Watch the Ukrainian President Award Medal to Patron, the Hero Terrier Who Sniffs Out Hundreds of Explosives
Patron, the beloved Russell terrier who's found hundreds of explosive devices during the war in Ukraine, earned a much-deserved service medal presented to him by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday.
According to the New York Times, Patron has identified more than 200 explosives since Russia invaded in February. He began gaining more recognition in March when Ukraine's State Emergency Service posted a video of the tiny dog's work to social media.
"I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes—a wonderful little sapper Patron who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat," Zelensky said Sunday, according to the BBC.
Mykhailo Iliev, Patron's owner and trainer, also received a medal from Zelensky. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was there, too. In its Facebook post, the State Emergency Service joked that Trudeau, who facetiously pats his pockets in the video, couldn't find a piece of Patron's favorite cheese.
Equipped with a nose way, way more powerful than ours, 2-year-old Patron has likely saved many Ukrainian lives. The Times reported that retreating Russian forces left behind land mines and other makeshift bombs that could kill unsuspecting civilians. Thankfully, many of those bombs don't stay hidden when Patron is near.
When he's not clearing mines with Iliev or teaching kiddos, Patron also does charity work and serves as a symbol of Ukraine's fortitude. According to the BBC, one depiction of Patron shows him peeing on a Russian missile.
The medal sure is nice, but we're hoping someone eventually tracked down Patron's favorite cheese—like a whole block of it.