Stuart Conlin and his Border Collie Trip are more than best friends. As a combat engineer and Explosive Detection Dog handler in the Australian Army, Sergeant Conlin and his Military Working Dog Trip are inseparable.
“He’s a really good dog and follows me around all the time,” he said.
“I bought him as six-week old pup in Townsville … and I was going to name him ‘Chase’ because he loved to chase the ball, but then I was carrying groceries up the stairs and he got underneath my feet and he tripped me over.”
The pair deployed to the Middle East together and went on to form an unbreakable bond.
“I conditioned him just as a bit of a project and he went really well so I ended up training him and he was certified as a Military Working Dog in 2012,” Sergeant Conlin said.
“I deployed with him to Afghanistan in 2013 and then again to Iraq in 2015–16.
“Knowing that I’d had him from a six-week-old pup and then he was deploying on operations was a really good feeling – it puts all your training into perspective, and he was a really good operational dog.”