Did You Know?
In February 1944, an American soldier found the dog in an abandoned trench in the jungles of New Guinea. An Ohio corporal, William Winn, bought her for 2 Australian pounds. Over the next two years, Smokey was with her owner in the Pacific theater of war. The dog participated in 12 air and sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions. During these operations, Smokey was often in a soldier’s backpack practically under fire for long periods of time. She survived at least 150 air raids and two typhoons in Okinawa.
The dog once saved the labor of 250 workers at an airfield. They would have had to dig a new ditch to lay the cable. It would also have required moving 40 combat planes. They found a buried old narrow pipe. A dog was placed at one end of the pipe, and its owner called for Smokey from the other end. And the tiny dog, with a wire tied to it, was not afraid to crawl all the way through that long tunnel.
Smokey is also considered the world’s first professional therapy dog (pet therapy) – she entertained the wounded by showing them all sorts of tricks. The dog worked as such for 12 years, during and after World War II.
In total, Smokey has six monuments in the United States. In addition, the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue unit awards the annual “Smokey Award” to rescue dogs who have most distinguished themselves in the current year.