War Dog Story

by Rebecca on January 7, 2008

in Animal Stories

The United States War Dogs Association
 

MOOSE, THE WAR DOG

I am Fast Larry and I graduated from high school in 1961.  I became 1-a and
subject to the draft.  The next year I married my high school sweetheart,
got married, and entered college.  I went to 2-a.  When I got out of college
in 1965, I now had 2 kids and went to 3-a.  They did not draft married men
with a family then.  I just came of age, between wars & conflicts.  I was
willing and able to serve my country in our military, I was never called on
to serve.

I went to work for a former war hero, who flew in the Battle of Britain
during WWII and made war movies after the conflict.  He was a former full
bird colonel and I was now running his company for him.  I had now bought a
home, had our 3rd child, and bought a German Shepherd.  We named him Moose,
because he had big feet, and later hit 100 lbs, which is large for a male.

He did a wonderful job, protecting my little children as they grew up
around him as babies.  If another child would grab one of my children in
play, Moose would run over & grab his arm, and gently pull him away, never
hurting the other child, but protecting his family.  He was a beautiful dog,
pure bred.  German Shepherds have been guard dogs & war dogs for the German
Wehrmacht for 2 centuries.  As a guard dog they are the best.  There is an
old saying, if you want true loyalty, don’t get a woman, go buy a German
Shepherd. 

They are the 3rd smartest dog just behind the German Poodle Hund.  My main
show dog today is an 135 mixed German Shepherd.  All of my life, I have had
one around, they are the ultimate dog.  Today I mix the blood, like I did in
Max, my road dog.  Putting in Bloodhound & Great Dane, makes him gentle &
sweet to be around. 

The breeders in this country have screwed up the line so bad for so long,
you can get dogs that can come out weird on you, and get too aggressive when
they get older, especially in big males.  Most police Departments go
directly to Germany today to acquire their dogs, and avoid the US market.
That was the problem we had with Moose, he started out sweet, then one day,
turned into something I became afraid of. 

We lived on a golf course fairway, and we were halfway down range on a par
four.  A lot of golfers hooked their drives over our 3’ tall chain linked
fence into our back yard.  We would get about 10 balls a day coming in.
Moose would lay hidden under our back porch, and wait for the golfer to see
his ball in his yard, climb over the fence on his property and approach the
ball getting ready to hit it back into the fairway.  I guess by Moose’s code
of conduct, the golfer had violated his will to live by coming on his
property, so he now had the right to eat him for dinner. 

Moose would wait for the golfer to turn his back & begin his waggle and out
he would come in full charge.  Just as the ball would go wack & airborne,
the golfer would turn to see Moose closing in with full teeth bared.  Most
would leap over the fence to escape; some would lose a piece of their
trousers. 

This soon became a game Moose loved to play, hide, charge, watch them run in
total panic.  This somehow triggered the hidden aggressive nature of the
dog, and he began to attack anything & everything.

I was on the road traveling full time then and my wife & kids were telling
me of his exploits.  Max got out twice, walked up to small little dogs in
the street in front of his house, and killed both of them in one bite.
Before I could get home & deal with that, the gas man came to our house to
read the meter, Moose went over the fence and put 38 stitches in his leg.
His lawyer was on the phone when I got in.

I now had an out of control dog on my hands, and I saw clearly I had to get
rid of him.  I realized that if I did, his fate would surely be the pound &
his destruction.  I loved that dog, like I loved one of my kids.  Then it
hit me, Vietnam had really heated up, troops were going over there now in
big numbers, the war was now hot.  I called up the military and said, I have
this 100 lb German Shepherd, he is eating everything that comes near him,
you put him on a fence line, anything that comes near it, dies, do you want
him.  Do we was the answer, we will be right out to pick him up.  I asked
where will he go, and they said after training, Vietnam.  I said, if I can’t
serve my country in war, then my dog can for me, and I kissed him goodbye,
knowing full well, he was not coming home.  Few war dogs, ever come home.

30 years go by, I wondered about his fate, many times.  A TV show came on
the history channel about war dogs.  It told about what a major role they
played in WWI where 50,000 dogs gave up their lives.  War dogs served in all
of our conflicts to defend our freedom and our democratic way of life. 

They went into great detail of how the dogs were used in Vietnam and showed
several of them in old newsreels working with their handlers in the jungles.
Moose had a very unique marking on his face, and when a soldier showed the
picture of the dog he worked with in Vietnam I was stunned to see my Moose,
with his new master.  He did make it over there, and he did indeed go to
war.  The soldier described how they were a team, and he gave him a new name
of course.  He said he was the best dog they had.  Moose sheltered him from
harm for 2 years, then one day going through a water filled ditch, Moose on
a leash in front of the soldier, hit a trip wire, and a flash went off, and
Moose was no more.

The soldier had kept his collar all of those years, and showed the tears it
had were the shrapnel hit it.  He carried Moose back to the base in his
arms, soldiers don’t leave other soldiers ever behind.  He buried him with
honors.  He then held the collar next to his heart and began to cry like a
baby.  He described that horrible day, when Moose gave up his life, to save
his.  I cried like a baby with him, I was over come with emotions.

He said he can never forget that day, or never forget the greatest dog a man
could have ever had, Moose the war dog, and this is the rest of the story.

Attached is a picture of Moose, kissing me on the cheek, with my wife and my
two young sons in front of him.  That is my father at the top left in the
door way. 

Fast Larry Guninger  

http://www.fastlarrypool.com
Go into my web site to see Max.

http://www.uswardogs.org/id43.html

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