Tag Archives: war dogs

Dogs of War- Our Canine Soldiers

In the US it’s Veteran’s Day Weekend. In Canada, it’s Remembrance Day Weekend. Most of us have some tie that makes us reflect, if even for a moment.

We all know “working dogs” truly love a perfectly executed assignment if only to see a smile on their master. It’s rewarding for them.

We brought you a great video from Military.com about soldiers befriending dogs overseas. Now here’s a special look at the dogs who are working side by side, and actual members of our armed forces.

A U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during a training exercise.

New York Times Best Selling Author Lisa Rogak has captured the excitement of working dogs in her new book The Dogs of War.   It’s an inside look into a very elite, working and special class of dogs.

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The Psychiatrist is In: 5-cents

OK, since it is now Wednesday, I thought it would be a good time to follow up on Monday’s post about a dog named Tuesday.  I stumbled across this article from the Wall Street Journal while I was looking for something else.  If you watched the third video attached to Monday’s post, you learned a bit about Tuesday, a dog who helps veteran Luis Carlos Montalvan deal with severe PTSD.  Here’s “The Rest of the Story.”

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Memorial Day, 2010: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns

Gettysburg Cannon

We just got home from our community’s Memorial Day celebration, which reminded me that there are some things that are just more important than dogs. (Gasp!)  So, please forgive me as I go off-topic today.

Below are some FAQs about the Sentinels who have guarded the Tomb of the Unknowns 24/7 since 1937.  I had originally received this as an e-mail, but the copy I received had several urban legends in it, so I thought you might like to read the straight poop from The Society of the Honor Guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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No Memorial Day for Dog Warriors

flagDedicated to the memory of all those who served . . . Italy, France, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and Great Britain all have formal monuments and decorations dedicated to war dogs by the military organizations under which they served. War dogs in other countries have also been awarded medals and other forms of official recognition for serving their countries. Of all of the countries to employ the use and help of dogs during times of war, the United States military stands alone as the only world military to not formally acknowledge the contributions made by its canine soldiers. Due to a policy that has existed since World War II, and despite the protests of armed forces personnel, the United States military refuses to formally recognize the accomplishments of its canine soldiers, stating that such recognition is “demeaning to servicemen.”

Nearly 4000 dogs served in Vietnam and saved up to 10,000 American servicemen through their scouting and sentry duties. When withdrawing from Vietnam in 1973, the military classified the dogs as surplus equipment to be left behind during evacuation. Many dogs were left with South Vietnamese allies who were afraid of the dogs and didn’t know how to handle them. Many of the dogs were euthanized, and many more perished at the hands of their inexperienced South Vietnamese handlers. Only a handful of Vietnam war dogs made it back to the United States. Many handlers and trainers who worked with these dogs were traumatized by having to leave their faithful companions behind, stating that the dogs saved their lives and often did more work than they did.

Relegated to the status of military equipment rather than personnel, dogs in the U.S. military are drafted for life and are euthanized once they are deemed infirm and incapable of continuing their jobs. The military claims that these dogs are incapable of being retired to civilian life, despite the fact that police dogs, which receive identical training, are successfully and peacefully retired to loving homes and families upon retirement. As a result of the indifference shown toward war dogs, many of their accomplishments have been unjustly forgotten, or at best, relegated to the status of “trivia” by war buffs. Many of the records of war dogs and their handlers have been lost or destroyed, and the public remains largely unaware of the contributions by dogs in the armed forces.

The Vietnam Dog Handler Association, a veterans group, is spearheading the drive to honor America’s war dogs with a national memorial. To learn more or to make a donation, please visit their web site.

Thanks to all who have served, either with two legs or four!

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

Veteran’s Day for our canine soldiers

Top Ten Tuesday is pre-empted this week so we can bring you this special Veteran’s Day post.

We all know that many dogs serve with our military forces, sniffing out bombs and walking guard posts, among other important tasks.  But what happens when a dog is forced into retirement?  Statistics from 2006 show that 281 retired war dogs were adopted, 74 were waiting to be adopted, and 116 were euthanized.

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