A Ukrainian bomb-sniffing dog and his owner were awarded a service medal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday during a ceremony in Kyiv alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Jack Russell terrier, named “Patron,” has been credited with sniffing out more than 200 explosive devices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Patron has become a symbol of Ukrainian patriotism, and his mine hunting has been chronicled by media worldwide since the start of the war. Patron struggled to maintain his composure during the ceremony and barked at the Canadian prime minister as he was awarded his medal.
“In the presence of Mr. Prime Minister [Trudeau], I awarded our sappers today. In particular, a small but very famous sapper — Patron. A dog who helps clean our land from the traces of the occupiers. And who also helps teach children mine safety,” Zelensky said in his nightly address Sunday.
Patron barked and wagged his tail as the Ukrainian president awarded his owner, Maj. Myhailo Iliev, the medal. Trudeau appeared to search his pockets for a dog treat as Patron barked in his direction during the ceremony.