Puppy love prevails during visit to Ipswich Hospital

Royal Australian Air Force Military Working Dog Handler, Corporal Natasha Falconer, and Military Working Dog puppy Ida, with siblings Zakey (left) and Ayat during a visit to Ipswich Hospital.

A new litter of Air Force puppies who will soon start training to become Military Working Dogs won the hearts of young patients and staff at Ipswich Hospital today.

Seven Military Working Dog puppies from RAAF Base Amberley visited the Children’s Sunshine Ward today and the names of the newest additions to the RAAF Working Dog Program were announced.

Corporal Natasha Falconer, from the RAAF Security and Fire School Breeding Cell, said it was great to get the kids at the Children’s Sunshine Ward to help suggest names for the young puppies.

The names of the Indigo 6 litter are Iron, Ippy, Ida, Isshi and Igloo, for the boys, and Ivy and Iris, for the girls.

“Thank you to all the children and the team at the Children’s Sunshine Ward, who did a great job naming our courageous future Military Working Dogs,” Corporal Falconer said.

Kirsty Franklin, Children’s Sunshine Ward Nurse Unit Manager, said it was a special treat for young patients, their families and staff to meet the newly christened Air Force puppies.

“When young children are in our care they are of course away from their home, their family, their pets and the things they love, so we not only provide the best possible medical care but like to go the extra mile to keep kids’ spirits high during their stay,” Ms Franklin said. 

“Sometimes a child in hospital needs a little distraction to help put them at ease and take their mind off their illness or treatment.

“It was clear the kids were ecstatic about meeting the bounding pups, and having the opportunity to name them was an added bonus.  

“Nothing beats seeing big smiles on the little faces of those in our care.”

Once trained, the Military Working Dogs will work closely with RAAF security handlers to provide security patrols, emergency response, intruder detection and apprehension on RAAF Bases and in deployed locations around the world.