Monument goes respectfully to the dogs

This undated publicity photo provided by John Burnam Monument Foundation, Inc., shows the frontal view of the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument. It is the first national monument ever to pay tribute to dogs and honors every dog who has served in combat since World War II. (AP Photo/John Burnam Monument Foundation, Inc.)

ASSOCIATED PRESS - Four breeds of military dogs are represented on a monument that will be displayed in Texas.

The United States has lots of statues for military heroes, but the nation is about to get its first national monument honoring four-legged soldiers.

The U.S. Working Dogs Team National Monument will be shown for the first time in California in January, and it will honor every dog that has served in combat since World War II.

The monument was the idea of John Burnam, a retired military dog handler who has written books about dogs he served with in the military.

The bronze monument features four breeds of dogs, all used in war: Doberman, German shepherd, Labrador retriever and Belgian Malinois (pronounced mal-in-wa). The dogs surround a handler who stands nine feet tall and weighs 1,500 pounds. The dogs are each about five feet tall.

A floral version of the monument will be a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The bronze statue will be displayed in California before going to its permanent home in Texas.

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