MOOSE, THE WAR DOG
I am Fast Larry and I graduated from high school in 1961. I became 1-a and subject to the draft. The next year I married
my high school sweetheart, got married, and entered college. I went to 2-a. When I got out of college in 1965, I now had 2 kids and went to 3-a. They did not draft married men with a family then. I just
came of age, between wars & conflicts. I was willing and able to serve my
country in our military, I was never called on to serve.
I went to work for a former
war hero, who flew in the Battle
of Britain during WWII and made war movies after
the conflict. He was a former full bird colonel and I was now running his company
for him. I had now bought a home, had our 3rd child, and bought a
German Shepherd. We named him Moose, because he had big feet, and later hit 100
lbs, which is large for a male.
He did a wonderful job, protecting
my little children as they grew up around him as babies. If another child would
grab one of my children in play, Moose would run over & grab his arm, and gently pull him away, never hurting the other
child, but protecting his family. He was a beautiful dog, pure bred. German Shepherds have been guard dogs & war dogs for the
German Wehrmacht for 2 centuries. As a guard dog they are the best. There is an old saying, if you want true loyalty, don’t get a woman, go buy a German Shepherd.
They are the 3rd smartest dog just behind the German Poodle Hund. My main show dog today is an 135 mixed German Shepherd. All of my life, I have had one around, they are the ultimate dog.
Today I mix the blood, like I did in Max, my road dog. Putting in Bloodhound
& Great Dane, makes him gentle & sweet to be around.
The breeders in this country have screwed up the line so bad for so long,
you can get dogs that can come out weird on you, and get too aggressive when they get older, especially in big males. Most police Departments go directly to Germany
today to acquire their dogs, and avoid the US
market. That was the problem we had with Moose, he started out sweet, then one
day, turned into something I became afraid of.
We lived on a golf course fairway, and we were halfway down range on a par
four. A lot of golfers hooked their drives over our 3’ tall chain linked
fence into our back yard. We would get about 10 balls a day coming in. Moose would lay hidden under our back porch, and wait for the golfer to see his ball in his yard, climb
over the fence on his property and approach the ball getting ready to hit it back into the fairway. I guess by Moose’s code of conduct, the golfer had violated his will to live by coming on his property,
so he now had the right to eat him for dinner.
Moose would wait for the golfer to turn his back & begin his waggle
and out he would come in full charge. Just as the ball would go wack & airborne,
the golfer would turn to see Moose closing in with full teeth bared. Most would
leap over the fence to escape; some would lose a piece of their trousers.
This soon became a game Moose loved to play, hide, charge, watch them run
in total panic. This somehow triggered the hidden aggressive nature of the dog,
and he began to attack anything & everything.
I was on the road traveling
full time then and my wife & kids were telling me of his exploits. Max got
out twice, walked up to small little dogs in the street in front of his house, and killed both of them in one bite. Before I could get home & deal with that, the gas man came to our house to read the meter, Moose went
over the fence and put 38 stitches in his leg. His lawyer was on the phone when
I got in.
I now had an out of control dog on my hands, and I saw clearly I had to
get rid of him. I realized that if I did, his fate would surely be the pound
& his destruction. I loved that dog, like I loved one of my kids. Then it hit me, Vietnam had
really heated up, troops were going over there now in big numbers, the war was now hot.
I called up the military and said, I have this 100 lb German Shepherd, he is eating everything that comes near him,
you put him on a fence line, anything that comes near it, dies, do you want him. Do
we was the answer, we will be right out to pick him up. I asked where will he
go, and they said after training, Vietnam. I said, if I can’t serve my country in war, then my dog can for me, and I kissed
him goodbye, knowing full well, he was not coming home. Few war dogs, ever come
30 years go by, I wondered about his fate, many times. A TV show came on the history channel about war dogs. It told
about what a major role they played in WWI where 50,000 dogs gave up their lives. War
dogs served in all of our conflicts to defend our freedom and our democratic way of life.
They went into great detail of how the dogs were used in Vietnam
and showed several of them in old newsreels working with their handlers in the jungles.
Moose had a very unique marking on his face, and when a soldier showed the picture of the dog he worked with in Vietnam
I was stunned to see my Moose, with his new master. He did make it over
there, and he did indeed go to war. The soldier described how they were a team,
and he gave him a new name of course. He said he was the best dog they had. Moose sheltered him from harm for 2 years, then one day going through a water filled
ditch, Moose on a leash in front of the soldier, hit a trip wire, and a flash went off, and Moose was no more.
The soldier had kept his collar all of those years, and showed the tears
it had were the shrapnel hit it. He carried Moose back to the base in his arms,
soldiers don’t leave other soldiers ever behind. He buried him with honors. He then held the collar next to his heart and began to cry like a baby. He described that horrible day, when Moose gave up his life, to save his.
I cried like a baby with him, I was over come with emotions.
He said he can never forget that day, or never forget the greatest dog a
man could have ever had, Moose the war dog, and this is the rest of the story.
Attached is a picture of Moose, kissing me on the cheek, with my wife and
my two young sons in front of him. That is my father at the top left in the door
Fast Larry Guninger www.fastlarrypool.com Go into my web site to see Max.