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Memorial Day Tribute to the Furry and Four-legged

Posted May 26, 2016

This Monday, we celebrate a day of remembrance for all the brave service men and women. But as we celebrate Memorial Day, and honour those courageous souls, let’s not forget the four legged, furry, or feathered that did their part to make our lives better. Thank you – we salute you.

Here are 2 amazing stories of animal courage and inspiration for this Memorial Day.

Smoky

In 1944, Smoky was found by an American soldier in an abandoned foxhole in the jungles of New Guinea and was sold to Corporal William A. Wynne for 2 Australian pounds. She loyally followed her new owner through the rest of the war living in the New Guinea jungle and Rock Islands, sharing his rations and sleeping in his tent.

In addition to saving Corporal Wynne’s life on many occasions and providing comfort and entertainment for other soldiers, Smoky was credited with 12 combat missions and awarded 8 battle stars, and even helped string communication lines between outposts in the Philippines.

Click here to see an image of Smoky in her own parachute!

On November 11, 2005 a bronze life-sized sculpture of Smoky sitting in a GI helmet immortalizes her in Cleveland Ohio where she died at the age of 15. The plaque reads “Smoky, Yorkie Doodle Dandy, and dogs of all wars”.

Cher Ami 

On October 3, 1918, Marjor Charles White Whittlesay with more than 500 men were trapped behind enemy lines without food or ammunition. Not knowing their location, the allied troops began to fire at them. Surrounded by Germans and receiving friendly fire, by the second day less than half of the men survived.

Major Wittlesay dispatched messages by pigeon trying to stop the friendly fire. 2 birds were shot down and only “Cher Ami”, the brave homing pigeon was left. She was carrying this message: “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.” As Cher Ami tried to get the message back home, the Germans saw her and opened fire. She was shot down. But she didn’t stop. She took flight again and arrived at her loft at division headquarters with her message intact and saved almost 200 American lives. Cher Ami had been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and had a leg hanging. Her bravery will not be forgotten.

There are too many stories of animal courage to share and thousands more whose stories we simply do not know. Thank you again from all us humans, your bravery and loyalty inspires us.

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