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13-gun salute delivered at special funeral for Chinese military dog

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    15:10, June 22, 2017

A special funeral was held for a military dog in southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality on April 29.

The dog, named Radar, started its military service in 2004 with the Chongqing Corps under the Chinese People's Armed Police Force. The normal service term for dogs is seven years, but Radar devoted nearly double that amount of time to the force. As a result, almost everyone in the barracks knew Radar.

Studies show that 13 dog years are equal to 70 or 80 human years. As an explosives detection dog, Radar participated in more than 300 missions over 13 years of service, including security duties, earthquake relief in Wenchuan and blast detection. It was the dog's outstanding performance in these missions that won it extended service.

With the help of a trainer, Zhang Binbin, Radar quickly learned new skills, and in 2014 won second place in a skill competition for military dogs. In addition, Radar was an internet celebrity of sorts. A picture of the dog washing Zhang's hair with a hose that it held in its teeth went viral last June. It helped to highlight the close relationships between dogs and their trainers.

However, all lives must come to an end. Radar’s health became worse and worse after March of this year. Signs of organ failure were detected, and the dog's metabolism nearly stopped. Radar couldn't even stand up in the last moments of its life. However, the dog could still raise its head and make sounds of joy when Zhang approached.

Around dawn on April 29, Radar passed away. With the approval of superiors, soldiers held a funeral and offered a fitting farewell to Radar with a 13-gun salute. According to Zhang, the special funeral was a sign of respect and a testament to Radar's exceptional life. 

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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