The trusty old dog who fetched a live grenade

Published: November 24, 2005 | 2813th good news item since 2003

A retired gun dog proved that his retrieving instinct, if not his judgment, was still sound when he proudly presented his owner with an unexpected find – a live hand grenade.

Jake the 15-year-old labrador, who is blind in one eye, is rather deaf and walks unsteadily, emerged from a bush, his tail wagging, to present Stefan Bojanowski with his find. His owner initially thought his old companion had dug up a harmless lump of metal. It was only when he retrieved it that he realised it was a rusty, Second World War grenade. [The Spy Who Spent the War in Bed : And Other Bizarre Tales from World War II]

Jake made his unwelcome find as Mr Bojanowski took the dogs for their early-morning walk on Monday.

“It was very foggy and cold so I decided not to walk on the usual footpaths and instead took the dogs down the lane,” he said yesterday. “I think Jake must have smelled the decaying explosives in the grenade because he made a bee line for this hedge and then came out with it.

“Like any good gun dog, he always finds things and tries to give them to me.

“I was absolutely terrified but he was really proud of himself when he presented it to me.

“He didn’t know that he could have blown us both up.”

Leaving the grenade on the ground with a stick marking the spot, Mr Bojanowski, 59, a retired English teacher hurried back to his home at Plumstead, near Holt, Norfolk, with Jake and Coco, his two-year-old collie cross.

He called the police and showed them where the grenade lay on a farm track before Army bomb disposal experts arrived and detonated the device. [Bomb Squads]

Mr Bojanowski believes the grenade could have been lying in the hedge since being lost more than 60 years ago by soldiers using a nearby wartime range.

Jake had been trained as a gun dog by a previous owner but had been retired at the age of two because of an injury.

“We were given him when he was young. Even though I do not shoot, he has not forgotten what he has learned,” said Mr Bojanowski.

Published in Animals
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