Mercy Dogs

bef10f947d4fd653cab42a76ce0a9f57Human wars are crazy affairs, with people getting together in great packs and tearing each other apart. We didn’t know until recently that animals have to take part in this lunacy, with no choice in the matter.

Back in ancient times, 700 dog years ago, there was a Great War with packs of humans from all over the planet all fighting each other. Like I said, a crazy business. Imagine that happening in the dog world!

In the Great War, dogs were used for all sorts of tasks on the battlefield. ‘Mercy’ dogs carried saddlebags full of medical supplies to wounded soldiers. If a soldier was dying, a Mercy dog would often sit with him to the end, giving comfort and easing his journey to the next world. We dogs are good at that.

Annabelle’s story Mercy Dog appears in a book of great stories about the Great War, written by members of Swansea and District Writers’ Circle and published by Accent Press. Also included is a piece called The Purple Poppy by J.J. Moffat, who writes about other animals involved in the War – horses, cats, pigeons, even glow-worms and slugs!

The book is called Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918 and you can get it here.

Unforgotten cover

I’m glad Pearl and I will never have to go to war. Somehow I don’t think we’d cope with it, especially Pearl with her fear of loud noises.

Mercy Dog photo found here

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24 Responses to Mercy Dogs

  1. maggie0019 says:

    Oh, those Mercy Dogs. A small light in the tunnel of war.


  2. Send a FFF congrats to AnnaBelle. Wow! Humans really CAN do something right…like contribute to stories about dogs – the true heroes. 🙂 (No, I can’t imagine great packs of dogs getting together solely for the purpose of fighting, and I’ve never seen a St. Bernard snub a Pekingese “just because”>)


    • I have to admit I used to have a problem with blond Labradors and brown-and-white spaniels, but as I’ve got older and wiser I’ve realised we’re all dogs under the skin and I’m much better behaved around them now.
      Annabelle says thank you for the congratulations. Millie x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. natswans says:

    Those Mercy Dogs were indeed amazing , what would those Soldiers have done without them.


  4. Yes, those dogs must have been very brave and very intelligent.


  5. Talk about angels in fur – those dogs were the real deal.


  6. Oh man, that sounds like a really neat story… Any word on when the print version will be available? (I’m hopelessly in love with tangible paper books…)


  7. Role models for humans, that’s what they are. 🙂


  8. Very true. Maybe someday the humans will take notice…


  9. I can’t imagine Celine, my fox terrier going to war as she, like Pearl, hates loud noises. Dogs are so special and the Mercy Dogs especially so.


  10. Dogs have such sensitive ears – I can’t imagine how they managed on the battlefield!


  11. Lily Lau says:

    Doggies were so courageous… but they shouldn’t have been used for something as ugly as war is 😦


  12. rixlibris says:

    And then there’s the story of the two guys stranded in a blizzard in the Alps. Through the raging storm they see an approaching St. Bernard, traditional cask of rum strapped to his neck. One guy says, “look, here comes man’s best friend.” The other replies, “yeah, and a dog is bringing it.”


  13. OMG! Really? How nice of the dogs and how sad of the people! How can humans be so inhumane so as to get dogs involved in wars…
    Thanks for sharing this piece of information 🙂


  14. Yes, we’ve always thought it’s wrong for humans to drag animals into their wars. Unfortunately it’s still happening now, with dogs being used to sniff out bombs – doesn’t bear thinking about, really.


  15. I’ve always been amazed by dogs’ dexterity and ability to sense something’s amiss. I can name a notable few who have helped me through very stressful times in my life, and their capabilities make them flexible…assistants I should say? Your post inspired me to look more into the subject. It reminded me of PTSD therapy dogs, as well as my very first pup. Thank you!


  16. It’s a pleasure! You’ve taught me something, too – I never realised dogs are used to help PTSD sufferers. Makes a lot more sense than sending them to war!


  17. Pingback: Spooky Writing Competition! | Annabelle Franklin, Author: Messages from Millie

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