At 7 a.m. one August morning, near the town of Safar, Afghanistan, Fenji was out in front of 10 marines, leashed to a D-ring attached to the body armor of her handler, Cpl. Max Donahue.
Fenji, a German shepherd, was on the hunt for improvised explosive devices, the top killer in Afghanistan. IEDs can elude the most sophisticated technology, but they are harder to hide from the expert nose of a soldier dog. Within an hour, Fenji found four roadside bombs. Cpl. Donahue lavished her with quiet praise every time and gave her a quick chew on a rubber toy. “That’s my girl!”