Conan, the military K-9 injured while tracking down the world's most wanted terrorist, will be honored for her service at the White House next week, but she's already become a pop culture sensation.
The highly trained Belgian Malinois' image already is cropping up on merchandise, potentially worth millions of Snausages, though it's doubtful the brave pooch will ever see so much as a dog biscuit of that.
Calling her an “AMERICAN HERO,” President Trump on Thursday declassified the name of the K-9, who became a subject of intrigue after working with the Delta Force team that cornered the head of the Islamic State in northeastern Syria.
In his initial tweet Monday, Trump had said, “We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi! A VERY GOOD BOY!”
In another tweet Thursday, Trump thanked the conservative Daily Wire for an edited photo depicting the president placing a medal around Conan's neck and promised to honor the dog in person.
“Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation,” he said, “but the 'live' version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week!”
Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation, but the “live” version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week! https://t.co/Z1UfhxsSpT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
Although she was wounded in the operation, Conan likely won't receive a Purple Heart for his sacrifice. The U.S. stopped awarding military dogs such honors due to complaints that it devalued the medal soldiers receive when wounded in battle.
But America found its own way to recognize the hero dog.
Within hours, Conan appeared on all sorts of merchandise available on the web. T-shirts and coffee mugs bore the dog's image, with the phrase, “Zero Bark Thirty,” a play on the title of the 2012 movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
“The greatest game of fetch in history,” reads the product description for this t-shirt fro Ranger Up(Ranger Up_
Newsweek reported that the intrepid canine was named after comedian Conan O'Brien, a claim the Pentagon would not confirm.
But O'Brien tweeted graciously, “That dog is clearly the better 'Conan' — I wish her a speedy recovery!”
Conan helped corner Baghdadi in a tunnel under a compound in northeastern Syria, where the dog was injured when the terrorist detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three children.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told reporters the canine “performed a tremendous service” in the Saturday night raid and was “slightly wounded” but was recovering and had returned to duty at an undisclosed location.
Initially, Milley said the U.S. was protecting the identity of the dog because making her name public could also identify the soldiers who worked with the canine.