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SOURCE: wbur.org

Nearly a decade ago, writer Rebecca Frankel started researching military working dogs — the intrepid canines deployed overseas to sniff out explosives or trap insurgents in caves. Her research led to the best-selling book “War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History and Love.”

It also led Frankel to a retiring war dog named Dyngo, who needed a home.

What she quickly learned, however, is that the transition from battlefield to bedroom is not an easy one. Frankel (@becksfrankel) tells the story in an article for Smithsonian Magazine, including one memory of staying at a hotel after traveling cross-country to pick Dyngo up from Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix.

“I left him alone for about five minutes to take one of the fastest showers I’ve ever taken, and I came back out and he was sitting on the middle of the bed and he had just shredded these pillows, and so there were feathers everywhere,” she tells Here & Now’s Robin Young. “I just thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, what have I done?’ That was the first time I was seeing that side of him — Dyngo the Destroyer, as I sometimes call him now.”

In Afghanistan, Dyngo worked through grenade blasts, firefights, helicopter rides and more. But as the dog’s new owner, Frankel says his war-hero past isn’t usually at the forefront of her mind.

“And I’m glad about that,” she says. “I want him to just be a dog. I think that that’s the big reward that he gets in life right now. But when I think about it, and writing and researching this article, I’ve learned more about him than I ever knew.”

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