“The guard dog was incorruptible; the police dog dependable; the messenger dog reliable. The human watchman might be bought; not so the dog. The soldier sentinel might fall asleep; never the dog. The battlefield runner might fail … but not the dog, to his last breath would follow the line of duty.”-Ernest Harold Baynes, Animal Heroes of the Great War
National K-9 Veterans Day is celebrated on March 13th on the official birthday of the US Army K-9 Corps, which was formed in 1942. Joseph White, a retired military working dog trainer, originated the idea for the day.
It was on March 13, 1942, that the Army began training for its new War Dog Program, also known as the “K-9 Corps”. This was a pivotal time for our military and for our sweet dogs that honestly portray complete bravery and deserve our thanks and appreciation for service work well done!
We know that dogs typically have an internal instinct to protect others, mainly humans that they have taken as their own. I have heard some pretty amazing and heroic stories of a dog risking it all to save a human–that is amazing loyalty and love that really is unconditional.
Protecting humans in a dangerous situation is definitely no small feat for anyone, but these precision trained dogs with hyper sensitive reaction time and heightened senses really are the perfect protection ally.
During WWII, it has been estimated that approximately 1,000,000 dogs were killed in action during the war. During the war, dogs were reported to have performed acts of bravery and heroism during combat. One such dog was Sergeant Stubby, reported to be the most decorated war dog, and the only dog to be nominated and promoted to the rank of sergeant through combat. He served for over 18 months.
Many movies and short flicks have been created to remember and remind us of Sergeant Stubby’s bravery!
WHAT DO WE DO FOR THEM NOW
For years and years these ex-military K-9s did not have any protections or rewards for their service. In, November of 2000 Robby’s Law required that all MWDs (Military War Dogs) deemed to be suitable for adoption should be available for placement after retirement from service to live out the rest of their life in peace and comfort!
WHAT THEY CONTINUE TO DO FOR US
Today, there are approximately 2,500 MWDs deployed all over the globe and work in a variety of law enforcement capacities, including the military, US Customs, Border Patrol, police K-9 units, and federal law enforcement.
According to Military Benefits.Info:
- Sledge dogs find downed airmen in snow and inaccessible regions
- Pack dogs transport up to 40 lb. loads of supplies between field units, including guns, ammo, and food
- Tracker dogs track and find mine and bombs
- Detector dogs find explosives
- Tunnel and trap detector dogs find tunnels, booby traps, and mines
- Messenger dogs deliver messages during combat
- Casualty dogs find wounded persons either on the battlefield or in debris
- And much much more….
I am already the biggest fan of canines, but I can tell you this, their undying loyalty and bravery is an amazing story to be told and sight to behold! We salute all the K-9 Veterans! Remember to thank a dog!
Many purrs and barks and much love for those sweet K-9s, we love you!