A heroic homecoming — Conan the dog, who had a pivotal role in the raid of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was given a hero’s welcome with an honorary recognition from the White House.
The “world’s most famous dog,” is how President Donald Trump referred to Conan the dog on Nov. 25, upon the hero pup’s reception at the White House. “We just gave Conan a medal and a plaque,” the President continued. “I actually think Conan knew exactly what was going on,” he shared, adding that Conan is, “a dog that is very, very special.” With Conan’s handler at their side, the President, who is currently under investigation, motioned to turn the occasion over to him for any words, which he declined.
However, Vice President Mike Pence offered a few sentiments to commemorate the occasion. The Vice President discussed the ways by which the President came to his decision to plan the raid, including, “the fact that they [the special forces] had dogs that could go in…you put the premium of safety on our special forces and this dog was there, suffered some injury…having this extraordinary dog here today is a reflection of our armed forces and the great job that they do.”
The secret operation took place on Oct. 26, where a special team was sent to the confirmed location of Baghdadi, one of the major leaders in the efforts of ISIS in Northern Syria. Following the raid, the dog’s identity was hidden, worrying that any information that was revealed would also jeopardize the identities of the Army unit Conan served. Throwing caution to the wind, however, President Trump tweeted an image of Conan on Oct. 28, with the dog’s name redacted. In the tweets that followed, President Trump eventually did reveal the dog’s name, and announced he would be bestowing an honor to the canine upon their return to the United States.
Conan is a Belgian Malinois breed, which the President described at the ceremony as an “ultimate fighter, ultimate everything.” Along with their physical strength and agility, the Belgian Malinois also has a powerful sense of smell, and these types of dogs are often used to sniff out drugs. Although Conan did sustain a few injuries following the raid, the pooch will be back in the service of the U.S. Army very soon.