Smoky the first War Therapy Dog on Record. This is the wonderful story of Smoky the first War Therapy Dog on Record. Smoky was only 4 pounds and stood 7 inches tall. It was initially thought that Smoky was a Japanese war dog, but she did not understand commands in Japanese or English.
For the next two years, Smoky back-packed through the jungle with Corporal William A. Wynne. Smoky slept in Wynne’s tent and she shared his rations. Smoky served in the South Pacific with the 5th Air Force and participated in 12 air/sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions. She survived 150 air raids on New Guinea and made it through a typhoon at Okinawa.
Smoky the first War Therapy Dog even parachuted from 30 feet (9.1 m) in the air, out of a tree, using a parachute made just for her. In 1944, Yank Down Under magazine named Smoky the “Champion Mascot in the Southwest Pacific Area.”
Her largest contribution to the Allied forces was with her incredible hearing and sense for danger. On multiple occasions, Smoky saved the life of Wynne and warned soldiers of incoming fire.
Smoky the first War Therapy Dog
In 1944, Smoky made national headlines when she helped engineers build an airbase at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. During the construction, a Signal Corps team needed to run a telegraph wire through a 70-foot-long pipe that was 8 inches in diameter. Wynne attached the line to Smoky and she got the job done. According to an Animal Planet investigation, Smoky was also the first war therapy dog on record.
At the end of World War II, Smoky was smuggled back into the United States hidden in a modified oxygen mask carrying case. After her return, Smoky became a national celebrity and performed her skills for crowds, which included walking a tightrope while blindfolded.
On February 21, 1957, Smoky the first war therapy dog died unexpectedly at the age of approximately 14 years old. RIP Smokey. You are an inspiration to all.
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