The armed guards at Mali's Bamako Senou International Airport had never seen a German shepherd before. The only dogs they were familiar with were the small, scrappy mixed breeds that are common in West Africa. So when Dana, a wolf-like purebred from California, stepped off a plane and into the airport in February 2012, eight soldiers surrounded her and her trainer Sapir Weiss, guns raised.
Weiss, who once trained antiterrorism dogs for the Israeli army, was eager to get Dana outside after 36 hours of bladder-straining international travel that included a seven-hour stopover in Paris. But the soldiers thought the dog's service vest was a suicide bomb. They ordered Weiss to take it off. They demanded to know where Dana's crate was. “Where's the box?” they yelled. “Where's the box?”
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