The Dogs Of War

Airedale Terriers in gas-masks I recently heard that Chows (AKA Chow Chows or Chowdrens), were once used to de-throat injured enemy combatants on ancient Chinese battlefields. I rather suspect this is another bit of historical urban legend, especially as I can find no reference to such brutality on the internet, but it did remind me of the somewhat more heroic real-life tasks given to Airedale Terriers.

A sample, from the wikipedia:

“The Airedale was extensively used in World War I to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines and transport mail. They were also used by the Red Cross to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield. There are numerous tales of Airedales delivering their messages despite terrible injury. An Airedale named ‘Jack’ ran through half a mile of enemy fire, with a message attached within his collar. He arrived at headquarters with his jaw broken and one leg badly splintered, and right after he delivered the message, he dropped dead in front of its recipient.”

Canines, of course, have a long history with war – but did you know you can buy replica armour for your mutt?Replica Dog ArmourThis is based on a real Roman design, although I believe the original was made of metal and not felt, and is yours for the low price of $150 from Collars & Couture. My favourite part of the ad-copy?

Helm and Greaves also available.