THE Andalucian town of Antequera paid tribute to their beloved service dog Ajax with a specially commissioned stone statue revealed yesterday.

The statue, located in the new Rojas Perez roundabout in front of the Jardines de La Negrita, represents the long career of the Guardia Civil’s German Shepherd Ajax, who passed away in 2013.

The ceremony to unveil the plinth was attended by dignitaries from the Guardia Civil and the local Government of Antequera, including the dogs former partner, Juan Carlos Alabarces.

Ajax entered service as a puppy and was trained and instructed by Alabarces, during which time he carried out numerous duties on the front line.

Most notably, Ajax was a key member of the team that prevented a deadly second terrorist attack following the ETA bombing in Palma Nova in 2009.

On July 30, a car bomb exploded outside a Guardia Civil barracks on the island of Mallorca, killing two officers.

The general director of the Civil Guard, Maria Gamez, paid her respects to the fallen canine, “A tribute, probably, to the dog that has had the greatest importance and relevance in the performance of the Civil Guard: a dog that has helped us to preserve people’s lives and helped guarantee the freedom and security of all.”

“I am very proud that our city honors the memory of a dog that saved lives, who worked as the best of the civil guards, with honor and dedication,” said the mayor of Antequera, Manuel Baron.

“Ajax is for sure not the only incredible dog on the force, but he holds a special place in the hearts of many,” he added.

Alabarces closed out the unveiling ceremony with his own special words for his long time partner.

“Ajax was more than a dog, he was a symbol for the sacrifice, effort and tenacity that the Guardia Civil portrays in the face of terrorism.” said Alabarces.

During his time in service, Ajax was given the Distinguished Service Mention in 2011 and the PDSA Gold Medal of Honour in 2013, the only dog to receive the award outside of the UK.

His name is also mentioned alongside World War II dogs at Ilford Cemetery in London.

Alabarces permanently adopted Ajax after his retirement from active duty and continued to care for him right up until his death in 2013.

The stone statue was carved out of regional limestone by local artist Antonio Garcia Herrero and will take pride of place among other tributes to special dogs in history as part of the new urban park in the town.

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