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Posts Tagged ‘stray dog’

Years ago, when our neighbor’s young German Shepherd left to enter military school, we were reminded that dogs have bravely served alongside their masters and mistresses for centuries… Of course, most did not have the benefit of intense special training that our youthful friend had.

Some, like Rags (above) strayed into their destiny… Rags was a Cairn Terrier–a French pup who met the U. S. 1st Infantry Division in France in 1917. He quickly overcame any language barrier, and volunteered to relay messages along the front lines, doing his duty although bombs often rained down all around him. Rags served bravely, even after he was partially blinded by gas. He returned to the U.S. with his military family, whom he continued to devote his considerable energies to, for the rest of his long life. Cooper says, “A wag of the tail to you, Rags! Merci!”


Little bright-eyed Smoky (above) was 4-pounds of pluck and goodwill, who was discovered in a New Guinea jungle in 1944 by an American G.I. No powder puff, the diminutive Yorkie lived a soldiers’ life with Corporal William Wynne for the next 2 years. She scoffed at the thought that dogs are afraid of heights (humbug!), and flew a dozen rescue and reconnaissance missions. In camp, when her sizable ears detected enemy planes coming, she’d bark a warning to Wynne; they survived 150 air raids. After the war, tiny Smoky stowed away inside an oxygen mask case and flew to the States, where, for the next decade, she shared her joy in living with wounded veterans, and helped them heal. The Coopster says, “Thanks, little Smoky, for your great, big heart! You’re good therapy!”

And then, there was Stubby, who famously served in WWI. He, too, strayed into his future when he wandered onto a playing field at Yale University, perhaps looking for some easy-going fun. Instead, he found the 102nd Infantry doing exercises, and decided to join up, on the spot! He allied himself with Corporal J. Robert Conroy. Together, they served on the front lines in France, where an alert Stubby captured a German spy by chomping on the seat of his baggy britches. Grrrrr….. Don’t mess with Stubby! This brave Pit Bull was awarded many medals and eventually met three (!) Presidents, but his real reward was Mr. Conroy’s lifelong devotion.

“My heroes,” Cooper says, with awe. “A wag of the tail and our eternal gratitude to you!” When Stubby died in 1926, The New York Times published a memorable obituary of this brave pooch.

So, on this Memorial Day 2010, Cooper and Swirl honor all the brave men and women, living and dead, who have served with such generosity of spirit. And a wag of the tail to their steadfast 4-legged friends, who faithfully serve at their side.

Heroes all.

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then, “… read on to meet Taffy, and her unexpected gift to her rescuers.”

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Sammy was wandering the streets in Plummer, Idaho, when a kind policeman nabbed the little urchin and brought him to a Spokane shelter. He wasn’t even 5 months old… Sammy didn’t know it then, but he was about to come out of the darkness and into the light!

That’s when Caryl found him, ‘a filthy little furball, scrunched up at the front of his kennel.’ She couldn’t tell head from tail, until she put her finger into his cage, and a little tongue came out to give her a kiss. Sammy went home with Caryl.

Hey, Sammy, open your eyes to your great new life!

Sure enough, Sammy found he could sail through life with Caryl….

Yes, sir! He could fly!

Caryl, smart cookie that she is, realized that Sammy had a certain effect on people: he made them smile. Even the biggest frown turned upside down around Sammy  ;D

It was a balancing act, but Sammy and Caryl went into pet therapy training, and not surprisingly, Mr Warm & Fuzzy Feelings Sammy graduated at the top of his class! Just four days after his 1st birthday, Sammy passed his Delta Society evaluation (dogs must be at least 1-year-old), on his way to becoming an official pet therapy dog!

For nearly 2 months now, Sammy and Caryl have been visiting their local Ronald McDonald House, bringing smiles and unconditional doggie love to everyone there.

Sammy, you’re our hero! You make former pound pups everywhere very proud.

Sammy photos courtesy Caryl Harper. Thanks!

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The old dog barks backwards without getting up.

I can remember when he was a pup….  Robert Frost

He was a vagabond stray when we met, with the most eloquent eyes.

For more than 16 years, Foxie charmed us and made us smile.

Sometimes, the hair on the top of his head stood straight up!

It made him laugh–us, too.

As far as we were concerned, he could walk on water…. well, frozen water… well, snow actually.

While we slogged slowly through deep crusty snow,

he danced across the top of snowflakes!

Then, he’d find the softest, fluffiest down jac, and curl up to snooze.

Sweet Dreams, dear Little Fox.

We miss your smile.

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