Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Dr. Pet Mom asks that we also remember our military service dogs.
A Brief History
- Dogs in warfare have served humans since around 600 B.C. Dogs served during the invasion of the Cimmerian army.
- Modernized warfare included protective armor for military service dogs and selective breeding for fighting traits. Dogs served new roles as scouts, couriers and sentries.
- Morale boosting was another important role for service dogs. On ships, sea dogs served as rat catchers, mascots and helped find food and water on desert islands.
- During World War I, dogs emerged as heroes in open combat. Stubby the dog saved military lives by giving soldiers an early warning of gas and infantry attacks.
- In World War II, dog paratroopers jumped into combat on D-Day helping British soldiers fight German armies. Chips a mixed breed dog (German Shepherd, Collie, Husky) helped American soldiers during the invasion of Sicily.
- Military dogs served in Korea and Vietnam. An Air Force sentry dog, Nemo, was on patrol on an airbase when he was attacked by Viet Cong. Nemo and his handler were injured, but Nemo kept him safe until reinforcements arrived.
- In Iraq and Afghanistan, military service dogs helped American soldiers detect IEDs and mines.
- Military service dogs also train for special operations searching for hidden passages, weapons and enemies.
Please enjoy this related interview about military working dogs:
Thanks for stopping by! 😎
Dr. Pet Mom
“Dogs leave pawprints on our hearts”
Top image source: “Kharma and Lucy are training to become service dogs.” (2016) source: dla.mil