Smoky in the Hearts of the Veterans

Dogs, as well as cats, are considered the most popular and delighting pets all over the world. However, sometimes it is difficult to recognize them just as pets, which preserve silence and follow their masters almost everywhere. Is it possible to observe some features of humans in their behavior? Yes, responsible and caring individuals often treat them as family members, which seems essential and adorable. Moreover, heroic deeds might be of dogs’ prerogative as well, contributing to their kind-hearted and humane nature.

“The Angel From a Fox’s Den” – this is how a Yorkshire terrier Smoky was called by its founder. In particular, she was discovered on February 1944, at the height of World War II, by Americans in New Guinea. Initially soldiers suspicioned she was Japanese, but Smoky did not understand neither Japanese nor English. Just in a cost of 2 Australian pounds (nearly 7$ at the time) 1-years-old terrier was sold to William A. Wynne from Cleveland. Smoky was destined to experience all the “benefits” of military service accompanying her master.

Surprisingly, she joined air forces and was enrolled in the 26th Reconnaissance Regiment of the 5th Army, U.S. Air Force. One can only imagine how vivid and extreme her life has become, including the 150 air attacks on New Guinea and Okinawa typhoon. Notwithstanding her achievements might be estimated at the level of a true soldier. She executed numerous parachute jumps and participated in 12 tactical air missions. Later, her contribution was honored according to merit: 8 battle stars and the rank of corporal were granted.

The routine service in military activities did not obstruct Smoky to express her bravery and adroitness. The Angel nickname was given not without a reason, but for her intuition. In fact, she felt the kamikaze killers’ attack and in this way saved her “parent” and 8 more colleagues. In the other case she helped soldiers to push the wire through a long narrow underground pipe. She saved three days for Americans, which otherwise could be spent on digging the territory. One could only imagine how happy William was to see his smiling dog going out of the pipe uninjured and safe!

The war has come to an end, but Smoky continued to surprise and make people stare! In particular, she returned home with William, where Smoky became a national sensation. Next ten years were associated with performances in Hollywood, impressing with hard-to-believe tricks. She managed to write her name, picking up right letters, and to walk on a wire with a blindfold (probably, this was a skill she learned on the war). Most of her appearances were made in front of or dedicated to veterans of World War II.

Smoky died at the age of 14, but her glory continues living long after the war. On Veteran’s Day 2005 the Smoky memorial was opened in a shape of life-size bronze sculpture – Smoky sits in a soldier’s helmet on top of the two-ton granite pedestal. To date she appears to be a symbol of all the dogs engaged in the most horrifying war of the 20th century.