The only Tequila you’ll find in Afghanistan is a bomb-sniffing dog

Meet Tequila, my best buddy while I served in the Marines in Afghanistan.

Tequila was my bomb dog. She had the best nose out of all the bomb dogs she served with.

In 2010, I was sent to dog handling school outside Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with 12 other grunts from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. We had to take a personality test to help pair us with our dogs. When the day came to receive the dogs our instructors felt were the best fit for us, we were all hoping to get for the biggest, baddest Labrador retriever.

I was the last one to get his dog that day. When the instructor pulled Tequila from the truck, I was crushed.

At just 29 pounds, she wasn’t exactly what one pictures when you think of a devil dog. As a result, I was of course lovingly berated by the other Marines.

While we trained with our dogs on explosive and handling drills, it became clear that my Tequila was not only the smallest, but the alpha in the group. When it came to finding explosives, she could even sniff them out under mud and water.