Lest We Forget…
Some 20,000 dogs were trained for duties in World War One. About one third we recruited from being family pets while the remainder were gathered from dog homes or the police departments.
Some pooches worked as sentinels standing quietly atop a rise, watching and alerting with a growl. Others pulled guns and heavy equipment or sniffed out explosives or enemy soldiers. Then there were the messengers. When the terrain was muddy or challenging dogs came into their own, being able to cover distance and difficult ground quickly. They were less of an easy target than a running man. Messages were often transported contained within a tin tied to the neck of the dog.
Scent-hounds and Terriers sought through the battlefields for wounded. Let’s also not the forget the pigeons and horses; they too had extremely important roles.
In addition to their incredible talents and resilience, the dogs of war provided companionship and had a positive effect on those who worked with them. When men and women serving were so far from home and missing their families, a dog could be a constant and even help keep them warm at night.
Just imagine so many families farewelling their beloved pets so they could serve on the front line. May we never forget the heartache, the irreplaceable loss of our loved ones to war… the old, the young and the furry who went dutifully and sacrificed for a cause they did not create.
The Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation (AWAMO) is a volunteer organisation dedicated to recognising the massive efforts of animals in the name of combat and providing comfort to human-kind. Beyond service our dogs are still helping and used to help alleviate the debilitating effects of PTSD.
Leah & Angela OMeara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)