National Geographic : 1943 Jan
Your Dog Joins Up CyLa Tour &Son Up and Over a Smooth Eight-foot Wall He Climbs! He uses his front feet to pull himself over the top. No obstacle racer outshines the swift, sure, highly trained messenger dog. He swims rivers, scales walls, finds his way through dense underbrush, through barbed-wire entanglements, and the heaviest traffic of city streets. He is taught never to pause to fight, chase cats, play with children, or accept food from strangers lest he be poisoned. Nothing must interfere with his errand. You can browse for days in any big library and never find the end of good dog stories. In the Bible and in other early Jewish annals, you find little about dogs that is complimen tary. When I lived in Baghdad, I saw that to both Jews and Arabs the dog was unclean. Moslems, particularly, avoided even touching a dog, and then only with the left hand; yet for him they had a definite respect. In Baghdad streets every pariah dog had his own beat, which he'd fight to hold. When not hunting food, these tramp dogs congregated in certain streets and slept in big piles. Once as I drove to call on the Wall Pasha, my carriage driver came to such a pile of dogs and carefully drove around it, to avoid disturbing the sleepers! A dog would rather associate with a man than with another dog. Dogs have been closer to man, and were probably tamed by him long before he domesti cated any other animal. Hence, through the centuries, odd be liefs about dogs have grown up. Best hunting and racing dogs ever known are those devel oped in England. Belgium uses many draft dogs in civilian life. These were made to haul machine guns when war broke. After World War I, when I was living in Germany, I saw vast numbers of Dobermans and German Shepherds being trained, especially around Ber lin and Hannover. Ostensibly these were for police work, though everybody tacitly un derstood they would eventually wind up in the Army. Widest publicity had long been given to dog training in Germany. Crowds always stood about the grounds watching dogs being taught to attack, jump hurdles, trail, and carry packs. In France, too, the pub lic was kept fully informed on war dogs and the Army's urgent need for more of them.