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Memorial held for military working dog Diana

A memorial for Military Working Dog Diana is displayed at the front of the Clay Chapel Oct. 30. Diana, a 4-year-old patrol explosive dog (enhanced), passed away unexpectedly Oct. 16. (Photo Credit: Emily Jennings/US Army)
November 08, 2020

This article was originally published by the US Army. 

Sgt. Mathew Dobson said a final farewell to his working dog partner, Diana, at a memorial service at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Oct. 30. Diana, a 4-year old patrol explosive dog (enhanced), passed away unexpectedly Oct. 16.

“She was an amazing dog,” said Dobson, a member of the 525th Military Working Dog Detachment. “She worked harder than any Soldier I know; in the end, that is what she is, a Soldier.”

Supporters offer condolences to Sgt. Mathew Dobson, handler for military working dog Diana, of the 525th Military Working Dog Detachment, Oct. 30 during a memorial for her at the Clay Chapel. The 4-year-old patrol explosive dog (enhanced), passed away unexpectedly Oct. 16. (Photo Credit: Emily Jennings/US Army)

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According to Sgt. Steven Staples, detachment sergeant, Diana came down with a sudden illness on Oct. 16 and was rushed to Kaiserslautern for exploratory surgery where surgeons took samples but did not observe any clear reason for her sudden and serious decline in health.

Within a few hours Diana passed away. “She worked until the day she died,” Dobson said. “We worked together every day to protect this community.” Dobson and the 525th MWD Detachment are awaiting the results of a necropsy to explain Diana’s cause of death.

“It’s hard for people to understand,” Dobson clarified. “It’s a partnership. When I got better, she got better.”

A Soldier salutes a memorial of military working dog Diana, of the 525th Military Working Dog Detachment, Oct. 30 during a ceremony in her honor at the Clay Chapel. The 4-year-old patrol explosive dog (enhanced), passed away unexpectedly Oct. 16. (Photo Credit: Emily Jennings/US Army)

Dobson was Diana’s first handler, training her in patrol and explosive detection duties. She was considered an enhanced dog because she was able to detect explosives off leash up to 200 meters away from her handler.

Under normal circumstances, working dog funeral services would be ceremonial, including speakers. Because of COVID-19, Diana’s service was a viewing, giving people an opportunity to pay their final respects. Following the service, the 529th Military Police Company did a 21-gun salute to Dobson’s working dog partner.

Soldiers carry the crate of military working dog Diana of the 525th Military Working Dog Detachment during a memorial ceremony in her honor Oct. 30 at the Clay Chapel. The 4-year-old patrol explosive dog (enhanced), passed away unexpectedly Oct. 16. (Photo Credit: Emily Jennings/US Army)

“It’s a really hard loss,” he said. “It’s a loss to the entire community. You can’t replicate a working dog, especially a dog like Diana. She was always eager and ready.”