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Why adopt
a rescued Rottweiler?

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Quite simply, there are thousands of homeless Rotties that are killed yearly, and deserve a chance to bring joy to some family.

These pages are dedicated to the wonderful people that recognized their unique  "Rotties in the rough"  and chose to save lives through adoption..... you'll see nothing but "Happy Tails" here!  and if you listen carefully, you'll almost hear the laughter and share some tears.

 Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives. "    - -   Albert Schweitzer,  MD,  PhD   1875-1965,
Philosopher, musician, theologian, Nobel laureate


Dwight (my partner in crime) with Chewy, 175 lbs of pure love; surrendered by a woman and daughter, because her husband was going to shoot poor Chew Chew that afternoon when he got home from work.  Chewy was dumped at my office  FRANTIC , with a bloody mouth from being kicked and unable to eat solid food for several weeks.    Now he enjoys life and loves to stand on logs.

    Who could resist THIS face?

     Here's "agility" Rotti style!


When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh.

You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend.

Whenever I was  "bad,"  you'd shake your finger at me and ask  "How could you?  -- but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together.  

I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.

We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because  "ice cream is bad for dogs"  you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate.

I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a  "dog person"   -- still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her.   I was happy because you were happy

Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement.

I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too.

Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate.

Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a prisoner of love.

As they began to grow, I became their friend.

They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose.

I loved everything about them and their touch -- because your touch was now so infrequent -- and I would've defended them with my life if need be.

I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me.

These past few years, you just answered  "yes"  and changed the subject.

I had gone from being  "your dog"  to  "just a dog,"  and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets.

You've made the right decision for your  "family,"  but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter.

It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness.

You filled out the paperwork and said  "I know you will find a good home for her."

They shrugged and gave you a pained look.

They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with  "papers."

You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed,  "No, Daddy!    Please don't let them take my dog!"

And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.

You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you.

You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home.

They shook their heads and asked  "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow.

They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago.

At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind -- that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me.

When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room.

A blissfully quiet room.

She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry.

My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief.

The prisoner of love had run out of days.

As is my nature, I was more concerned about her.

The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek.

I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago.

She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein.

As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured  "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said  "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself --a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place.

And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my  "How could you?"  was not directed at her.   It was directed at you,

My Beloved Master, I was thinking of you.

I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

     Visit the BrainLab and learn how to train your brain into optimal states of consciousness such as Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.   Sound waves that move your mind.  Change starts from within for you or your dogs.  Brain Therapy can help.   Learn more

A Note from the Author

If  "How Could You?"  brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly  "owned"  pets who die each year in American and Canadian animal shelters.

Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a non-commercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice. Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards.

Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious.

Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay and neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.   Jim Willis


Once I was a lonely dog, Just looking for a home.

I had no place to go, No one to call my own.

I wandered up and down the streets, in rain in heat and snow.

I ate whatever I could find, I was always on the go.

My skin would itch, my feet were sore, My body ached with pain.

And no one stopped to give a pat, Or to gently say my name.

I never saw a loving glance, I was always on the run.

For people thought that hurting me was really lots of fun.

And then one day I heard a voice So gentle, kind and sweet,

And arms so soft reached down to me And took me off my feet.

"No one again will hurt you Was whispered in my ear."

"You'll have a home to call your own where you will know no fear."

"You will be dry, you will be warm, you'll have enough to eat."

"And rest assured that when you sleep, your dreams will all be sweet."

I was afraid I must admit, I've lived so long in fear.

I can't remember when I let A human come so near.

And as she tended to my wounds And bathed and brushed my fur

She told me about the rescue group And what it meant to her.

She said,  "We are a circle, A line that never ends."

"And in the center there is you protected by new friends."

"And all around you are the ones that check the pounds,

And those that share their home after you've been found."

"And all the other folk are searching near and far.

"To find the perfect home for you, where you can be a star."

She said,  "There is a family, that's waiting patiently,

and pretty soon we'll find them, just you wait and see."

"And then they'll join our circle they'll help to make it grow,

so there'll be room for more like you, who have no place to go."

I waited very patiently, The days they came and went.

Today's the day I thought, my family will be sent.

Then just when I began to think It wasn't meant to be,

there were people standing there just gazing down at me.

I knew them in a heartbeat, I could tell they felt it too.

They said, "We have been waiting for a special dog like you."

Now every night I say a prayer to all the gods that be.

"Thank you for the life I live and all you've given me.

But most of all protect the dogs in the pound and on the street.

And send a Rescue Person to lift them off their feet."
   by Arlene Pace    September 18, 1998

This helps remind us why we rescue,   and gives us strength to continue..  when things get really tough.  If your story isn't here, it's because we're spread too thin and Rottis come first, we're updating and hope to have more photos and stories, keep sending them in and remind us!

Thank You for bringing this foster dog into my life.

Had I not made the decision to participate in rescue, I would never have had the chance to meet him.

If I had sat here comfortably in my home and said    "I already have four dogs and I know that I couldn't take in another - even on a temporary basis,"

I would never have met  THIS  dog.

Yes, it takes my time to rescue and foster... but who gave me Time in the first place?    And why or what was the reason I was given Time?

To fill my own needs?   Or was there another reason ever so small and seemingly insignificant, like rescuing this one dog, that could make a difference in an other's life?

Perhaps to add joy, hope, help and companionship to another who is in need?

With great sadness, I sat down on a footstool in my kitchen this morning and watched as this foster dog bounced back into the house and skidded across the floor to sit ever so perfectly in front of me.

He was the picture of health...... finally.  He was all smiles for me.... and I smiled back at his happy face.

Deep in his eyes, the storm clouds of illness and generalized poor health had blown away, and the clear light of his perfection radiated out from his beautiful soul.    He holds no ill will toward man.  He forgives us all.

I thought to myself as I impressed this one last long look of him into my heart, what a very fine creature You have created.

Tears slowly pooled and spilled over my cheekbones as the deeper realization of how wonderful this dog is sank into my internal file cabinet of Needful Things to Remember.

Lord, he's a dog - but he's a better human being than I am.

He has forgiven quickly.  Would I do the same?

He passionately enjoys the simple things in life.   And I have often overlooked them.

He accepts change and gets on with his life.   I fuss and worry about change.

He lives today and loves today.   And I often dwell in the past or worry about the future. He loves no matter what.   I am not that free.

This very lovely dog has gone to his new home today and already I miss him.

Thank You for bringing this dog into my life.   And thank You for the beautiful and tender lesson on how to be a better human.   -Author Unknown

"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace."   Albert Schweitzer

Dedicated to "Willow" and her wonderful good sense in escaping....author unknown

I STOLE YOUR DOG TODAY Copyright Jim Willis 2002 tiergartenjim@yahoo.com http://www.crean.com/jimwillis/   (received via email from another rescue group)

I stole your dog today.   No, I didn't set a foot on your property, but from the condition of your dog, I can imagine what it looks like...the word  "junkyard"  comes to mind.

I found her along a road, with a heavy chain wrapped around her neck, still attached to rotten boards from her doghouse, with rusty six-penny nails protruding.

Not only did I know that most of the town had already ignored her, judging by where I found her, but I knew that if she had gotten into the woods the  "cross"  that she dragged behind her would have wrapped around a tree until starvation or thirst killed her.

The local populace is usually deaf to the sound or blind to the sight of an animal in need, unless they decide to shoot one for trespassing.

That her ribs showed, that her ears were filthy, that her overall condition was poor and that her coat and eyes were dull, were good indications that you didn't deserve her.

But just to make sure, I checked with the local authorities for a report of a missing  (unlicensed)  dog matching her description and to see if you'd placed a  "lost dog"  advertisement in the local newspaper.

You hadn't, which I can only surmise means that you do not miss her.   That's rather convenient, because the fact that she is not spayed, and possibly heartworm positive means that restoring her health could cost me around a thousand dollars.

Perhaps it may be some small comfort to know that she doesn't miss you.   In fact, her very act of escape made it clear that she'd had enough of your brand of pet guardianship.

It took her about a day to realize that I'm not you, that I won't hurt her, that despite our brief acquaintanceship, I love her.

It took two days for her to realize that the other animals who live here accept her and that one of the joys she has been missing has been the companionship of other dogs.

It took three days for her to appreciate the ecstasy of a homecooked meal and that a couch is meant to be reclined on, and that she no longer has to sleep outside - in fact, when the thunder starts, she'll get a hug and her ears rubbed, and I'll make a fool of myself with baby talk.

She has a beautiful name now.   Already in the first week she has come to look more like she should.   Her eyes sparkle and she has learned to wag her tail in greeting.

She has stopped flinching when I make a sudden movement, because she knows now that I won't beat her, in fact, she rarely leaves my side.

She's even become brave enough to bark at a cat and today I watched from the window as she initiated play with the other dogs.   No, it's clear she does not miss you or her former life of neglect on a chain.

Of all the things that have become apparent from my brief relationship with her - such as the forgiving nature of the dog, their wonderful ability to heal and to trust, the fact that love can work miracles -

One of the most apparent is what a fool you are.   She was possibly the most trusting, loyal and loving being in your life, and you consigned her to a life of filth and loneliness until she made the best choice she's ever made when she broke free.

Perhaps her guardian angel helped her escape.   Lest anyone should mistake me for an angel, I will admit that one day I hope to be as good as she;

I believe she forgave you within the first twenty-four hours of her new life for the about four years of her previous  "life,"  while I still wrestle with the part of me that hopes that one day you will burn in Hell.

It's not clear yet whether she'll remain here or whether I'll find her a loving home where she can count on more individual attention than I can give her, but one thing is certain, this is one bit of stolen  "property"  who is never returning to you.

So sue me, prosecute me, plead with the courts that she is rightfully yours... I'm convinced this is the best  "crime"  I've ever committed.

Hardly anything has pleased me more than the day I stole your dog.

I need only look into her beautiful brown eyes to know that she'd defend my decision with her life.

If we have one prayer, it is that you will not replace her, and if we have one special day to commemorate together, it is the day I stole your dog and the day she stole my heart.

The Reason

Cinco, arrived with his mom & one week old sister

I would've died that day if not for you.

I would've given up on life if not for your kind eyes.

I would've used my teeth in fear if not for your gentle hands.

I would've have left this life believing that all humans don't care.

Believing there is no such thing as fur that isn't matted, skin that isn't flea bitten, good food and enough of it, beds to sleep on, someone to love me to show me I deserve love just because I exist.

Your kind eyes, your loving smile, your gentle hands Your big heart saved me........

You saved me from the terror of the pound

Soothing away memories of my old life.  You have taught me what it means to be loved.

I have seen you do the same for other dogs like me.  I have heard you ask yourself in times of despair

Why you do it?

When there is no more money, no more room, no more homes

You open your heart a little bigger, stretch the money a little tighter

Make just a little more room....to save one more like me

I tell you with gratitude and love that shines in my eyes In the best way I know how Reminding you why you go on trying.

I am the reason   The dogs before me are the reason As are the ones who come after.

Our lives would have been wasted, our love never given. We would have died if not for you.


Why Own A Dog?

Why own a dog?   There's a danger you know,

You can't own just one, for the craving will grow.

There's no doubt they're addictive, wherein lies the danger.

While living with lots, you'll grow poorer and stranger.

One dog is no trouble, and two are so funny.

The third one is easy, the fourth one's a honey.

The fifth one delightful, the sixth one's a breeze,

You find you can live with a house full with ease.

So how  'bout another?   Would you really dare?

They're really quite easy but oh, Lord the hair!

With dogs on the sofa and dogs on the bed,

And crates in the kitchen, it's no bother you've said.

They're really no trouble, their manners are great.

What's just one more dog and just one more crate?

The sofa is hairy, the windows are crusty,

The floor is all footprints, the furniture dusty.

The housekeeping suffers, but what do you care?

Who minds a few noseprints and a little more hair?

So let's keep a puppy, you can always find room,

And a little more time for the dust cloth and broom.

There's hardly a limit to the dogs you can add,

The thought of a cutback sure makes you sad.

Each one is so special, so useful, so funny.

The vet, the food bill grows larger, you owe money.

Your folks never visit, few friends come to stay,

Except other dog folks, who all live the same way.

Your lawn has now died, and your shrubs are dead too,

But your weekends are busy, you're off with your crew.

There's dog food and vitamins, training and shots.

And entries and travel and motels which cost lots.

Is it worth it, you wonder?   Are you caught in a trap?

Then that favorite dog comes and climbs in your lap.

His look says you're special and you know that you will

Keep all of the critters in spite of the bill.

Some just for showing and some just to breed.

And some just for loving, they all fill a need.

But winter's a hassle, the dogs hate it too.

But they must have their walks though they're numb and you're blue.

Late evening is awful, you scream and you shout

At the dogs on the sofa who refuse to go out.

The dogs and the dog shows, the travel, the thrills,

The work and the worry, the pressure, the bills.

The whole thing seems worth it, the dogs are your life.

They're charming and funny and offset the strife.

Your life-style has changed.   Things won't be the same.

Yes, those dogs are addictive and so is the dog game!!

Gratefully and humoursly submitted by Michelle and Mike Gowdy, true dog nuts!

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" The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.  "    Albert Schweitzer

Christy Caballero wrote the following award winning article

There'd be a lot more than  50,000  names on the Vietnam Wall if it weren't for the war dogs that served in Vietnam.

Veterinarian John Kubisz knows.   He served with the  764th  Veterinary detachment in Vietnam.   " I don't think the average American even knows the role they played.   The war dogs contributed tremendously to the war effort and saved countless American lives, and somebody out there may have a father or a brother right now that owes his life to one of these dogs and I just want everybody to know that these animals existed and served this country.  "

The concept of war dogs is as old as war itself.   The ancient Romans had  "Molossus, " huge mastiff - like hounds able to knock a man off a galloping horse and disembowel him.   The Roman General Gaius Marius was routed at the battle of Vercellae in Gaul by a team of snarling, snapping hounds under the command of women handlers.   In the sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors used kill - trained Greyhounds against Native Americans, ensuring their conquest of the New World.

But today the term  "war dog"  is different.   The modern canine soldier is trained to save lives, not take them.   Three primary disciplines -  Sentry Dog, Scout Dog and Combat Tracker teams  -  were used in Vietnam.

Sentry dogs, highly trained and aggressive German Shepherds, worked with one handler.   The team patrolled alone, at night, along the perimeter of base camps, ammo dumps, fuel depots, airfields, and military facilities throughout South Vietnam.

"These dogs were trained to detect the enemy before they found us, "  said Vance McCrumb, Vietnam Dog Handler.   Once they detected an intruder, the Sentry dog team would radio for a Reactionary Team.   Sentry Dog Teams were introduced in June of  1965  in an operation called Project Top Dog.

"There was never a successful penetration of a perimeter where Sentry dog teams were placed, "  McCrumb said.   Sentry dogs were trained to be very aggressive and were deployed only during the darkness hours.

The Scout Dog program began late in 1965.   Scout dog teams worked  " Point, " typically during the day. Unlike Sentry dogs, Scout dogs were not aggressive, and disregarded the soldiers behind them.   "You might say the scout dogs knew those behind him were on the same team, "   McCrumb said.

The point man of a tactical combat formation is in front, holding the most vulnerable and dangerous position.   Mission after mission, scout dogs and handlers assumed this tactical position and alerted American patrols of enemy locations, snipers, ambushes, base camps, mines, and booby traps.   Veteran Charlie Cargo handled a Scout Dog named Wolf in Vietnam, and said it was his only trusting relationship during the war.   They worked together, ate together, and slept together.

The British helped train Army handlers in what was first called Hunter - Killer teams, renamed Combat Tracker Teams  ( CTT ) .   This training took place in Bahru, Malaysia, beginning in late  1966.   Their training was called British Jungle Warfare School  ( BJWS ).   A  CTT  was two 5 - man teams.   Each team had a team leader, visual tracker, radio operator, a cover man and a dog handler with a trained Labrador Retriever  -  their nose was better than the German Shepherd's, and they were not aggressive.   These teams were used to eliminate the VC who used hit - and - run tactics.

After the enemy broke off contact, the tracker dog teams were deployed to pick up the scent of the retreating enemy, so the infantrymen could attack again.   The dogs worked much like the scout dogs, and were likewise deployed  " on point. ".

The Air Force used Sentry Dogs and on a very limited program using Scout Dogs in 1966.   Army used Sentry, Scout and Tracker teams.    The Navy used Sentry, Aqua and Water Dogs.   They were used on the boats that patrolled the river systems and shipping harbors.   They were trained to detect the presence of someone swimming underwater by detecting their breath.

More than four thousand scout, sentry, and tracker dogs served in Vietnam, and in the course of the war they saved over ten thousand lives.   War dogs were so effective that the Vietcong high command put a price on their heads

But the common thread in recent war movies  -  no one gets left behind  - simply wasn't true for the war dogs of Vietnam.   Fewer than  200  of them ever saw American soil again  --  the rest were left behind, abandoned to suffer tragic fates, because they were considered  " equipment ".

They weren't equipment to the men who handled them.   " We were attached to these dogs.   These animals had feelings ; they hurt ; they cried;  they got sad, they got happy; they saved a lot of boy's lives. " said Spencer Dixon, Vietnam dog handler.

But thousands of those faithful dogs were unceremoniously euthanized on foreign soil  ( under orders from our government ) , or left to unknown fates in Vietnam, including being handed over to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, which slaughtered them for meat, bartered the hides for Viet Cong bounties, or let them perish from neglect.

Some war dogs watched helicopters carry their handlers away, as they stood locked in kennels, with no one left to let them out again.   None of the dogs of the Vietnam War have ever been officially honored for their bravery and service.

Establishing a fitting memorial has been difficult.   The same bureaucracy that left the war dogs behind has, to date, refused to allow a war dog memorial to stand on the soil of a military cemetery, or even allow a special tree to be planted on the grounds of Arlington Cemetery as a tribute.

But The Vietnam Dog Handler Association  ( VDHA )  isn't deterred.   Organized in  1993  by a group of six dog handlers, membership has since grown to about 2000.   John Burnam, VDHA President, and author of  " Dog Tags of Courage "  said he stuck his neck out as the new president of the VDHA and committed to work to establish a national war dog memorial in Washington  D.C.

A story in Parade Magazine announced the goal in April  2001, and donations have reached  $ 100,000,  about one third of the expected cost.

" 9/11  has just electrified the patriotism in this country.   People respect soldiers now more than they have since WW II, " Burnam said.   "That surge of American spirit hasn't stopped since, and it's put a lot of attention on dogs, because of the World Trade Center search and rescue dogs.   The war dog story is starting to gain some momentum.

" We want a national war dog memorial.   There's that term  ' national ' that really completes the story on the dogs, something signed by congress.   I'll guarantee you, once this memorial is dedicated, it will probably be one of the most visited memorials, because people relate to dogs.

" We've got a bill being sponsored to recognize the service of war dogs.   It's a two pronged approach, the second bill will be the mandate for a national memorial.   I need some  ' face time '  with these congressmen to explain what we're trying to do.   It's a long process, you've got to start on the ground floor and keep plugging away at it.

" When you've done all you can, someone else just shoulders up and takes it on.   You can't get discouraged, you have to get tough, and get in it for the long haul.   It's a marathon, not a sprint.   Eventually it will happen, it may not be on my tenure, but it will happen.   Then you've accomplished the mission, and you don't quit until the mission's done. "

Another part of the mission has been to give current war dogs the chance to retire.   Until recently, post - WWII war dogs were drafted for life.   So long as they could work, they could live.   When they become too old to serve, they were euthanized -- nobody went home.

Then, on April 17,  2001, United States Air Force officials announced the first official retirement of a military dog since the end of World War II.   " Ronny, " an eleven - year - old Belgian Malinois, was released to live out his remaining days with his former handler.

The new law came too late to save Robby, the aging war dog that brought national attention to the cause.   But it was his plight that got the attention of Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who drafted a bill stipulating an adoption alternative to the military's euthanasia tradition.   House Resolution  5314  was approved unanimously in both the Congress and the Senate, and President Clinton signed it on November 6,  2000.

Public awareness has also been raised by the documentary  " War Dogs, America's Forgotten Heroes. "

" I've had calls from guys who were actually over there who had no idea the dogs had been left behind, " said Mo Johnson, Consumer Relations for War Dogs Memorial Fund.   Jeffrey Bennett said working on the film was one of the most heartfelt, powerful, and yet tragic endeavors of his life.

" This should've been done a long time ago.   It still amazes me that the government refuses to allow a memorial to stand in a national cemetery, "  said Jeffrey P. Bennett, co-executive producer of  " War Dogs, America's Forgotten Heroes, " and founder, president and CEO of Nature's Recipe Pet Foods.

A letter sent in 1999  from the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, to the Director of Riverside National Cemetery stated, in part:

" ...  It was thought that a memorial to war dogs or to any other animal incidental to military service would be inappropriate for placement in a national cemetery.   (Roger R. Rapp, Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs)

" I guess in the Cavalry then, they must've all rode broomsticks, " Bennett said.   " Horses played a vital role then, the dogs in Vietnam played an equally vital role.   We basically left them over there, and they were consumed as food. "

When the War Dogs Memorial Fund was denied siting at a national cemetery, they chose alternate sites on the east and west coasts.   Two war dog memorials have been built.   The first was unveiled on President's Day 2000 at March Field Air Museum  -  March Air Force Base, Riverside California and the second at Sacrifice Field in front of the National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning, Georgia on October 8th, 2000.

The bronze memorials depict a soldier and his dog going into combat.   In these works, world-renown sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg commemorates all dog and handler teams that served in battle

" Finally, our dogs will be honored for time immemorial, " said Tom Mitchell, past president of the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association  ( VDHA ). " The inscription on the memorial describes what we --- their handlers --- have held true in our hearts for more than three decades:  ' They protected us on the field of battle.   They watch over our eternal rest.   We are grateful. '"

Charlie Cargo saw the War Dogs Memorial unveiled at March Air Force Base under a torrential rain.

" For me, the monument is so real.   When I went forward to lay my rose at the base, I stopped to touch the dog's nose.   For that moment, I was back in Vietnam, looking into the eyes of my Wolf.   We were together again. "

The memory is poignant, because the worst day of Charlie Cargo's life was December 7, 1971,  when he was ordered to deliver his best friend, Wolf, to the dog detachment center near Saigon.   He had to put a muzzle on Wolfer -- " this dog, who had nothing but love in his heart for his brothers - in - arms.   I will never forget the confusion on his face when I walked away forever. "

Memories like these fuel the fire within the veterans and supporters who visit the existing memorials, and are likewise unwilling to rest until an official national monument exists.

" We hope the war dog memorial will be at the mall in the vicinity of the Vietnam memorial in Washington D.C., " said Vance McCrumb, a veteran dog handler who volunteers on the National War Dog Memorial Advisory Committee.   Approval to place it there could take years to get through Congress and the National Parks Commission, but volunteers are working on it.

" Failure is not part of our thought process, " McCrumb said

" A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help."   Albert Schweitzer

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