HappY “Y” daY! whY is it a happY daY???? Because there’s just “Z” left after this and another marathon of posting will end! I’ve had fun, but I have to admit I’m tired!!! “Y” was a tough one – I wasn’t able to find mY subject until more than half-waY through April! But I kept looking and eventuallY found an amazing Yorkshire terrier named Smoky!
World War II had a lot of war dogs in service and we’ve already learned about Judy who served in the British army but the United States Army had their own famous dog. A little 4 pound Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky. She weighed 4 pounds and was 7 inches tall and, according to Wikipedia, “is credited with beginning a renewal of interest in the once obscure” terrier breed.
Smoky was found by an American soldier in February 1944 in an abandoned foxhole in the New Guinea jungle. The soldier figured she was an abandoned Japanese pet and sold her to Corporal William A. Wynne for the price of $6.44 so he could get back into a poker game. For the next two years, she accompanied Wynne on treks through the jungle and combat flights in the Pacific. Even though she wasn’t an official war dog and shared Wynne’s C-Rations, she remained healthy in spite of the primitive conditions in which the soldiers were living. Smoky also survived 12 air/sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions as well as a typhoon at Okinawa.
During precious time off, Smoky was taught a lot of tricks by Wynne and entertained troops in hospitals from Australia to Korea. She is the first therapy dog of record. She first served as a therapy dog in July 1944 at the 233rd Station Hospital in New Guinea. She went with the nurses as they made their rounds, giving love and comfort to the patients. She even spent 5 nights sleeping in Wynne’s hospital bed! After the war, Smoky continued working as a therapy dog for 12 years.
On February 21, 1957, Smoky passed away at the approximate age of 14. She was buried in a WWII .30 caliber ammo box in the Cleveland Metroparks, Rocky River Reservation in Lakewood, Ohio. Almost 50 years later, on Veterans Day in November 2005, a bronze life-size sculpture of Smoky sitting in a GI helmet, atop a two-ton blue granite base, was unveiled there. It is placed above the very spot that Smoky was laid at her final resting place. The monument is dedicated to “Smoky, the Yorkie Doodle Dandy, and the Dogs of All Wars”.
What a dog!!! Even as an-always-superior cat, I have to admit Smoky’s service impressed me!
Since today is also Caturday Art, I thought I would lay a wreath at her monument/burial site.
Thank you once again for joining me on our journey! Tomorrow is Sunday and April 30, which means, the final post of the month – it’s “Z” day!! I hope you are able to come back at least one more time!!! (I will be doing a ‘wrap-up’ post on Monday or Tuesday.)
goodbYe for now, love, TobY!!!