Smoky, War Dog
of Courage, Love
and Pure Spunk!
Smoky, a four pound Yorkshire Terrier found in New Guinea, spent her life in the company of an American soldier during WWII and returned to the US with him after the war to a life of fame and celebrity.
It would be easy to believe that the statement above was a fair assessment of the life of the little dog, but it falls so short. Bill Wynne, the man destined to share his life with Smoky, still thinks of his little companion and the 50th anniversary of her death is fast approaching. Smoky's life (as is true of all of us) is more than a simple resume of accomplishments that would be easy to chronicle. Instead, her greatest accomplishment is likely the burdens she lifted off the shoulders of men and women during a time of great trial, the friendships she made and how effectively she demonstrated the potential of a "Toy" Dog.
Yes, she accomplished impressive tasks, like pulling a communication line through an 8", 70 yard culvert so that an airfield didn't need to be shut down and dug up. She even learned to do a tightwire walk while blindfolded and to spell her own name. Still, her ability to support and even save lives with her instincts and senses inherent in every dog, shows us how completely we all underestimate our canine companions and their understanding and abilities.
Mr. Wynne's book is written without sentimentality. Yes, he is in awe of his little companion from so long ago. Yes, he's clearly appreciative of everything he learned from her and the possible career he enjoyed from his ability to train her (a career he declined in favor of a strong private life). His truest dedication is in keeping her memory alive because of the lives she touched and the exceptional friend she was. The fact that he can relate everything from their proudest moments to their saddest in the same matter of fact tone, with rich background detail, is likely a factor of the notes he worked from (fresh at the time) while writing the book more recently when the bittersweet tang of her life and death is softened.
Yorkie Doodle Dandy stands as a book about a Yorkie, as well as being about an exceptional relationship between a man and his dog, as well as a book about surviving WWII and how challenging it was to come back to a real life, after the war. In any event, it is impossible to read the book without falling in love with Smoky and envying Bill Wynne for his opportunity to know her and love her.
Even now, Smoky's legacy includes contributions to Yorkie Rescue which has successfully placed over 3000 homeless Yorkshire Terriers. In appreciation, Yorkie Rescue worked to create and dedicate a memorial to Smoky. Smoky's accomplishments continue to accumulate.
To find out more about Bill, Smoky and their life, visit Smoky War Dog or click the photo of the book above.
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