It’s Memorial Day. It never feels like a holiday to me; rather, it feels like a day to reflect and honor people who are far braver than most of us. I always feel a bit sad today, aware of all the loss and suffering our species can create.
But there is reason to celebrate too. In 2012 I wrote a post about the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, which would stop military dogs being classified as “equipment” and honor them as “members” in military service, as is only fitting given how much they do for us. And hold the phone, it finally passed in 2016.
There’s more good news: A memorial to the dogs sent to Vietnam was recently erected in Wisconsin. As you no doubt know, this is not a happy story—almost all of the dogs were abandoned when the US left. Thank heaven things have changed—military dogs are now treated as valuable service members, although we no doubt have a long way to go.
If you’d like to read about dogs in the military, you have a multitude of options. Look what comes up when you search under Books on Military Dogs. One book that gets a lot of attention is Sergeant Rex. I haven’t read it yet, have you? Nor have I seen the movie Megan Leavey. Seems I have some catching up to do.
I do have the honor of speaking soon to the local K9 police dog unit, Capitol K9s. They are working hard to use modern training methods; and I appreciate all that they do. Much of their work is funded by donations and I’m happy to donate my time and knowledge to them. I hope that many people are motivated to honor these amazing dogs by making some kind of contribution to their welfare.
MEANWHILE, back on the farm. Good grief, it was 93 last time I looked. It is simply horrible outside, no way around it. Jim and I got up early today so that we could get some work done outside before it got too awful. He moved in his “adopted” county park, and I did some gonzo gardening until it got too hot around 10:30. Otherwise we’ve been staying inside.
Too hot for many photos, but here’s Nellie taking a bath after her evening meal: