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Besides being our trusted animal companions for over 10,000 years, dogs have been heroically serving in armed forces around the world for over 2600 years. Dogs continue to be heroes and serve different purposes in the military and assume various roles such as fighting, logistics and communication, mascots, detection and tracking, scouts, sentries, intimidation and explosives detection just to name a few.

Dog war heroes

Military dogs were used by the Persians, Sarmatians, Britons, Egyptians, Romans, Slavs, Alans and Greeks as far back as 600 BC.

Military Dog War Heroes

Gander, formerly named Pal, was acquired as mascot by the Royal Rifles of Canada, who were stationed in Gander, Newfoundland during WW2. ‘Pal’ had accidentally scratched a child and his pet parents, upset by the incident, offered him to the Royal Rifles.

In 1941, during the Second World War, The Royal Rifles of Canada were sent, along with Gander, to Hong Kong Island to defend the island against Japanese attacks.

On one occasion, Gander charged Japanese soldiers as they were approaching some wounded Canadian soldiers; most likely saving the soldiers’ lives.

roger-biduk-ganderGander’s final act of bravery cost him his own life, but saved the lives of the men he was with. It occurred on Dec 19, 1941, during the Battle of Lye Mun on Hong Kong Island. During a Japanese attack, Gander picked up a grenade that had landed next to a group of soldiers and carried it away. The grenade exploded, instantly killing Gander.

The Dickin Award, instituted in 1943 by Maria Dicken founder of People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, is an award for any animal ‘displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst serving with British Commonwealth armed forces or civil emergency services.’ It is recognized as the animal’s Victoria Cross.

Gander was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal on October 27, 2000.

The citation on the medal reads as follows:

roger-biduk-dickin-medalFor saving the lives of Canadian Infantrymen during the Battle of Lye Mun on Hong Kong Island in December 1941. On three documented occasions “Gander” the Newfoundland mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada engaged the enemy as his regiment joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers, members of Battalion Headquarters “C” Force and other Commonwealth troops in their courageous defence of the Island. Twice “Gander’s” attacks halted the enemy’s advance and protected groups of wounded soldiers. In a final act of bravery the war dog was killed in action gathering a grenade. Without “Gander’s” intervention many more lives would have been lost in the assault.

Gander’s medal is on permanent display in the Hong Kong section of the Canadian War Museum.

 

In World War I there was Sergeant Stubby, a pit bull terrier that was found living out of garbage cans on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. A student named Robert Conroy took him in and smuggled him aboard his ship when he sailed for France to fight in the war. Stubby served for 18 months along the Western Front and participated in 17 different battles. His main tasks were to locate and comfort wounded soldiers and carry messages under fire. He also had the ability to detect incoming Dog war memorialshells. During the winter of 1918 Stubby saved his regiment from a surprise mustard gas attack. A different mustard gas attack nearly poisoned him to death.

At one point Stubby was hit with a hand grenade and received shrapnel wounds to his forelimbs and chest.

On another occasion he nabbed a German spy by biting him in the ass. Stubby was the only dog in the war promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was given the Purple Heart, the Republic of France Grande War Medal, the Medal of Verdun and medals for every campaign in which he served. The medals were pinned to a special jacket made for him by the military. Back in America he met three different presidents. After the war Conroy attended law school at Georgetown University, Stubby became the school’s official mascot. He died in Conroy’s arms in April 1926 at the age of ten.

Brand Number 11A, Chips was a German Shepherd Sentry Dog assigned to the 1st War Dog Detachment and was the most highly decorated War Dog of World War II. Chips was trained at Front Royal, Virginia in 1942 at the age of 2-years. Chips first served in General Patton’s Africa campaign and also waded ashore with the 3rd Division of Patton’s Seventh Army as it swept into battle in Sicily.

Dog war

Chips was the first canine in military history to be awarded the Silver Star for heroism and Purple Heart for wounds received in combat. His medals were later revoked by the War Department because medals were meant for humans and not War Dogs.

Approximately 5,000 US war dogs served in the Vietnam War (the US Army did not retain records prior to 1968); about 10,000 US servicemen served as dog-handlers during the war, and the K9 units are estimated to have saved over 10,000 human lives. 232 military working dogs and 295 US servicemen working as dog handlers were killed in action during the war.

In March of 2007, a bomb-sniffing German Shepherd named Lex and his handler, Marine Corporal Dustin Lee, were hit by an SPG-9 rocket. Lee was mortally wounded and Lex was blasted with shrapnel. Despite his Dog war memorial1wounds, Lex refused to leave Lee’s side, medics had to drag him away. Military veterinarians were forced to leave more than 50 pieces of shrapnel in Lex’s back; removing them would permanently damage his spine. Lex was granted an early retirement and Lee’s family adopted him. The dog was subsequently awarded a Purple Heart. He died of cancer on March 25, 2012.

British soldiers and military dogs gathered at a London army barracks on October 25, 2012 to honor a fallen hero with selfless courage, nerves of steel – and four legs. Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel who died in Afghanistan on the day his soldier partner was killed, was posthumously honored with the Dickin Medal, Britain’s highest award for bravery by animals.

 

The dog family is a group of intelligent, carnivorous mammals that includes domestic dogs and their relatives which include coyotes, wolves, foxes, jackals, dholes, raccoon dogs and bush dogs.

They’re known scientifically as Canidae, and its members are commonly called canids.

Carnivorans evolved from miacoids about 55 million years ago during the late Paleocene. Then, about 50 million years ago, the carnivorans split into two main divisions: caniforms (dog-like) and feliforms (cat-like). By 40 million years ago the first clearly identifiable member of the dog family Canidae had arisen.

As a faithful companion to humans for some 10,000 years, the trend to humanize our companion dogs comes as no surprise. Yet despite his/her long and close association with humans, the dog remains closest genetically to the Gray wolf, with whom he/she shares 99.8% of their mitochondrial DNA. The close genetic relationship between dog and wolf led the Smithsonian Institution to reclassify the dog from its previous separate species designation of Canis familiaris to Canis lupus familiaris.

In other words, the Timber wolf, the Tundra wolf and our beloved companion dog all fall under the genetic umbrella of the Gray wolf, Canis lupus. To answer the question “is my dog a domesticated wolf?” Yes, he/she certainly is!

Read Your Dog is a Carnivore and a Domesticated Wolf

Just like wolves, all dogs have evolved as carnivores and are still carnivores, not omnivores with anatomical features that clearly adapt them for meat-based diets. Understanding the anatomical differences between carnivores, omnivores and herbivores will help you understand why dogs are classified as carnivores and cats as obligate carnivores, and what foods best match their anatomy.

Felidae is the biological family of the cats; a member of this family is called a felid or feline. Felids are the strictest carnivores (obligate carnivores) of the sixteen mammal families in the order Carnivora. The most familiar felid is the domestic cat, which first became associated with humans about 10,000 years ago, but the family includes all other wild cats including the lion, tiger, cheetah, jaguar, lynx and wild cat.

Cats are the ultimate hunters on this planet and their flexible bodies and fanged front teeth are perfect for biting into and shredding meat from small animals. Going back 55 million years to the saber tooth tiger (with their huge canine front teeth) to today, the teeth of a cat are in no way shaped for chewing, yet so many veterinarians recommend that pet parents feed their cats kibble, even some that contain little or NO MEAT…. go figure! Science Diet and Hills Prescription Diet that are among the worst and most recommended by veterinarians that come to mind!

Cats are OBLIGATE (strict) CARNIVORES, meaning they need meat to survive and stay healthy. They don’t EVEN have the enzymes & amino acids in their bodies to digest or convert carbohydrates to energy (over the past 55 million years or so, they’ve been getting 100% of their energy from MEAT!!!). Sadly, most of the main ingredients in grocery store and veterinarian brand diets are dangerous at best and may contain up to 75% carbohydrates!

When’s the last time you heard of or saw any of the above members of the Canidae or Felidae family on the Animal or National Geographic Channel totally ignore mice, deer, antelope, moose, zebra, wildebeest, etc. and run across the Serengeti or the farmer’s fields to gorge on rice, barley, oats, corn, wheat or soybeans???

If they did that they’d get sick and die, because none of those ingredients are part of their evolutionary diet…..yet those are the main ingredients in most of the pet foods sold at veterinary clinics and grocery/chain stores!!!

“Grains and corn are some of the worst ingredients in pet foods”, notes Roger Biduk. That’s because they’re
No corn, wheat, soy
so cheap compared to human-grade meats. Dogs (carnivores) and cats (obligate carnivores) need a mainly all-meat diet. Pet owners don’t realize grains can be responsible for many preventable, serious illnesses and diseases leading to premature death such as Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), Obesity, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Hepatic Lipidosis (Fatty Liver Disease), Feline Diabetes, Urinary Crystals, Cystitis (bladder inflammation), Bladder/Kidney Stones and Cancer just to name a few.”

Cats & dogs have been around in one form or another for 55 million years or so eating nothing but raw meat, and now pets are getting sick and dying prematurely because pet parents are buying food from veterinary clinics and grocery/chain stores that contain grains, corn, chicken and meat by-products, meat and bone meal, animal digest, soy and wheat products just to name a few which are responsible for causing a large amount of preventable diseases eventually leading to premature death…!

In the wild, members of the canine & feline family usually die from being hunted, natural causes, accidents, old age or being part of the food chain.

In captivity, two of the main causes of premature death in cats and dogs are CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) & Feline Diabetes….. two diseases that don’t even exist in the wild! They are human-created diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions because of the highly artificial foods that we have been feeding our animal companions for the past few decades. Without the constant feeding of highly processed, high carbohydrate dry foods better suited to cattle (even cattle don’t eat grains in nature, they eat grass, not grains and corn) than cats/dogs, these diseases leading to premature death would be rare, if they occurred at all!

It’s only been in the last 50 years or so that our animal companions have been dying by the truckload from kidney failure, diabetes, tumors, cancer and urinary problems (all found in humans!), around the same time major pet food companies have been putting together cheap, non-human grade food and kibble containing cheap fillers like grains, corn, soy, wheat products, chicken and meat by-products, meat meal and un-natural preservatives and selling it to pet owners in veterinary clinics and grocery/chain stores!

THAT COULD BE TOTALLY AVOIDED BY A NATURAL, RAW DIET or a commercial diet that resembles one!!!

Click on Grains are Very, Very Bad for Your Obligate Carnivore Cat and Carnivore Dog to read more.

On the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently telling veterinarians to discourage pet owners from feeding raw petfood diets: “Sorry, AVMA, you are all wet on this one. My own raw fed dogs have been healthier for the past 20 years than my clients’ dog food eating dogs. Are we veterinarians promoting health or the pet food industry, with all its recalls, Chinese ingredients, and biologically inappropriate diets? And why in the world is AVMA worrying about what perhaps 2.5% of the pet food market does? Surely there are serious problems affecting more pets than this… how about the jerky treats from China that are actually killing dogs, which FDA refuse to order recalled.Dr. Laurie S. Coger, DVMwww.WholisticVet.com

“How unethical is the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association)? Plenty! They recently came out with a directive instructing veterinarians to dissuade pet owners from feeding their dogs (carnivores) and cats (obligate carnivores) raw meat diets! Why? It’s all about big, big $$$$. Because these animals will now be so healthy eating a species-appropriate diet (a balanced raw meat diet), they’ll never have to go see a vet because of a food related illness or disease. And they certainly can’t let that happen”, says Roger Biduk.

 

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