Patron, a two-and-a-half-year-old mine-sniffing dog, has been recognised by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky for his services to the country since the beginning of Russia-Ukraine war.
He has been given a medal for helping the Ukrainian forces detect more than 200 explosives. The dog was presented with the medal at a ceremony organised in Kyiv. Patron is a Jack Russell terrier whose name means "ammo" in Ukrainian language. He has been helping minesweepers in the north-eastern city of Chernihiv.
He has already become a national hero and a symbol of Ukrainian resistance against Russia. Patron regularly features in videos posted by official Ukrainian social media channels. His Instagram page has more than 220,000 followers.
He has even inspired a number of artworks and his fans do not shy away from sharing his illustrations on social media. A picture of Patron falling asleep during a press briefing had also gone viral on social media. The picture was shared by Belarusian opposition outlet NEXTA.
"I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes - a wonderful little sapper Patron who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat," President Zelensky said during Sunday's ceremony.
The dog and his owner, Mykhailo Iliev of the Civil Protection Service, were presented with their medals by President Zelensky as Patron barked and wagged his tail in excitement.
The ceremony was also attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a report in The Guardian.
Patron has been trained to recognise the smell of gunpowder. The moment he smells it he gives a signal to his teammate who would then locate and defuse the explosive. His owner Iliev had initially bought Patron as a pet for his son but the war forced him to take the dog's help in detecting explosives.