Today, many will be wearing the Remembrance Day Poppy to commemorate those who lost their lives fighting, and take a moment to appreciate those to whom we owe the freedom that we enjoy today. Throughout history, dogs have actively and bravely serviced at the side of men.
Dogs fought along with the Egyptians, Greeks, and Babylonians armies as soldiers and were part of the worst battles of history. Their loyalty, intelligence and courage made them essential in war and their fierceness made them effective weapons. They were messengers, sentinels, and fighters. The Roman army relied on them to extend their empire across the Ancient World and trained its dogs to form entire canine companies. Since then, they have worked alongside men in every war, from the medieval knights who carved their dog image on their tombs to Napoleon who had dogs as sentinels to alert his forces of attacks. However, there wasn’t any official training program for dogs in the military until World War II, when dogs were taught not to bark or react to loud noises as well as detect mines, read body language signs of danger from their human partners, and deliver messages.
Nowadays, military dogs are professional animals who work in partnership with their handlers in all branches of the Army. Dogs have continued to guard military facilities and protect military personnel with loyalty and effectiveness, helping reduce the toll on humans.
Today, while we honor all the men and women who have fought and lost their lives at war, we shall remember as well the many four legged heroes to whom we also owe our freedom.