Today, I truly grateful for Pruitt ("Big Dog"), my lovable rescue mutt who makes me smile every day. Read more about the adorableness that is Pruitt here.
Every year on Thanksgiving, we watch the National Dog Show, which airs just after the Macy's parade. The official hashtag of the show is #dogthanking, and that's what gave me the idea for this blog post. Besides my own furry friend, there are a number of great dogs in history that deserve some thanks. When we think of heroes, we don't often picture them having four paws, but that is sometimes the case. Here are a few canines of note...
Deep in the winter of 1925, there was a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska. The serum needed to cure this disease was located 500 miles away in Anchorage. Harsh winter conditions made plane transport of supplies impossible. The only hope was to send the medicine to a railroad station in Nenana and relay via dog sled teams the rest of the way. Twenty teams were assembled, and their "Great Race of Mercy" began on January 27. Balto, a relatively inexperienced 3-year-old Siberian Husky, led the final sprint into Nome, and they arrived just before dawn on February 2. A perilous journey that could take up to a month was completed in only five days.
Today, a bronze statue of Balto stands in Central Park. The annual Iditarod Race also commemorates the dogs' heroic feat by retracing the path from Nenana to Nome.
A small but mighty Boston terrier mix, Stubby became the most decorated dog in World War I. He was a stray found by Private Robert Conroy on the combat training grounds at Yale. Stubby won all the men's hearts with his quick learning and doggy salute. (No kidding, he would put his paw over his right eyebrow anytime his comrades demonstrated a salute.) He soon became an official mascot of the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division of the US Army, but he certainly wasn't just a figurehead. Stubby was invaluable on the battlefield, as he could detect traces of gas, locate wounded men, and even decipher German from English, a skill which helped him to capture an enemy spy. (This act is what promoted him to the rank of Sergeant.) All in all, the Sergeant pup bravely served in 17 battles, sustaining injuries from gas exposure and shrapnel. Once recovered, he received a Purple Heart and numerous other awards for his service.
These beautiful stories canine heroism make me cry every time. (Many tears were shed in writing this post. I'm a complete mushball when it comes to dogs. I can't help it.) I know that my beloved Pruitt would be just as brave in any trying situation.
So if you have a dog, please give him or her a great big thank-you hug! They deserve all the love we can possibly give them.
What are you thankful for today? Feel free to share in the comments!
'Til next time,