World

Czech defense minister awards bomb-sniffing German shepherd seriously injured in Afghanistan

  • Four-year-old Czech military dog Athos who was seriously wounded  in a Taliban rocket attack in Afghanistan in 2012 sits with dog handler Rostislav Bartoncik after being decorated by Czech Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek in Chotyne, Czech Republic, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.  Suffering life threatening injuries, Athos was first treated by U.S. military doctors in Afghanistan before he was transported to the U.S. Ramstein base in Germany.  (AP Photo/CTK, Radek Petrasek) SLOVAKIA OUT

    Four-year-old Czech military dog Athos who was seriously wounded in a Taliban rocket attack in Afghanistan in 2012 sits with dog handler Rostislav Bartoncik after being decorated by Czech Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek in Chotyne, Czech Republic, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Suffering life threatening injuries, Athos was first treated by U.S. military doctors in Afghanistan before he was transported to the U.S. Ramstein base in Germany. (AP Photo/CTK, Radek Petrasek) SLOVAKIA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Four-year-old Czech military dog Athos who was seriously wounded  in a Taliban rocket attack in Afghanistan in 2012 sits with dog handler Rostislav Bartoncik after being decorated by Czech Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek in Chotyne, Czech Republic,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.  Suffering life threatening injuries, Athos was first treated by U.S. military doctors in Afghanistan before he was transported to the U.S. Ramstein base in Germany.  (AP Photo/CTK, Radek Petrasek) SLOVAKIA OUT

    Four-year-old Czech military dog Athos who was seriously wounded in a Taliban rocket attack in Afghanistan in 2012 sits with dog handler Rostislav Bartoncik after being decorated by Czech Defence Minister Vlastimil Picek in Chotyne, Czech Republic,Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Suffering life threatening injuries, Athos was first treated by U.S. military doctors in Afghanistan before he was transported to the U.S. Ramstein base in Germany. (AP Photo/CTK, Radek Petrasek) SLOVAKIA OUT  (The Associated Press)

Like many military victims of a Taliban attack in Afghanistan, Athos was treated by American doctors in the field, flown to the U.S. Ramstein base in Germany for his recovery, then awarded for his bravery back home.

But Athos is a bomb-sniffing German shepherd who was helping Czech forces in Afghanistan, not a soldier, and during a ceremony honoring him on Tuesday, he received a buffalo bone and a leather collar.

The 4-year-old dog was seriously wounded in a rocket attack on a military base in Logar province on Sept. 30, 2012.

During the ceremony at a military dog center in Chotyne, Czech Republic, Defense Minister Vlastimil Picek called Athos "a soldier's irreplaceable friend."

If Athos passes his medical checkup in January, he may be put back through basic training.