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March 13, 2023

Celebrating National K9 Veterans Day, 4 ways you can honor our canine warriors

Celebrating National K9 Veterans Day, 4 ways you can honor our canine warriors

Happy K9 Veterans Day! Short and sweet today! We touch briefly on the history of military working dogs.

Did you know that during WW1 it is estimated that over 1 million dogs were killed in battle? Unbelievable! We talk about how the holiday came to be and what you can do to help celebrate!

-Visit a war dog memorial! Click the link HERE to see if any are in your area
-raise awareness on social media! POST about it today!!
-Donate! So many amazing organizations need help! Here is a link to the K9 for warriors program I spoke about in the show
-Honor a vet

Another great thing you could do is adopt retired working dogs. A lot of them are adopted by their handlers but there is still a need to give these hero's a loving home to grow old in. Interested in adopting a retired military working dog? You can contact officials at mwd.adoptions@us.af.mil or call 210-671-6766.

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[00:00:00] Hello. Hello. Welcome back to the show today, or the day that this episode is being released is on Monday, March 13th, which is National Canine Veterans Day. And if you have been following me on Instagram at all you will know that we have started fostering weekend fostering service Dog in training with a organization that is here local to us in Denver.

[00:00:29] And so I have really come to, , I did an episode back when was that episode? Back in September , I've really gotta figure out how to change. The numbers so that I don't have seasons and I just have episodes. It'll be much easier for me to to take that back. But that was kind of that the episode that I did there with service dogs and how they're helping veterans was really part of part of the emotional, you know, PTSD and how service dogs help veterans in that way.

[00:01:02] So today is just a little bit different. And I just wanted to talk just, it's gonna be a quick episode, but just about canine Veterans Day. And it's just something that I think that we need to pay attention to and there's a little bit of history behind it that I wanted to share with you guys that I thought was kind of cool.

[00:01:19] National Canine Veterans Day is celebrated every year on March 13th the military first began introducing dogs to the military back in World War I, and at first the dogs were just used for message delivery.

[00:01:32] Troops. But then the military quickly realized that if these dogs were properly trained, that they could be used for a lot more. So in March of 1942, the Dog Wars program was established and. , the dogs did a lot of different stuff. So, for example, the Navy used military working dogs, took our shipyards.

[00:01:53] The Coast Guard used them for patrolling coastlines. The Marine Corps used them in the Pacific Theater to recapture islands overrun by Japanese forces. And interesting fact is that during World War I. , the need for military working dogs was so high that American families donated their own dogs to the war effort.

[00:02:10] Isn't that crazy? And then, while it's been widely reported that dogs performed acts of bravery and heroism during combat, and there's, there's, we'll touch, touch on that just a little bit in just a little bit. It says that approximately a million dogs were killed in action during World War I. Isn't that crazy?

[00:02:28] Oh my gosh, I thought that was absolutely bananas. So today there's roughly 3000 military working dogs that are deployed all over the world and they work for law enforcement and border patrol and customs and the military. And then, you know, depending on which agency they work for, they can be used for a lot of different things.

[00:02:45] A popular one is the, you know, because dogs have an incredible sense of smell is for their smell for illegal drug substances, bombs, today military working dogs are part of a program called the Military War Dog Program. And in order to join the dogs, and we talked about this when I did the the service doc episode previously, they go through intensive screenings and training cuz they wanna make sure that these dogs are 100%, they don't have any joint issues or vision or hearing or hip dysplasia.

[00:03:17] You know, common in, in German Shepherds and which is a popular breed for military working dogs. And then the dogs are trained at the 341st training squadrant at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. And there's, you know, there's lots of bills and laws that have been passed over the last two decades that give protections to retired military working dogs.

[00:03:37] And it's just, I think it's just important to recognize. , they, there's a lot of sacrifice and accomplishments by working dogs, and I just think that it's cool to take a minute and to kind of take it all in. So, a little bit of the history behind Canine Veterans Day, it was established by a gentleman named Joe White, who was a Vietnam veteran, as well as a canine handler and train trainer.

[00:04:02] And since the US can. Core or the War dog program was created on March 13th, 1942. Mr. White chose March 13th as the day to to recognize, honor, and celebrate the military working dog veterans. And then after he passed away in 2009, it was his wife actually who continued his efforts to make it an official national holiday.

[00:04:25] So, What can you do? What? That's great. That's so cool. Military working dogs are awesome. Yay. What can I do, ? Okay. So here are four things that you can do to recognize or to celebrate our canine veteran. So the first one would be to visit a war dog memorial. Okay? So there's a few that I'm gonna talk, talk to you about.

[00:04:50] So there's there's one that's in Nielsville, Wisconsin. that Paige tribute to to a military working dog. And this was set up by Vietnam veterans, which is pretty cool. It was a committee of Vietnam veterans, including war dog handlers that helped kind of come up with this idea of a memorial.

[00:05:09] And then on the day that it was dedicated in June of 2018, people from all over the country attended and then coincident. The attendees included three Korean war vets who discovered that they had all served in the same unit at the same location, but during three different years, and they had all handled the Sam dog.

[00:05:29] So that's pretty cool. There's another one at March Field air Museum. In Riverside, California, there is, there's one right outside of New York City. It's called Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, and Crematory, it's a, it's a kind of a, a big place . It started back in 1896 as a place where city dwellers could, you know, bury their pets.

[00:05:49] There's nearly 80,000 pets there, but there's this really, there's a really big, beautiful memorial. In memory of the war dog. So that's pretty cool to check out. If you are in the Washington DC area, you can go to the Smithsonian. See Sergeant Stubby. There's a cool story kind of behind him back from World War I and then there is.

[00:06:11] The National Fire Dog Monument, which is also in Washington dc that pays tribute to dogs that have worked for the fire service. There's dogs that have been trained To detect various kinds of accelerants that might have been used to start a fire. And so it's, I think that that's a pretty cool, pretty cool skill to have.

[00:06:34] And then there's a working dog monument at Eggland Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach. Florida there is Sally, which is at the Gettysburg Battlefield, and Sally was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and was the mascot for the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. And she was with this regiment through various battles and.

[00:07:00] and it's, it's a, it's just a cool story that of her that after the Battle of Gettysburg, she got separated from her regiment. And after the battle of the men who returned to the scene of the first days fighting, they found her standing. vigil over the dead and the wounded, which is pretty cool. So and then there is the US military working Dog teams National Monument, which is right outside of Lackland Air Force Base, which makes sense because that's where they train military working dogs today.

[00:07:26] So so there's some pretty cool stuff to check out in that regard. And then you can talk about it on social media. I'm gonna be talking about it too, just to be aware, you know celebrate and. the canine veterans and just, you know, post something about the holiday. Another thing that you can do is donate.

[00:07:48] So there's a ton of charities and things that support canine veterans or even just veterans. The, the biggest one for. Aside from the military. Working dogs is a organization called Canines for Warriors. It's a, it's a nonprofit and they train, so they go in and they get shelter dogs, and they train these dogs to be.

[00:08:08] Service Dogs for Veterans and it is one of the biggest in the nation and it's rated really well. They do a lot of really good work. It's in poncho, Vira Beach, Florida. So if you are in that area, you could be HandsOn and do it that way. But there's also so many, and this is what I encourage you to do, is Google, get on Google and just type in, you know, service dog training near me.

[00:08:30] That's what I did. I found an organization that's near me. and and then I was able to, you know, look at their website and they always need help. They always need help. A lot of 'em have Amazon wishlists. They need, you know, bedding and toys and things like that for, for dogs that are, that are in training there's a lot of 'em.

[00:08:48] So what we are doing is, it's called a weekend foster. So there are dogs that are in training currently to be service dogs for veterans and other people with special needs. The dogs basically go through training Monday through Friday, and then they go home with a weekend foster on Friday afternoon.

[00:09:07] They come to, well, our experience has been, he comes to our house, his name is Moss. He's so freaking cute. You need to follow my Instagram stories if you wanna see him. He comes to our house and we love on him, and he just gets a break. He gets to be away from the kennel and he just gets to be a lazy pup that's loved on endlessly for the weekend.

[00:09:25] And then I take him back Monday morning and he goes back to work and, and it doesn't cost me any money. They provide everything. They provide his great, they provide his food, they provide everything. It's just my home and my time. . So that's a great thing that you can log into doing if you want to give back in some way.

[00:09:42] If this, if, if dogs are something that is. that are special to you like they are to me and to our family. There's also a lot of organizations that are looking for puppy razors for service dogs. That is really hard. It's a big challenge. I, we're working ourselves up to that. I will let you know when we make that leap of faith.

[00:10:01] But but that one's coming. But there's a lot of ways that you can donate. And then the last one is honor a vet. If you're lucky enough to know a retired canine veteran. Go get that dog a treat, a bone, a new toy, something just to show him a little extra love. And that's it. Post about it today and spread the word and show a little love for our military working dogs.