Tiny Yorkie Dog Was A Hero Who Saved Soldiers in WWII

Photo Credit: Flickr

Her name was Smoky, and she was a wee little Yorkshire terrier who, after her heroic performance in WWII, became the world’s first therapy dog.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Found in an empty jungle foxhole in New Guinea, she was first thought to be the pet of one of the Japanese soldiers. The soldiers took her to a nearby POW camp and discovered she couldn’t understand either English or Japanese. So, her origins remained a mystery.

Still, she ended up in the American soldiers’ camp, where Corporal William (Bill) A. Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio, bought her off of another soldier, distracted by his poker game, for about $7.

That lucky seven bucks ended up saving Corporal Wynne’s life.

Wynne credited Smoky with leading him through heavy shelling coming from a transport ship. She warned him of the attack, and while eight other men around them were hit, Wynne made it to safety.

For the next two years, Smoky never left Wynne’s side, sleeping with him in his tent in the harsh conditions of the jungle and eating from his rations. Since she was there in an unofficial capacity, she didn’t get her own special food like the other war dogs received. Eventually, the 5th Air Force made her a member, and she saw 12 combat missions and was even awarded eight battle stars for bravery.

Photo Credit: Aphillcsa

Her most notable mission was crawling through narrow pipes filled with soil to run telegraph wire for an airbase crewman were building. She saved the soldiers from a three-day, danger-filled task of digging up a heavily used runway, as she took only minutes to squeeze through pipes with the wire, wiggling through a space of about 4 inches in some places.

She also loved to entertain soldiers recovering from their wounds in hospitals with her tricks. She would go on rounds with the nurses, visiting the wounded and lifting their spirits, and she actually continued to do this well after WWII ended (therapy dog!).

After the war, Smoky appeared on TV where she performed tricks like riding a scooter. She was a natural entertainer who delighted audiences with her intelligence and is credited for making the then obscure Yorkshire terrier one of the most popular and adored breeds today.