Columbia, SC (WLTX)--Sgt. First Class "Gabe" passed away Wednesday afternoon in the arms of his trainer SFC Chuck Shuck.
Gabe, the yellow lab mix pound puppy who was a day away from being euthanized, became an improvised explosive device sniffing dog. He won the American Humane Association 2012 Hero Dog of the Year, he was ten years old.
Tuesday evening, Gabe was having difficulty breathing on his own and was taken to the animal emergency hospital by his trainer and owner Shuck.
A trained US Army specialized search dog, Gabe retired from military service in 2009 after conducting 210 combat missions in Iraq and survived a roadside bomb and a shootout with insurgents.
When not hobnobbing with stars like Betty White, Gabe spent his retirement years spreading the word of the contributions made by military war dogs, visiting schools and churches teaching children about respect and honor.
According to his facebook page, boasting over 35,000 friends, Gabe's owner Shuck will be making a book for Gabe and if you'd like to write or draw something, you can send it to: Gabe at 9574 Windsor Lake Blvd Columbia, SC 29223.
Shuck also mentions that Gabe had all of his favorite toys, his tennis balls, his medals and junk food in his last moments.