The Animals in War: Remembering Canada’s Furry Heroes

On November 11th, Canadians come together to honour and remember the men and women who served for our country. On the eleventh day, of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, we stop and observe a moment of silence for those who lost their life in war and pray for those still courageously service our country. It is with their great sacrifices, that we have a safe, peaceful and free country to call home.

As a proud Canadian, I take time to remember and honour my grandfather who served in Princess Louise’s 8th Hussars (New Brunswick) Regiment. This year, while researching his Brigade, I was happy to find just one more great reason to call Canada home. In 2012, a life-sized statue and dedication was erected in Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa honoring all of the animals who served in war. As a family who loves animals, I know my grandfather would be proud.

It is with great pride that Canada recognizes the fact that animals have played a vital role in the Canadian military over hundreds of years. Three plaques were created by sculptor David Clendining that symbolize the many animals who were sacrificed and should be remembered as heroes. The bronze plaques show interesting facts about the animals and the roles they played in war, depicting their loyalty to their handlers and their country.

A life-sized German Shepherd service dog statue wears a medical backpack from the First World War and watches over the plaques and the footprints of the dogs and horses which are stamped into the concrete of “The Animals in War Dedication” to represent the marks they left behind on the battlefield.

It is common knowledge that horses where used in battle to transport soldiers, and mules were used to pull heavy artillery. But did you know that other smaller animals also helped out in the war?

  • Messenger pigeons carried important notes from soldiers on the frontlines.
  • Dogs delivered messages, searched for bombs, helped provide search and rescues for the wounded, served as watch dogs and helped to keep the soldiers company.
  • Cats helped to keep rats and other small rodents away in the trenches and warships
  • Some other animals, like bears and goats became mascots for army regiments.

This Remembrance Day, honour all those that sacrificed for our freedom. Lest we forget.

 

Laura and Blue are an inseparable duo from Toronto who love looking for the latest and greatest doggie products. Their interests include fine dining at Blue’s doggie supper club, frequenting dog friendly breweries, and online shopping. Do you have an idea for pet related story? Contact us! @blues.crew 

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