By Helen Broadley for FidoActive
Whilst Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, it is also a time to remember the brave men, women and animals that gave their lives for their country, so that we can enjoy the freedom to enjoy this ‘holiday’ with our loved ones.
The American Pit Bull was used by the U.S. military during the Seminole and Civil wars and became the poster dog for the World War I propaganda and recruitment posters, but over the years the breeds enlisted for service became as diverse as the roles they perform.
Their super-human eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, make these canine compatriots an invaluable member of any team and they work tirelessly 60 hours a week, with on-call shifts 24/7 – and all without a paycheck to go towards their retirement or pay for meds to ease the pain of health issues resulting from their intense and physical work demands!
BUT they were not trained to kill, they were trained to save lives, with roles including: transporting medical supplies, search & recue (on land & sea!), sentries, messengers, clearing buildings, explosives detection, tracking, tunnelling, narcotics inspections, customs and border protection and even pulling telephone wires under airfields and mined tunnels – to name just a few!
These courageous canines don’t volunteer, they are simply drafted, yet their loyalty and bravery knows no bounds, and they gladly put their lives on the line to protect their human service buddies.
Of course dogs are ‘man’s best friend’ and more recently they have been an integral part of the recovery process as companions for wounded heroes or those suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Many of these special service dogs were originally taken from rescue shelters and trained for active duties all over the world, but it is heart-breaking to think that many of them returned to shelters or euthanized at the end of their useful service.
It seems therefore very fitting that two big problems can become one mutual magical solution – Help every American hero and save every shelter or rescue animal from euthanasia.
Companions for Heroes (C4H) provides companion animals obtained from shelters and/or rescues, who might otherwise be euthanized, free of charge to active duty military personnel, military veterans, and first-responders recovering from the psychological challenges they suffered during service to our country.
This amazing non-profit organization recognizes the incredible power of the human-animal relationship and seeks to support those suffering from psychological stress as they pursue recovery with the unconditional love of a pet. You can learn more about them at: www.companionsforheroes.org
Also, sadly even today, a service dog often finds that their handler is simply unable to take their service buddy home with them, once they retire from active duty. We can only imagine the desolation and confusion those loyal dogs suffer, being separated from their devoted handlers.
The good news is that many of these special animals are eligible for adoption and are placed into appropriate and loving homes. So, if you think you could provide a happy retirement home for one of these loyal 4-legged patriots, you can learn more about it here:
All of our country’s heroes and veterans served for us and deserve to be remembered by us, so just spare a thought this Memorial Day.
Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health and keep each other safe!
About the Author:
Helen Broadley is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions.
FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.
The team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life.
You can find out more about FidoActive on their website www.fidoactive.com
Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally
Active is what we want every dog to be!