2024 Paws of Honor Update: K9 Tank

Tank is 10-year-old Black Lab who was born in Brazil, trained in a kennel in Northern Indiana and was assigned to the State Department where he conducted sweeps in support of the Secretary of State, POTUS, VPOTUS visits to State Dept., provided support to DSS agents on protective details for foreign dignitaries and he was always a big hit for Take Your Child to Work Day and National Night Out.


Tank was an Explosive Detection Dog. What makes Tank special is how much he loves to work; he would get so excited he would run out to the truck and jump up and down until the door was opened to get in. When it was time to search, Tank would hop down the halls at State Dept. Tank knows the difference between work mode and home mode and at home he is a complete goofball, who loves to play and cuddle.

Tank’s primary role was to support the Secretary of State and provide protective sweeps of venues where he spoke.

Tank has had two GI tract surgeries after complications with parasites that were destroyed but did not flush out with traditional medication. After he retired, we learned he had severe hip dysplasia requiring both hips to be replaced. He has severe arthritis in his elbows which he received Synovetin OA injections for and is going in again to repeat the procedure.

Tank still searches all packages that come in the house and the cars when he goes outside. He loves getting a little drop of salmon in his food, he loves to cuddle with his stuffed animals and protects his older sister when she naps. His favorite special treat is homemade whipped cream.

Tank would say, “I'm very happy I could retire with my hoomans where I don't have to work for my tennis balls... Tennis balls are life.”

Tank loves his Big Barker Bed, he enjoys fluffing it before settling down for a nap in front of the fireplace.

Big Barker was able to ask Scott, Tank's owner, some questions about Tank. Read along to see the questions and answers from Scott! 

  1. What would you like to say to your dog if he or she was a human being? Get back to work.
  2. What is the one thing you would change about your dog if you could? Take away any pain and discomfort he has.
  3. How many weeks, months or years did it take for your dog to get used to civilian life? It's been almost five years and he still hasn't gotten used to it
  4. What did your dog do for you that no human could have done? Be with me everyday at work and make it fun ALL the time.
  5. How has your dog improved your quality of life? The entertainment value with his mannerisms keeps us laughing. His whole body Lab leans are the best stress reducer and snuggle time on the couch is one of the most calming things in the world.
  6. How long has your dog had their Big Barker bed and what noticeable changes have you felt they have experienced since sleeping on their Big Barker bed?  He's had his bed about a year and a half. He uses it when I'm working in my office and seems to crash pretty hard on it and wakes up ready to run.