March 13th is K9 Veterans Day and we are celebrating by taking a look at three pawsome dogs that served bravely alongside their humans. Throughout history, dogs have been brought along to the battlefield due to the competitive edge it gives to a platoon, along with the benefits of having such a loving companion in a high-stress situation.
As dog lovers, it is our duty to ensure that each dog has its day, so here are a few dogs that have gone down in history fighting valiantly for the safety of their humans.
Three Notable Dog Veterans
By Stubby: Terrier Hero of Georgetown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11296399
Sergeant Stubby: the only dog promoted to sergeant through combat
Sergeant Stubby the pit bull mix received myriad honors for serving in the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division during WWI. He was able to capture a German spy all on his own by detaining him until American soldiers could find him. Sergeant Stubby served for 18 months and 17 battles. His strengths included alerting his humans of attacks coming their way and helping to find those on the battlefield who were wounded.
By Carptrash at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24604365
Sallie Ann Jarrett: Civil War mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry
Sallie the Staffordshire Terrier is a dog still honored today with bones being left at her grave by tourists who wish to preserve her memory. She served alongside humans on the front lines of many battles during the Civil War, including Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Petersburg. Until her very last battle at Hatcher’s Run, she never left her humans behind. She was always at the very head of the march next to the horse ridden by the regiment’s colonel.
By Cassowary Colorizations - Chips the war dog, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97710661
Chips: the first Purple Heart dog
Chips the Collie, German Shepherd, and Husky mix fought bravely in the Army during WWII. When members of his platoon were ambushed by enemy rounds coming from a nearby hut on the beach of Sicily, Chips retaliated. Without a thought, he went into the hut and had one of the soldiers’ throats in his mouth. Chips’ handler had to get him off of the man for fear that he might kill him. The other three enemy soldiers that were there surrendered. Despite suffering some wounds and burns that day, Chips went on to take down another ten enemy soldiers.
Chips received the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, and the Distinguished Service Cross, which were later revoked due to the Army’s policy that dogs shouldn’t receive awards. He was then posthumously honored with the Dickin Award for his bravery in 2018 by the veterinary charity People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals.
To all the dogs who have ever served in the name of love for their humans: WE ARE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL! The loyalty and perseverance of our canine companions is unparalleled. There is still so much we can learn from our pups that can make us better humans. Their instincts and undying love inspire us through thick and thin and keep us as dog parents going when things seem bleak. If a human being can only have half of the virtues that a dog has, they would be one heck of a person.