Post Creative Challenge for September 2023: The Dogs of War

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Post Creative Challenge for September 2023: The Dogs of War

Inducting dogs into the military in the 1940s.'

This absolutely authentic government form comes to us courtesy of the US National Archives and Records Administration.

An application form for a dog to enter the marine corps in the 1940s.'

Rose Kalstat of Hawthorne, Nevada volunteered her two-year-old male shepherd Rex for military service with that elite group, the 'Devil Dogs' of the Marine Corps. Although the form was allegedly filled out by the dog himself, we suspect Rex wasn't really consulted as to whether he wanted to be in the military.

Rex (or Ms Kalstat) certified that he wasn't gun shy, nervous, storm-shy, or prone to run away, and that he was gentle, intelligent, and friendly. He was supposed to come home to Nevada when the war was over. We hope he did.

The K-9 corps, as they were usually called, carried messages, sniffed out mines, dragged sleds, and guarded facilities. There was a War Dog Manual, and yes, you may consult it (thanks, Internet Archive!). There was even a popular fictional series about 'Awol, the K-9 Commando', a brave Doberman who deserted the German Army and became a true American war hero. Thrilling stuff.

For this assignment, you need to write a story involving the K-9 Corps. You don't have to write about Rex. Here are some suggestions – and that's all they are, suggestions:

  • Write from the point of view of a human who gives up a beloved pet for the 'war effort'.
  • Write from the point of view of the dog.
  • Write from the point of view of a dog that turns out to be '4-F' – not suitable for military duty.
  • Set the story in the Second World War. Or Vietnam. Or some future war. Make the dog a robot. Make the dog British, or extraterrestrial, or anything your heart desires.
  • Change the dog to a cat.
  • Write a poem, song, or screenplay on this subject.

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

28.08.23 Front Page

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