Military working dogs are finally getting their full recognition as dogs of war. Today they are being written about, honored, and considered dog heroes. For years military working dogs have performed a great service in their selfless duty. We should remember these dog heroes on this day, Memorial Day, and every day.
I have a particular fondness for working military dogs. They are loving, loyal and devoted and family members and not easily forgotten as you’ll see below.
A tribute military working dogs – Asta, our dog of war
My dad was an officer in the Army and he had a German Shepherd named Asta. He’d trained her to be a military dog and she accompanied him on his tours of duty. Asta served in World War II and the Korean War. She accompanied us as we, like all military families, moved around the U.S. and the world.
A military working dog becomes a babysitter
Military dogs serve in many ways. When I was born, my dad’s German Shepherd and constant companion, Asta, gave birth to 12 puppies. So, in a way, I had twelve canine siblings. Asta was a great dog and a military dog, but she was also my first babysitter.
When I was barely a few weeks old, we moved to Buffalo, NY where my dad had been stationed. Me, Mom, Asta and the 12 pups, all headed north from Philadelphia. My mom has told me a number of times how she could put me in a playpen outside on the front lawn with Asta standing guard and no one, absolutely no one, dared approach.
One of the fun things she recalled, at least for Asta and the pups, was when Asta trained them all to jump the fence. Imagine the site of the big momma German Shepherd sailing over a fence followed by 12 large German Shepherd puppies–beauty in motion, I bet.
She died in Germany from stomach cancer and I still remember its devastating impact on my dad. He loved her.
Honoring the dogs of war: the contributions of working military dogs
The work of military dogs is no longer being ignored, nor are these dogs of war forgotten. Today you can adopt a military dog, read about the good works of military dogs, and learn what these working military dogs do.
Luckily, there are any number of books that are available to read and make great gifts for dads and grandfathers. (Think Father’s Day gift.) Here are a few:
- The Dogs of War: The Courage, Love, and Loyalty of Military Working Dogs
- War Dogs: A History of Loyalty and Heroism
- Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog
Share your stories, thoughts and comments below. What do you think about working military dogs?