March 13, 1942: The U.S. Army begins training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, or the "K-9 Corps".
WHERE: A top-secret military base.
Two soldiers bring a young Siberian Husky into a large outdoor area full of dogs.
SOLDIER 1: Here you go, pup. Hang out here until we need you.
SOLDIER 2: What a great program this is. You think these dogs know they’re going to war?
SOLDIER 1: I’ve always thought dogs were more perceptive than we give them credit. You never know.
The two soldiers leave.
*NOTE: The rest of this conversation was originally in dog language, but it has been translated for the good of historical preservation.*
As soon as the soldiers leave, a Malumute takes notice and calls out to the rest of the dogs.
MALUMUTE: EVERYBODY FALL IN!
All of the dogs line up in a straight line. The Husky looks very confused. A German Shepherd appears from the shadows. He comes over to the Husky.
GERMAN SHEPHERD: YOU LOST, BOY?
GERMAN SHEPHERD: WELL? Speak up!
MALUMUTE: Hey Sarge, maybe he’s lookin’ for the CAT DIVISION!
GERMAN SHEPHERD: THAT’S ENOUGH MARTINEZ. SHUT UP AND GIVE ME 50 TAIL CHASES.
MUTTINEZ: Yes sir.
Muttinez the Malumute starts chasing his tail and counting as he does so.
GERMAN SHEPHERD: Well, kid. What do you have to say?
HUSKY: Sir…my name’s…Shihtzgerald. Ronny Shihtzgerald.
GERMAN SHEPHERD: Good to meet you Shihtzgerald. The name’s General Dwight D. Eisenschnauser. Over there’s my right hand man, Capt. Douglas MacBarker.
Eisenschnauser points over to a collie. He has an eye patch.
FITZGERALD: Nice to meet you both.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: It looks like you’re in our outfit now. You know what you’re here for?
MUTTINEZ: Does anybody?
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: MUTTINEZ, 50 MORE TAIL CHASES.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: A HUNDRED MORE!
MUTTINEZ: Yes sir.
SHIHTZGERALD: We’re to fight the enemy, sir.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: This kid’s good. Hey MacBarker, isn’t he good?
CAPTAIN MACBARKER: Oh yeah. He’s good.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: And who, may I ask, do you think is the enemy?
SHIHTZGERALD: Oh I don’t know, sir. This is only my first day.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: Take a wild guess.
SHIHTZGERALD: I’m not sure. Cats?
There are murmurs from the dogs.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: Oh, it could be cats.
CAPTAIN MACBARKER: That’s what I said!
MUTTINEZ: Cats are ALWAYS the enemy!
One Doberman Pinscher steps up.
DOBERMAN PINSCHER: I HATE CATS. I HATE ‘EM. I’LL TEAR 'EM TO SHREDS.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: (to the Doberman) Step down, Private! (to Shihtzgerald) That’s Private George Waggington. He’s a wild card.
SHIHTZGERALD: Wait, do you not know who the enemy is?
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: DON’T TALK DOWN TO ME, KID. OF COURSE I KNOW WHO THE ENEMY IS. WE’RE GOING TO WAR. WE KNOW WHO WE’RE FIGHTING.
CAPTAIN MACBARKER: Well, we have a good idea. Cats is way high up there.
MUTTINEZ: We also think the enemy might be squirrels but I think that’s just a stereotype.
AN ESKIMO DOG: I think the enemy might be doorbells!
A BELGIAN SHEEPDOG: I think the enemy might be shoes!
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: And of course, we never forget about how genitals might be the enemy. There’s just something about them. Every other dog’s butt as well. That’s why we always check.
PRIVATE GEORGE WAGGINGTON: GENITALS. BUTTS. CAN’T GET ENOUGH. LET ME AT 'EM! I’LL DESTROY 'EM!
SHIHTZGERALD: Well sir, if I may be so bold, maybe the humans well let us know.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: WHEN HAVE WE EVER DEPENDED ON HUMANS TO HELP US OUT?
CAPTAIN MACBARKER: Except for when we wait for them to feed us.
MUTTINEZ: And when we wait for them to walk us around.
SHIHTZGERALD: And when we wait for them to let us outside to go to the bathroom.
PRIVATE GEORGE WAGGINGTON: BATHROOM. BUTTS. KILL ALL BUTTS. LET ME AT 'EM!
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: Well I guess you’re right. This is only the first day. Maybe humans will let us know.
SHIHTZGERALD: Well good.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: BUT NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, AND HOW SCARY IT IS, BE IT CATS–
CAPTAIN MACBARKER: OR MEN WITH PACKAGES–
MUTTINEZ: OR GARBAGE DISPOSALS–
PRIVATE GEORGE WAGGINGTON: OR BUTTS AHHHHH BUTTS!
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: WILL YOU, LITTLE SHIHTZGERALD, DEFEND OUR HUMAN FRIENDS TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY?
SHIHTZGERALD: Of course I will, sir.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: DO YOU PROMISE TO FIGHT WHATEVER YOU NEED TO FIGHT IN ORDER TO KEEP THEM SAFE AND HAPPY, NO MATTER HOW SCARY THAT ENEMY MIGHT BE?
SHIHTZGERALD: I promise, sir.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: AND WILL YOU PROTECT THEM BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM AND THEY SCRATCH YOU REAL NICE BEHIND THE EARS EXACTLY WHEN YOU NEED IT?
SHIHTZGERALD: I would love nothing more, sir.
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: Then I hereby welcome you to the pack, Shihtzgerald. Make us proud, kid.
CAPTAIN MACBARKER: Welcome, boy.
MUTTINEZ: Yeah, welcome, you little punk.
SHIHTZGERALD: So that’s it? I’m one of you guys now?
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: I guess so.
SHIHTZGERALD: What do we do now?
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: Well. I guess we have a little time. You guys wanna…play?
CAPTAIN MACBARKER: I could play.
PRIVATE GEORGE WAGGINGTON: Butts yeah I could play!
GENERAL EISENSCHNAUSER: Let’s play our favorite game, “Run”. Shihtzgerald, you start.
SHIHTZGERALD: What do I do?
ALL DOGS: RUN!
All the dogs run around until they’re tired. Then they take a nap. After that, they eat a little food. A few days later, they fly overseas and defend our country, because they’re the bravest, most wonderful animals in the whole wild world.
AND THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED.