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  • Smoky the War Dog Smoky the War Dog

Smoky the War Dog

How a Tiny Yorkshire Terrier Became a Hero on the Frontline

by Nigel Allsopp

Page Extent:112 pages
Book Size:178 x 124 x 15 mm (Height x Width x Depth)

Quick Overview

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In March 1944, deep in the New Guinean jungle, a little Yorkshire Terrier was found hiding in a foxhole. Her presence there was a mystery, but American soldier Bill Wynne became her new owner. He named her Smoky, never dreaming that his little mate would turn out to be quite so extraordinary.

When he fell ill with dengue fever, Bill asked to have Smoky by his side and she was soon visiting other soldiers on the ward, bringing happiness to the sick and wounded. This experience inspired Bill to visit injured soldiers with Smoky while on leave in Australia and she is recognised today as the first therapy dog of record.

She performed other daring deeds as part of her war effort, including laying wire to take over a Japanese-held airfield, and went on to become a beloved performer on children?s television.

In Smoky the War Dog, historian and former military dog handler Nigel Allsopp tells the story of Smoky and Bill, long forgotten in Australia, and chronicles his own efforts to see Smoky formally recognised for her war work. He interweaves Smoky?s story with remarkable tales of other military dogs, past and present, and the vital roles they play in wartime.

About the Author

Nigel Allsopp

Nigel Allsopp was born in the UK but started his Military Career in 1980 as a Military Working Dog Handler in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Police. Within his 15 years service he rose to the rank of DOGMASTER responsible for all aspects of Canine Operations and training within the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). He became the first Military Dog trainer to qualify as a NZ civilian police dog trainer and supervisor. Nigel has trained members from numerous government agencies such as Customs, Police, Corrective Service and Federal Aviation Security in the use of specialist dogs. He has also trained and supplied specialist detection dogs and Military Working Dogs to South East Asian Countries on behalf of formal government requests whilst in the NZDF. Nigel left the military to pursue a keen interest in wild canine research and commenced work for the Auckland Zoo training all sorts of exotic animals to enhance their behavioural enrichment. This included 3 years as an elephant keeper whilst also training the zoo sea lions. He immigrated to Australia to continue his interest in wild canines by working at several zoos and wildlife parks with Manned Wolves, Timber Wolves, Dingoes and African Cape Hunting Dogs. The lure of working with dogs again inspired Nigel to join the Queensland Police Service where he is currently a Senior Constable in the QPS Dog Section working with a Firearms Explosive Detection Dog (FEDD).

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