It’s the end of another long day in Iraq or Afghanistan, and an Australian sapper is helping his explosive detection dog out of its gear.
They are both tired after being out on patrol; the dog lying on top of a rocky outcrop, its back leg dangling, its eyes level with its handler’s.
Standing nose to nose, they are equals, looking lovingly into each other’s eyes as they prepare to take a well-earnt break and play a simple game of fetch.
It’s a special moment between a soldier and his dog, immortalised in a bronze sculpture, titled Elevation of the senses, at the Australian War Memorial.
Created by Melbourne-based sculptor and painter Ewen Coates, the sculpture was made possible thanks to the generosity of Doug Thompson, himself a dog lover and a veteran of national service.
“We wanted a memorial to show our thanks for what they did and still do in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Mr Thompson said. “When we got the design and Ewen came back with his ideas, we were so impressed; it exceeded everyone’s expectations, and I’m just so delighted and just so proud to have been associated with it.”