Immersed in my research last week, I all but forgot to report on the secondary (and primary) sources I have discovered recently for my research paper. Last week, I unearthed War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love by Rebecca Frankel (more details can be found in a previous post). I also discovered Animal Reveille, a book published in 1944 that could arguably be seen as a primary source due to its relative proximity to World War I. This particular book is chock full of animal stories, a few specifically focused on dogs. The story of Stubby, a well-known war dog hero, is also included in this book. It reads as follows:
Then one night Stubby made dog history. It was an unusually quiet night in the trenches. Some of the boys were catching cat naps in muddy dugouts, and Stubby was stretched out beside Conroy. Suddenly his big blunt head snapped up and his ears pricked alert. The movement woke Conroy, who looked at the dog sleepily just in time to see him sniff the air tentatively, utter a low growl, spring to his feet, and go bounding from the dugout, around the corner out of sight. A few seconds later there was a sharp cry of pain and the sound of a great scuffle outside. Conroy grabbed his rifle and went tearing in the direction of the noise. A ludicrous sight met his eyes. Single-pawed, in a vigorous offensive from the rear, Stubby had captured a German spy who’d been prowling through the trenches. The man was whirling desperately in an effort to shake off the snarling bundle of canine tooth and muscle that had attached itself to his differential. But Stubby was there to stay. It took only a moment to capture the Hun and disarm him, but it required considerably more time to convince Stubby that his mission had been successfully carried out and that he should release the beautiful hold he had on that nice, soft German bottom.
This week, I came across too many primary source newspaper articles to count. I was shocked to discover that there were so many reports on dogs in American newspapers during World War I, particularly due to our limited involvement. One particular article found in the Chicago Tribune in 1918, states, “Train Dogs for Red Cross” and tells of an effort by the American Red Cross to train homeless dogs to be useful for the war effort:
I also found a United States Red Cross manual that is chock full of stories, first-hand accounts, and tips for training dogs for warfare. Published in 1925, I particularly enjoy the dedication: “May it aid us to learn the proper use of dogs in prepardeness for war, so that they, like the dogs of Attila, the King of Huns, may guard our camps and preserve our liberties and our rights, our lives and our honor.” What a powerful statement concerning dogs! Now, onto more British newspapers and more primary sources for the coming week.
Dempewolff, Richard F. 1944. Animal reveille. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc.