Antler Dog Chew Company Honors Target, a Life-Saving German Shepherd Mix

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Life-saving German Shepherd mix struck a bulls-eye in soldiers’ hearts with gallant sentry duty in Afghanistan.

Antler Dog Chew Company Honors Target

Target Helps Soldiers

"Target’s story is just so touching in so many ways,” says Cindy Dunston Quirk, owner and developer of Scout & Zoe’s Natural Antler Dog Chews.

Target wasn’t born in this country, but she died an American hero.

The friendly German Shepherd mix was one of three strays adopted by a group of U.S. soldiers at a forward base in Paktia, Afghanistan, last year. The trio earned hero status when they confronted a suicide bomber approaching the barracks strapped with 25 pounds of high explosives. Thanks to the dogs, the bombs went off in the doorway of the barracks resulting in a few injuries but fortunately no loss of American lives.

One of the dogs, Sasha, was killed in the explosion. Target and Rufus were injured but made a full recovery. From then on, Target and Rufus were treated as members of the military family, having more than earned their stripes. As many as 50 soldiers might have been killed if the dogs hadn’t intervened.

Target and Rufus received a hero’s welcome after being brought to the United States by a nonprofit group that grants special wishes for soldiers. Unfortunately, Target passed away last October, not long after settling down with the family of one of the soldiers she saved. But her memory lives on in the hearts of those who were inspired by her amazing story.

For her loyalty and bravery, Target is being recognized with the Scout & Zoe’s Exceptional Canine Award.

"Target’s story is just so touching in so many ways,” says Cindy Dunston Quirk, owner and developer of Scout & Zoe’s Natural Antler Dog Chews. “She and her friends were strays on the streets of Afghanistan before being shown kindness by the American soldiers. Their affection for those troops and their special instincts enabled them to do something amazing when danger was approaching. It’s a story that says so much about the great rewards dogs offer us in return for our love.”

Target got the royal treatment after coming to America, appearing on Oprah and being featured in numerous newspaper articles. Her new home was with Sgt. Terry Young and his family in the Phoenix area. Target, who earned her name for escaping so many brushes with death and abuse as a stray in Afghanistan, tragically lost her life in a case of mistaken identity. Rufus, the last living member of the heroic trio, resides with another soldier’s family in Georgia.
“Our hearts go out to Target’s family,” says Quirk. “But the circumstances of her death do nothing to take away from the great things she achieved. We are proud to honor her with our Exceptional Canine Award.”

As a Scout & Zoe’s honoree, a special card has been created featuring her photo and her achievements. It will be included in packages of Scout & Zoe’s chews.
Know of an exceptional canine in your area? Submit your DOG LORE story at

About Scout & Zoe’s: Scout & Zoe’s Natural Antler Dog Chews are 100 percent natural elk antlers, gathered only after they’ve been shed naturally as part of the elk’s life cycle.

Antler chews are the right choice for the 15 to 20 percent of dogs who suffer from allergies to beef, chicken or have other digestive issues. They’re a safer choice for any dog because antler chews won’t splinter like bones. Owners like them because they don’t wind up in a gooey mess like rawhide and best of all they take away the need for pets to chew on furniture, shoes and other things around the house.

Scout & Zoe’s are superior to other chews in helping dogs maintain clean, healthy teeth and contain trace minerals such as calcium and phosphorous which add to the pet’s overall health.

Typically lasting four to six weeks, Scout & Zoe’s chews are available in a variety of sizes to suit every breed. No animals are harmed and no violence is imposed on any elk during the gathering of the antlers.

To order Scout & Zoe’s chews for your pet, go to or call (317) 457-7222 to find a retail outlet near you.


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