A heroic dog from Lossiemouth has won a prestigious award for his work in saving lives in Afghanistan.
Retired police dog Memphis has settled into his retirement in the Moray town but his former military duties have not been forgotten as he was named the winner of the Canine Partner Award at the ‘Soldiering On’ awards ceremony in London.
Memphis is now reunited with Corporal Mick McConnell, who in 2011 was seriously injured after stepping on a roadside bomb. The pair met up again after Mr McConnell adopted the spaniel when he had been retired from duty.
Mr McConnell, 41, credits Memphis for taking him out of the “dark places” after he had undergone nearly two years of rehabilitation. He had to make the decision to have his foot amputated last year but says that his dog now gives him confidence not to hide himself away but to get out and about.
His life has also been greatly improved thanks to the RAF Benevolent Fund, who helped him find a new home. He said: “They enabled me to move to a house that more suits my needs and also suits my needs since the amputation.
“My living area is now on the one level but more importantly it relieved the stress on how I was going to live when I came out of hospital.
“Now Memphis brings me out of my dark places and reminds me not to let life grind me down – he makes me smile every day.”
Memphis was recommended for the Canine Partner Award by Group Captain Mike Neville from the RAF Benevolent Fund, who said: “We are delighted Mick and his faithful friend have been recognised for this award.
“The Soldiering On awards are a fitting tribute to the dedication and sacrifice made by our armed forces – we are proud to nominate Mick and to be able to assist him as he recovers from his injuries.”
Video: RAF Benevolent Fund footage of Memphis and Mick McConnell: