Military bomb sniffing dog retires in Tucson

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-21 19:05:55-05
We honor military veterans for their courage, loyalty and sacrifice. 
Buck, the German Shepherd, seems like any playful pet, but he was trained for a serious mission: Sniffing out bombs. 
The training is still burned in. Along with his owner and former handler, Air Force Tech Sergeant Caleb Snapp, we got a dog's eye view of how Buck would check cars for explosives.
Sergeant Snapp worked with five different dogs in places like Korea and Afghanistan. His wife Melodi says in Afghanistan, enemies placed a $50,000 bounty on her husband and his dog.  
"Knowing that he has a partner and he has a look out and he has somebody that has his back no matter what, that's a really good reassurance for me when he's gone."
When Buck worked with Snapp in Korea, Snapp knew Buck would do anything to keep him safe.
"He's very protective," Snapp said. "The bond that me and him picked up when he first came into the service in '09, it was a great bond there and it's a great bond now and he'll do anything for me and my wife and daughter."
Buck is bonding with Snapp’s entire family now. When Snapp learned the Air Force would retire Buck, he convinced officials to let him take Buck back home with him.  
But Buck was assigned to Korea, and new duty assignments meant they hadn't seen each other for five years. When the Air Force sent Caleb Snapp back to Korea he checked in on his old friend.
"It had been so long," he said. "And he recognized me, jumping up and licking me in the face he was so excited, he bit me in the elbow, it was just a love bite."
Buck is trained to give more than a love bite. He's an attack dog as well as a bomb sniffer, but he's so well trained and he's loyal and gentle by nature that he he gladly obeys commands from Snapp's 7-year-old daughter. 
”With him taking such a shine to her and immediately gravitating towards her, in the house she climbs in his kennel with him," Snapp's wife says of the bond between the dog and their daughter. 
It's possible for civilians to adopt a retired military dog like Buck and to adopt puppies raised for the program that don’t quite qualify for the military. You can learn more here