How Dogs Worked In The War: Ten Thousand of All Breeds at the Front--Collies Excellent Scouts., Daily Racing Form, 1919-07-10


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HOW DOGS WORKED IN THE WAR Ten Thousand of All Breeds at the Front Collies Excellent Scouts We have been used to a dog as a foursquare partner a stanch and faithful friend and servant in peacetime but probably few of us have regarded him in the light of a potential hero writes Jean Belmout in HunterTraderTrapper However he has proven himself just that in France Over there he proved himself just as trueblue in war as in peace and not i little of the credit for doing up the big job belongs to him himRecently Recently a Belgian soldier of a dogdrawn ma ¬ chine gun battalion was asked what was the most remarkable incident of the war that he observed in which dogs played a part He said saidIt It was this AVe were out in the front line trenches engaging the enemy In the second line a few hundred yards behind us were the dogs at ¬ tached to ammunition carts that they were to bring up to us It happened that the soldier in charge of one of the dogcarts was killed by German shrap ¬ nel As the time apnroached when we needed more ammunition wo looked toward the rear and there were two faithful dogs going over the top alone They had left their dead master behind and were coming over shellswept terrain with their precious cargo load of ammunition for us It was a great reception we gave them they had been found true in our hour of need needI I observed that war dogs were aware of the danger they were in There was never any diffi ¬ culty to lead them from the open into trenches they knew that meant protection They could also tell like the men when shells were coming and like men they tried to dodge the shells AVe all liked the dogs but the men in the front line trenches especially appreciated the daily visits of the dogs because the dogs brought up from the rear lines the small carts containing our food The dogs took turns like the men in making the trips to the frontline trenches They never refused to go anywhere on the battlefield AVherever a man was brave enough to go the dogs would also go goAt At the time of the signing of the armistice there were something like ten thousand dogs at the battle front They ranged from Alaskan nialamute to St Bernard and from Scotch collie to fox terrier Oftentime tliev were placed on the regimental ros ¬ ters the same as soldiers They shared all the hardships and perils of the soldiers themselves and drew their turns in the rest camps in the same fashion But they were always ready to go back and it is not recorded that u single one of them ever failed when it came to going over the top topMounting Mounting guard at a listening post for long hours at i stretch ignoring danger with all the stolidness of a stoic yet alert every moment he played a heroic role Many a time it was the keeif ear of a collie that first caught the sound of the approach ¬ ing raiding party A bark or a growl might have told the raiders that they were discovered and thus have prevented the animals own forces from giving the foe a counter surprise So he wagged his tail nervously a canine adaptation of the wigwag sys ¬ tem which lila master interpreted and acted upon to the discomfiture of the enemy Often whole companies wore saved because the dog could reach farther into the distance with his senses than could the soldiers themselves It was found that many dogs would do patrol and scout duty with any detachment But there was another type of dog worker needed in the trenches the liasion dog trained to seek his master whenever turned loose Amid exploding shells through veritable fields of hell he would crawl and creep with only one thought to roach his master Nor would he stop until the object of his search was attained Many a message of prime importance lie bore from one part of the field to another and nought but death or overcoming could turn him aside

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