Stubby was a Terrier type dog that wandered into the grounds of Yale University in July 1917. It just so happened that members of the 102nd infantry were training in Yale on this particular day. Thus, the story of the most decorated dog of World War I was born. As the soldiers were training, Stubby refused to leave their side. After growing fond of the friendly pup, Corporal Robert Conroy decided that when it was time to ship out, he would hide Stubby onboard. When they departed in France, Corporal Conroy hid Stubby in his jacket. When he was eventually discovered by the commanding officer, he was aghast to see Stubby salute him. The soldiers had trained him to salute upon request. He was allowed to stay, it was decided.
For 18 months, Stubby served in the trenches of France; he participated in four offended and 17 battles. His first injury was inhalation of toxic gas. As a result, Stubby became very sensitive to the smell - something that came in handy. When Stubby smelt the gas, he would run to all of the soldiers barking to awaken them. Additionally, Stubby would run through the trenches to find wounded soldiers. He was trained to differentiate between English and German language and bark whenever he found an English speaking soldier who was injured. In one of his most impressive endeavours, he captured a German spy. As he was mapping out the allied trenches, the German spy spotted Stubby and called out to him in German. Recognising the language of the enemy, Stubby attacked him. It was this heroic event that promoted Stubby to rank of sergeant.
After the war, he became an American celebrity, even visiting the White House twice and meeting President Woodrow Wilson. He passed away at the age of nine or ten and his body was donated to the Smithsonian Institute.
On Tuesday, Lucca, a 12-year-old German shepherd, received the prestigious Dickin Medal, the highest military decoration awarded for valor in the UK. She’s the first American K9 to receive it. While serving, she led over 400 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and found over 40 explosives. She lost her leg when an IED detonated as she was searching for weapons. Thank you for your sacrifice, Lucca.
A very furry story from the history of the space race! Khrushchev’s move strikes me as brilliant: half, “we may be engaged in a cold war, but we’re still human!” and half, “the dogs we sent to space are already having babies. How’s NASA coming along?”
Apparently, Pushinka (which means “fluffy" in Russian) was examined before arriving at the White House to check for listening devices.
Mutt was a YMCA cigarette delivery dog during WWI. These dogs delivered cigarettes and even provided psychological comfort, even just for a fleeting moment, to the soldiers out on the field. They were known to boost moral. Mutt was injured twice during WWI. Quite often, mascots such as Mutt were left behind when conflict was over but it is said that Mutt was smuggled on board and returned safely to New York.
During World War II there was a great need for US Military service dogs, and to recruit more dogs a program was created where civilians could donate their pets for the cause. One such doggo was a German Shepherd/Collie?Siberian Husky mix named Chips. Chips took onto his military training quickly and he became a guard dog with the 3rd Infantry Division. He even guard President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Casablanca conference in 1943. However, it was in battle where Chips would show his bravery.
Chips took part in the invasion of Sicily on July/August of 1943. In one incident his platoon was pinned down by a hidden machine gun bunker. Chips broke loose from his handler and literally stormed the bunker, jumping through the firing slit and viciously biting the four Italian soldiers within. The soldiers ran out of the pillbox in terror and surrendered to the Americans. Chips was wounded in the action, and as a result was awarded the Purple Heart. In another incident Chips alerted his unit to an enemy ambush. During the ambush, he carried a phone line attached to his collar back to the rear so that his men could call for reinforcements.
Chips would continue to serve on the Italian front, later took part in the Allied invasion of Southern France in August of 1944, and the subsequent invasion of Germany. He was discharged in December of 1945 and returned to his family.. Throughout his service, he performed many more brave acts, and never failed to alert his fellow soldiers to dangers such as incoming artillery, enemy aircraft, and enemy ambushes. For his feats and bravery in the face of combat, he was award the Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross. Quite impressive for a humble doggo.
Chip’s fame spread across the United States which unfortunately led to a problem. The Commander of the Order of the Purple Heart complained to both President Roosevelt and the War Department stating that by awarding medals to a mere dog they were demeaning the men who had also been decorated. As a result Chip’s medals were revoked and US policy was changed so that dogs were recognized as equipment, not combatants.