Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dogs of War

Veterans Day
With the utmost respect and appreciation, today we honor our veterans and military for protecting us, and allowing us to live in freedom!

Since this blog features dog and animal themes…today, we also salute the Dogs of War.

Dogs have a long history of helping during wars.  Dogs have been used to fight in battles, possibly even as early as 100 BC.  Did you know that around 1798 even Napoleon added dogs to his militia?

Their Role
Given dogs’ intelligence and their willingness to work, the role of dogs has varied from fighting dogs, to guard dogs, to pulling carts with heavy equipment, to message carriers, to search and rescue, to detection work, and more.  These dogs have saved countless lives and served as companions during lonely times in battle.  In “The Lost History of the Canine Race” (1996) author Mary Thurston notes that “over 30,000 dogs served in America’s armed forces over the last century.” And dogs continue to serve in the military today!

Obviously, with such a long history, the praises of dogs in war could go on and on, but I will keep this brief and just select one point in time, represented by a vintage postcard from World War I.

An Example
This postcard paints a very detailed scene of the Red Cross Dog’s work circa WWI.

During World War I, the Red Cross trained dogs to search the battlefield for wounded soldiers and bring back a helmet or bit of clothing to alert rescuers that a stretcher was needed.

In this picture: The dog’s collar, with the familiar Red Cross emblem, indicates that she is a trained Red Cross dog. The dog (German shepherd / Alsatian) has a hat in her mouth which she is giving to a member of the Red Cross (as noted by his armband).  This will alert officials that a stretcher is needed for a wounded soldier.

In the background (upper center), a soldier is being carried on a stretcher to a Red Cross wagon.  (The wagon in the picture shows just how old this scene is!)  An injured soldier is being attended to by a Red Cross member (right side of image).

This postcard is titled “ein treuer Helfer” with translates to “a true helper.” I couldn’t agree more…a true helper!

We Salute You
To the all of the Dogs of War who unselfishly served in war to save and protect us, and our freedom, we salute you!


PS: Be sure to look for the key words "November Contest" for how to win either the Paw Print Locket Necklace or the Paw Print Business Card Case!

[Photos and Text Copyright 2009 Carole of All Rights Reserved.]

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