THESE 5 WAR DOGS WILL AMAZE YOU
This Memorial Day we wanted to give a quick bark out to all of the Military Working Dogs of the world. Sometimes we forget that furry friends serve alongside men in women in the military every day. Whether they’re jumping out of planes and helicopters or sniffing out explosives to keep their handlers safe, today’s Military Working Dogs are a part of a rich history of dogs that bravely served their countries. We love these stories because they show that dogs really are just pretty much the best.
Take Bamse the St. Bernard—Bamse became an official crew member of the Norwegian Navy in 1940, serving on a coastal patrol vessel. His acts of heroism included “saving a young lieutenant commander who had been attacked by a man wielding a knife by pushing the assailant into the sea, and dragging back to shore a sailor who had fallen overboard.” Bamse passed away from heart failure in 1944, but is commemorated for his service to this very day.
Then there’s Sargent Stubby, a Pit Bull who has the unique honor of being the only dog ever to be promoted to Sargent (he really was a Sargent!). Stubby was America’s first war dog, and he served in 17 battles, learned to warn his unit of gas attacks and helped to locate wounded soldiers on the battle field. Stubby was wounded by both bullets and a grenade, but made it home after the war and eventually became the mascot for the Georgetown Hoyas—not too shabby for a dog named Stubby.
Chips, a Siberian Husky mix, was the most decorated dog of World War II. Chips showed crazy bravery and courage during the invasion of Sicily. While he and his handler were pinned down on the beach by an Italian machine-gun team, Chips broke from his handler and attacked the gunners. The four crewmen were forced to leave the pillbox and surrendered to US troops. Chips was awarded with a Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart. DIsney even made a movie about him.
Though not as decorated as Chips, Smoky the Yorkie Terrier was another famous WWII dog. In 1944, Smoky was found abandoned in a foxhole in New Guinea. Corporal William A. Wynne later won Smoky in a poker game from another soldier, and she accompanied him in his pack for the remainder of the war. According to Wikipedia, “She survived 150 air raids on New Guinea. And Wynne even credited Smoky with saving his life by warning him of incoming shells on an LST (transport ship), calling her an “angel from a foxhole.” Not bad for a dog weighing only 4lbs.
Before anyone had ever heard of Nemo the fish, Nemo the German Shepherd was serving his country in the Vietnam War. During an attack on his base in 1966, Nemo lost his eye and suffered a gunshot wound to the nose. Even after all this, he managed to save his wounded handler’s life by crawling over him and scaring away anyone who came near. Nemo later returned to the US, and continued working as a recruiting dog.
This list represents just a tiny fraction of all the Military Working Dogs that have served their countries. Please feel free to share other stories of Military Working Dogs in the comments.
Have a safe and Wooftastic Memorial Day Weekend!