A unit of esteemed puppy officers stole the spotlight while being carried in their humans’ backpacks during Chile’s annual Independence Day Military Parade at O’Higgins Park in Santiago, Chile on Tuesday, Sep. 19.
A remarkable ensemble of 76 dogs attended the highly-anticipated event, with some marching alongside their humans and the others carried in bright yellow backpacks instead, while Air Force planes soared overhead.
Before the march, the dog officers were required to undergo rigorous training with their assigned human police officers to ensure a smooth and safe experience amid the overwhelming crowds and noise from the thousands of people around the nation looking on.
“Since they’re very young, we accustom them to noise, to different scenarios, to be near people so that during the military parade they can enjoy themselves, the same as us,” police captain Gabriela Berrios Bruna told Reuters.
The tradition of the annual parade dates back to as early as 1810, commemorating the inauguration of the nation’s first government junta.
Over time, it has grown to include the participation of the Chilean Army, Navy, Air Force and the Carabiniers of Chile.
The canine brigade was first introduced to the parade in 2017 and has since become an integral — and arguably the most important — part of the celebration.