A Yorkie named Smoky the war dog hero was a Yorkshire Terrier found in a foxhole by an American soldier named Cpl. Bill Wynne in the New Guinea jungle in 1944 which only weighed 4 pounds and stood 7 inches tall was a true hero and could go where no man could go.
Not long after Wynne got Smoky he caught dengue fever and was put in the hospital. Waynes buddies brought Smoky to the hospital to see him, and the nurses fell head over heels in love with Smoky. The nurses asked if they would continue to bring Smoky to the hospital to visit the other men as well.
Smoky slept with Wynne on his bed every night that he stayed in the hospital which was 5 days. During that time the nurses would gather Smoky up to do rounds with them returning her to Waynne at the end of their shift.
Wayne took notice of the powerful effect Smoky had on the other wounded soldiers and how she lightened their demeanor, and her personality. They would laugh at her as she chased the wild looking Queen Alexandra’s birdwing butterflies around the room. The butterflies wings were 14 inches and were bigger than Smoky was, and they loved the tricks Waynne had taught her.
Wayne taught Smoky to fall over like she was dead when he pointed a finger at her and would say “bang” and she would lay perfectly still as Waynne went over to her and while he would lift her into his arms. He also trained her to walk a tightrope, ride a scooter, and even spell her name-she would pick up the large cut out letters in her mouth as Waynne called them out for her.
Because of her, (and yes she was a female) small stature she could go into very tight places. She was also known as Yankee Doodle Dandy, and She was a crucial part of the WW2 effort and saved many men’s lives.
She received the Purple Cross Award and was also known as the first therapy dog who was a great comfort to wounded and mentally disturbed soldiers, she was a great comfort says, William A Wynne.
Wynne said Smoky was very intelligent and easy to train. She would help take communication lines through a very small hole between the outposts in the Philippines. Being able to communicate with each other was momentous to the war effort.
They could not have done this without Smoky, the men would have to dig by hand requiring a lot of men 3 days to dig and they would be seen by other warplanes. Smoky would go through a culvert 8″ diameter and 70 feet long under the taxiway. Smoky put her life on the line several times a day every day because she was asked to, and because she loved Bill and knew how vital it was that she do it.
Wynne and Smoky faced many perilous times, air raids, typhoons, and 12 combat missions.
Smoky was a therapy dog in Army and Navy/Marine hospitals in Australia in July 1944 at the 233rd Station Hospital where she was taken on rounds by Dr. Charles W. Mayo which is known by The Mayo Clinic.
There are memorials of Smoky all around the world. A war museum in London has a Smoky blanket. It was viewed through May 2007. Smoky was named in Yank Down Under Magazine in 1944 as the best Mascot in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations.
She has a silver trophy on display at the AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis. She served 18 months in combat in December 1945. Wayne returned home to Cleveland with Smoky. By 1947 people began to donate their dogs to hospitals around 700 at the time.
Their restorative skills were not just noticed but were harnessed to great effect. Smoky was an instrument of love helping wounded and mentally ill soldiers to cope with life and to have something to look forward to, she was a complete diversion, something to pull them away from the monstrosity of war.
After the war, Smoky and Wynne continued to visit hospitals bringing their act to other misfortune soldiers back home. Smoky retired in 1955 and she died in 1957 at the age of 14.
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