Name:Harrison Location:United States

The Original Lovable Little Fuzzball

Here's the straight stuff.

The adventures of Harrison are true.
Try a few of his Crunchy Bites for a taste.
--Alpha Human Mom

Saturday, October 01, 2005

National Dog Week - VI - Part Two


…or Benji Marches to War.
RagsPrivate James Donovan did a little too much celebratin' in Paris on Bastille Day 1918 and was lost in Montmartre when he encountered (tripped over) a raggedy little dog and a trio of American MPs. Since he was A.W.O.L., Donovan made up a story about the dog bein' a missin' mascot and was politely escorted back to his division--the American 1st Infanty Division--better known as the Big Red One.

Donovan was a signalman, responsible for keepin' the lines of communication open for the American Expeditionary Force. Sometimes, though, it was impossible, and Rags, with some trainin', was pressed into service as a messenger.

"In late July of 1918, during a counterattack driving towards the Paris-Soissons road Rags…and Donovan found themselves with a group of advancing infantry that had been cut off and surrounded. The only officer surviving was a young lieutenant… Wire communications had been cut off by the Germans. The following message was written out and attached to Rags collar:

"'I have forty-two men, mixed, healthy and wounded. We have advanced to the road but can go no farther. Most of the men are from the 26th Infantry. I am the only officer. Machine guns at our rear, front, right and left. Send infantry officer to take command. I need machine gun ammunition.'

"Rags was able to dig his way through the barbed wire, avoid the Germans, and make his way through the shell holes back to the 7th Field Artillery. The message was passed on to headquarters. A supporting artillery barrage was layed down and reinforcements were sent out that rescued the cut off group and helped secure the objective. The news of Rag's achievement was quick to pass through the fighting men of the 1st Division."

Not only was he brave and smart (in spite of bein' a frog dog), Rags was discernin' as well.

"After the end of the Marne fighting elements of the 1st Division rested in the area around Domartin-La-Montagne… During the rest period Rags began a ritual [of touring] the various mess halls and eliminat[ing] from his tours those whose fare did not appeal to him or whose personnel did not meet his standards of hospitality. It was on one of these tours that he became involved in a fight with the pet cat of a division staff officer, Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr."

See. Even back then Rags figured out what the name Roosevelt would mean. Demo-cats! Fe-lyin' people! Bleagh!

Once back on the line…

"…Rags and Donovan moved forward with the infantry units of the 1st Division. Twice Donovan became engaged in hand to hand combat as Rags barked, snarled and grabbed German legs with his teeth. The Germans, usually out of food and ammunition, did not put up all out resistance. From this point on Rags greeted any grey uniformed figure with a low rrowl and snarl."

Demo-cats and Germans. All of 21st century France could learn a lesson or two from Rags.

As an aside, one of the most famous dogs to come out of WWI was Rin Tin Tin "…the puppy of German war dogs, found in Lorraine, France on 15 September 1918 by Captain Lee Duncan, in an abandoned German war dog station."

posted by Harrison at 11:02 PM


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