Human 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.
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