dog. Beautiful story
    God Bless her and all the other ones

  92. naina
    June 27, 2014

    Love her.. i salute her and respect her.. she’s a soldier in true sense..

  93. Hallie Chi
    June 27, 2014

    respect +1

  94. Patar Oppusunggu
    June 27, 2014


  95. Nayantara
    June 27, 2014

    Beautiful Girl. Smiling in most of the pictures. Keep smiling Layka 🙂

  96. Franziska Diemer
    June 27, 2014

    She´s a great dog! I have a three legded dog , too. Her name called Melissa.But she´s not an Malinois.

  97. Mishtie
    June 27, 2014

    Layka, a true war hero.. lots of love and affection to the bravest soul there.. salute!! respect!! pride!!

  98. Blue White
    June 27, 2014

    So brave and so magical. As a photographer myself I understand the ‘behind the scene’ thing. Images are just amazing. Bless her(and the tog!) 🙂

  99. Santosh Kumar
    June 27, 2014


  100. kadi b
    June 27, 2014

    I cried , she is a hero
    god bless her

  101. Ione French
    June 26, 2014

    What a beautiful pup…Thank you Layka for your service to this Nation

  102. Marlene Mersch
    June 26, 2014

    Beautiful dog and story. I am so proud of them and their handlers. My heart breaks to see them hurt.

  103. Rita
    June 26, 2014

    Thanks for the treating Layka with all the respect she deserves!!

  104. Kim
    June 26, 2014

    What a beautiful and dignified creature. She has wisdom in her eyes.

  105. ganesh kumar
    June 26, 2014

    I salute to its braveness

  106. Kimberly Harrington
    June 26, 2014


  107. Dr. G
    June 26, 2014


  108. Dr. G
    June 26, 2014

    Innocent young men sent to Afganistan-Irak-Vietnam…you name it. Even more innocent dogs who receive a f… piece of metal as a replacement of her limb. And all that for what?? Freedom?, “war on terror”?? The only interest of the Masters behind the government is OIL and opium. Open your eyes amerivans: who did 9/11?, who killed JFK?, who did the Boston bombing?? who are the owners of the private bank called The Fed?? WAKE UP

  109. Ko pho Ko
    June 26, 2014

    She’s much better than some generals of Myanmar.

  110. Fifi Baker
    June 26, 2014

    I have just read the article in NG …. superb! The cover shot was just amazing and now I know how long it took to do! Amazing dog doing amazing work!

  111. Plyler
    June 26, 2014

    Beautiful dog! And the story is great too!

  112. Jo Perreault
    June 26, 2014

    What a beautiful dog. His owner must be so proud of him. God Bless.

  113. edena s heramis
    June 26, 2014

    love it mwah!

  114. Dario Yanagita
    June 26, 2014

    Perfect picture of a classy lady.

  115. Morgan Kanae
    June 26, 2014

    I long for the day when service animals like this are not classified as equipment. There is a petition online that you can sign to help them out. Beautiful story and beautiful dog. Thank you.

  116. Alena
    June 26, 2014

    Second row, the middle pic. That is her spirit, that is the best picture.

  117. Michael Piotrowski
    June 26, 2014

    Layka reminds me of my Police Dog Fizz, who is sadly no longer with us but served for many years in Manchester, England. She was also a fearless Malinois Bitch and together we detained many Offenders. She was my friend and companion as well as my partner and I can’t recall her showing fear in any incident or ever taking a step backwards. RIP Fizz.
    Thank God for the gift of Service Dogs

  118. niño garcia
    June 26, 2014

    i love dogs. in at home i have five dogs. i really love the altitude of a dog that they love you more than themselves. im happy if i have got one like lyka.

  119. mark goldstein
    June 26, 2014

    what a beautiful dog and a hero to boot she is spectacular looking and such shiny bright eyes

  120. elyktra
    June 26, 2014

    Magnificent portrait.

  121. Stacey Human
    June 26, 2014

    She’s absolutely beautiful. Great job with the photos!

  122. gloria
    June 26, 2014

    If this wonderful pup doesn’t make you not feel sorry for yourself & inspired, nothing else could. What a champ, what a trooper 🙂

  123. Kelly Wood
    June 26, 2014

    A beautiful portrait of a true hero. I have a malinois, rescued from a bad owner, my first. I have found the breed to be freakishly smart, unwaveringly loyal and possessing a wicked sense of humor. This photo, and the article captured the beauty, intelligence & loyalty of both the digs and handlers!

  124. Erin
    June 26, 2014

    I liked the little tip of pink tongue photo…adorable. Brave baby!

  125. Leeann Slade
    June 26, 2014

    What fantastic photographs, and agree that last one really catches her true spirit and depth of soul perfectly! Well done all three of you!

  126. Michael Filippoff
    June 26, 2014

    Awesome imagery – thanks for capturing it so honorably.

  127. Denise
    June 26, 2014

    She is lovely and a true hero. Our Malinois retired in October and I am still trying to find the “Off” switch! They are a wonderful breed and and very loyal and loving. So happy to she is getting recognition for her service and selfless sacrifice!

  128. MamaCarrie
    June 26, 2014

    words cannot express how wonderful this fur-baby truly is

  129. Lavinia Popita
    June 26, 2014

    I don’t have words to describe…beautiful!!!!

  130. Donna
    June 26, 2014

    What a beautiful animal and a hero to boot!

  131. Karen Knowles
    June 26, 2014

    She was worth it.

  132. TORFS Liliane
    June 26, 2014

    these are beautifull photos. We had a Malinois also about 17 years.
    We are Belgian.

  133. Ericka Shimkonis
    June 26, 2014

    Kayla is beautiful! <3

  134. Enrico Rottiers
    June 26, 2014

    Respect from Belgium!

  135. Lourdes
    June 26, 2014

    I cried.

  136. Army Staff Sgt. Kelly Malone
    June 26, 2014

    I am a photojournalist for the U.S. Army and I not onky applaud you but thank you for understanding our MWDs and wanting to show Kayla with the dignity she deserves.

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