Lest We Forget: The People And The Pups In The War Effort

It’s the time to remember and honor the sacrifice for our freedom.

By Justyne Yuen-Lee

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Credit: The Telegraph / Dogs of war: the unsung heroes of the trenches

Captain Richardson’s dog joined him in the trenches in 1914.

As we tossed aside our Halloween costumes and decorations and wrestled ourselves out of temptation to start singing Christmas carols, we don our poppies in order to remember everyone who served in both World Wars and other combats. As we get further and further into the 21st century, we lose more and more of the original veterans of the Second World war, but we cling to the tradition to remember those who fought for us and the ultimate sacrifice of so many. Unsurprisingly, our ever-growing consumerist world does what it does best and we are bombarded with the Spirit of Christmas during the first week of November. As tempting as it is, it is important to pay our respects not just to the soldiers in the trenches, the air, or any battlefield, but everyone who fought in the war.

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Credit: The Telegraph / Dogs of war: the unsung heroes of the trenches
This noble looking dog was Stunty who was the mascot of the Tank Corps.

People of color, women, and even animals gave their time and effort for the freedom we enjoy today. Yet their stories fade into the background, overshadowed by the slaughter of so many other heroes.

Credit: BBC / The role of animals during World War One

Now, a century after the First World War, we can and should take the time to honor everyone who fought for us. And that includes our favorite pets – brave dogs who took their jobs seriously and with loyalty. This fluffer was a casualty dog. Casualty dogs trained to find wounded or dying soldiers and carried medical equipment so the soldiers could treat themselves. In the case of a dying soldier, these dogs would keep them company (sad and touching).

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Credit: BBC / The role of animals during World War One

This hardworking canine was a sentry dog. He stayed with a solider or guarded and barked a warning sound when there was a stranger near the camp. A lot of sentry dogs were actually Dobermans!

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Credit: Dog Time / Five Famous War Dogs

Dogs were used to boost morale during the war too. Because that’s what doggies do best, am I right? This chipper looking Yorkie is Smoky who was active during World War II. She used her hearing to warn soldiers of incoming artillery.

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Credit: Dog Time / Five Famous War Dogs

The ever-popular K9 German Shepherd of course had a role in the war. This GSD’s name was Nemo and he patrolled a cemetery near the company’s airbase during the Vietnam war. He attacked the enemy after being shot in the eye, giving his accompanying solider time to call in reinforcements. After his solider fell unconscious, Nemo guarded his body with his own.

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Credit: Dog Time / Five Famous War Dogs

It’s not just purebred dogs who participated in the war – Chips was a Collie/German Shepherd/ Husky mix who saw action in Germany, France, North Africa AND Sicily.

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Credit: Dog Time / Five Famous War Dogs

One of the most famous war dogs was Stubby, and American Pit Bull Terrier (he sounds like he could win a fight already). Found as a stray, he participated in the First World War by improving morale, assisting in attacking the enemy, and warning the soldiers of oncoming attacks, whether poison or artillery. He also sniffed out a spy!

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Credit: Youtube / US National Archives

Today, dogs, like their ancestors one hundred years before, still participate in military efforts as equal partners to their soldiers. Our furry friends take on a job of protection and we rely on their different and keener senses to do their duty.

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Credit: Tumblr / @coolmoviesblog

Dogs have proved time and time again that their loyalty knows no bound – not even in war. We applaud their contribution alongside the countless others during times of war.

We hope everyone will take a moment to pay respect to those who fought, and also do your part to be a good person your dog can be proud of.